Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze

Since my disappointing attempt at the Orangette Cinnamon Buns last week, I have been doing abit of research on the various methods of making Cinnamon Buns.  

I tend to learn better via visual demonstration and found the numerous videos on this subject really useful. I especially liked this video which I found on YouTube.

How sweet is this lady? She is so calm and laidback, I could happily watch her baking all day. I like to think she was using a family recipe that has been passed down from generations of women before her. 

Having gathered some tips from afew demonstrations, I was feeling more confident and optimistic about my second attempt.  It was like a light bulb had gone off in my head when I got the dough to the right consistency and was able to roll it out. I'll admit, I even punched the air in a celebratory fashion.

Whilst the buns didnt turn out looking perfect, they were alittle on the flat and irregular shaped side, they tasted really good. The buns were really just a vehicle for the delicious frosting, which was a nice balance of sweet and savoury to go with the cinnamon and brown sugar mix. 
Once where yeast and dough seemed scary and impossible, persevering with these buns has now opened up a whole range of recipes for me to explore.

Recipe - Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze by Orangette

Ingredients - Dough

1 Cup Whole Milk
3 Tablespoons/43g Unsalted Butter
3 1/2 Cups/385g Plain (ap) Flour (i needed about 3 tbsp more)
1/2 Cup/115g Granulated sugar
1 Large Egg
2 1/4 Teaspoons Rapid-Rise Yeast 
1 Teaspoon Salt
Nonstick Spray or Vegetable Oil

3/4 Cup/150g Golden Brown Sugar (I used soft dark brown)
2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon 
1/4 Cup, 1/2 Stick, 57g Unsalted Butter

113g Cream Cheese
1 Cup/110g Icing Sugar
1/4 Cup, 1/2 Stick, 57g Unsalted Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1. Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds.

2. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup/110g of the flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.

3. Add 2 1/2 cups/remaining 275g flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. I needed an extra 2 & 1/2 tablespoons of flour and the dough was still alittle sticky.

4. Either turn the dough out onto a very well floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic, or continue using the mixer with the dough hook attached. 

5. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and then a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours or until dough as doubled in size. This is best done in a warm draft free area.

6. In a bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, and salt set aside.

7. Punch down the dough, transfer to a floured surface and roll out into a 15×11 inch rectangle. Spread the butter across this leaving a half inch border, sprinkle this with the sugar mixture. 

8. Roll the dough into a tight log along the long edge

9. With seam side down, cut dough into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).

10. Oil two 9 inch glass baking dishes (I used metal worked fine) and line each dish with half the rolls. Cover again with cling film and kitchen towel and let rise for a final 45 mins at least till doubled in size.

11. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F/190°C . Bake rolls until tops are golden, around 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

12. Working with a Stand mixer with the paddle attached blend the butter till creamy, add the cream chesse and beat till incorporated then work the sugar in and finally the vanilla. Spread on still warm rolls for the best enjoyment

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Having book marked Orangettes recipe for Cinnamon Buns almost 6 months ago, i thought it was time to face my fear of anything involving yeast. After all, i dont think you can legitimately call yourself a food blogger without the ability to bake bread. Or at least attempt to. For someone who enjoys baking, not knowing how to bake bread is sort of like being a driving instructor who has never changed a car tyre, missing an integral skill needed to do the job better.

So with enthusiasm and abit of anxiety, i followed the first step in the method for making the Cinnabon Buns. I wont bore you with the details, but needless to say, something went wrong and the dough was so sticky i couldnt roll it.

I'm not sure what went wrong, but being inexperienced in all things dough related (damn my fear of yeast!), i was unable to salvage it.

Feeling very disappointed in myself and massively craving cinamon and cream cheese frosting, I googled a recipe for cupcakes involving the two ingredients. I came across Stephanies Kitchens recipe for these cupcakes. 

These cupcakes were quite nice, but they didnt rise very much. That might have been somthing to do with the size of the cases. I used Muffin cases as they were the only ones i had in the cupboard. I also used the pretty silicone cup and saucer cases my lovely friend Kay bought me for my birthday.

Furthermore, the frosting was very sweet and ultimately put people off eating more than one. 

So all in all, not a very successful day in the kitchen. In the days before this blog, I would have taken it very personally that both recipes were abit of a flop. 

However, I have done enough baking now to know that sometimes, good recipes turn out bad. The way i see it, there are so many variables involved in baking, its a case of learning from each attempt and adapting things the next time.

I'm definitely going to try the Cinnamon Buns again and overcome my fear of yeast. And no, I have never changed a car tyre. But luckily for me, i'm not a driving instuctor.

Recipe - Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by Stephanies Kitchen

makes 18 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups cake flour (or add 1 tablespoon cornstarch per 1 cup all purpose flour to make your own cake flour)
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the flour and milk, alternating between the two until well incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever needed. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. You will need 18. Evenly distribute the batter between the cups. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes. Top with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon-sugar on top for extra prettiness.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream the cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth. Add half the sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until smooth. Add remaining sugar and beat until light and fluffy and creamy.