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Fig and Orange Kugelhopf

Fig and Orange KugelhopfIt’s time for European Cakes week of my GBBO challenge! Yay! And I made this fig and orange kugelhopf! A kugelhopf, or gugelhupf, is a yeast leavened cake usually filled with soaked dried fruit such as raisins or dates. I think it is Austrian, but also native to Germany and Hungary and it’s what inspired the American favourite – the bundt cake! I know what you’re probably thinking – but Michelle, why is the Great British Bake Off doing a European Cakes week? Isn’t that a bit redundant considering Britain is in Europe? Well, maybe. But one thing you should probably know about us Brits is we don’t really consider ourselves real Europe (I think some Brits like to think of us as our own continent sometimes!). Taking a day trip to France? You’re not just going to a neighbouring country, you’re going to “the continent” – it’s like we’re a little village on the outside of a big city! So when you hear Brits talking about “Europe” we most likely mean any European country that isn’t part of our Islands!

Fig and Orange Kugelhopf

This cake was a bit of a challenge for me! This is my first time using yeast to leaven a cake and let me tell you, it’s made me appreciate baking powder a lot more! But this is the way they used to make cakes rise before such wonderful things like baking powder were invented, and Europe sure does love it’s traditions! My first attempt was a big failure, my dough just didn’t rise at all – I baked it anyway though to test the flavours and I ended up with a very dense, malt loaf kind of texture. The flavours were great though so at least I knew I had that part sussed. My mum, however, loved it and she ate almost the whole thing! Which was a little weird, but at least it didn’t go to waste! For my second attempt I tackled it from a different, more cake like way as the first time I treated it like a bread dough and mixed the ingredients as such. And it came out great!

Fig and Orange Kugelhopf

As you might imagine, this cake has more of a fruit bread texture than a cake texture, but it is very light. It’s great eaten warm, fresh from the oven and would be yummy with afternoon tea. It’s also wonderful toasted and eaten for breakfast, it would be amazing with my cinnamon honey butter generously spread on it. This kugelhopf is stuffed full of orange zest and dried figs, the dried figs were soaked in orange juice and spiced rum overnight. I then saved the liquid from that to make a honeyed syrup that I cooked fresh figs and orange segments in to decorate the top, and poured the syrup over the warm cake. There were so many warm, yummy flavours coming from this cake – it’s a definite winner. It’s a bit of long winded process to make this cake but I think it’s worth it, you can however speed up the process a little and I’ll explain how in the notes after the recipe. 

Fig and Orange Kugelhopf

 

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Cinnamon Honey Butter

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We all remember those special moments in our life, the momentous occasions that helped shape who we are;  the first time you fell in love, your first kiss, the day you graduated, the first time you tried this cinnamon honey butter….

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Oh yes, it really is that good. I spread it on a nice, warm bagel and I was in heaven. How I stopped myself digging in and just eating it up with a spoon I’ll never know! It’s so sweet and buttery with a real cinnamon kick that keeps you coming back for more. Maybe I’m a little biased because cinnamon is my absolutely favourite flavour in the world and if you add it to something I’m sure to love it! But really, this butter is amazing!

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I made this butter to go with the hot cross buns I made for Easter, the recipe for which I’ll be sharing with you this weekend but I just had to share this cinnamon honey butter recipe with you first! This butter will go great with pretty much anything you could dream to put it on; bagels, dinner rolls, biscuits, baked sweet potatoes, waffles, pancakes, banana bread, EVERYTHING! I will be making this butter every chance I get and I’ll slather it on everything I possibly can to the point where I may have to make my next post from a hospital bed after my butter induced heart attack! (I’m kidding of course… hopefully!).

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And what makes this butter even more awesome? It’s so simple and quick to make, with only 3 ingredients! You can whip this up in a matter of minutes and you’re on your way to a buttery, cinnamon heaven! It’s also super simple to adjust to suit your personal tastes. What could be more perfect than a recipe that’s super easy to make and will transport you to a state of bliss?

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If you can bear to part with it, you could even package this up in cute little jars and give it away as Easter gifts. What better way to start Easter Sunday than with a slice of toast with this smothered all over it, before you break into all the yummy chocolate!

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Okay, I will stop teasing you! Here’s the recipe

[recipe title=”Cinnamon Honey Butter”]
Ingredients

  • 200g good quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp good quality, clear honey
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Method

  • Combine the all the ingredients in a bowl using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer with beaters. Beat for 3 minutes.
  • Serve at room temperature

Notes:

  • It will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for a few weeks, I doubt it’ll last that long though!
  • Makes approximately 1/2 cup of butter, you can divide or multiply the quantities to make as much as you need
  • Adjust the amount of honey to make it more or less sweet, same goes for cinnamon.

[/recipe]
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