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Sticky Toffee Pudding with Orange Custard

Rich toffee sponge pudding covered in sinfully sticky sauce, served warm with orange flavoured custard.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding with Orange Custard

This post may contain affiliate links. I received items from Kitchen Craft to review, all opinions and words are my own.  Read full disclosure here

Let’s talk about pudding again, shall we? I’ve talked before about how in Britain the term “pudding” means any kind of dessert, well we also have a type of pudding called pudding – because why keep things simple and easy to understand! This type of pudding is generally sponge based and usually steamed, there’s lots of different types including the ever giggle inducing spotted dick and well known Christmas pudding! Sticky toffee pudding is probably one of the most loved though, it’s hard to resist that deep toffee flavour and gooey, sticky sauce it’s covered in!

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Orange Custard

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Orange Cinnamon and Lemon Cardamom Meringue Nests

Meringue Nests

Does this happen to anybody else ever? You have left over egg yolks so you make pudding, but then you end up needing more egg yolks than you had so you end up with left over egg whites. Now you’re just stuck in an endless cycle of using up leftover parts of eggs! It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it means you end up with super yummy meringue nests you wouldn’t have made otherwise! And aren’t unintended desserts the best kind? I’m sure they don’t have as many calories in either 😉 

Meringue Nests

When I have egg whites to use up my first thought is always meringue, it’s one of my all time favourite sweets. There’s just something about the way it crunches and melts in your mouth all at the same time that is just irresistible to me. I thought about making some meringue to crush up and put in an Eton Mess, but then I decided I should make the meringue a dessert all by itself, it deserves to be the star of the show after all! 

Meringue Nests

As a baker I always like to make sure I at least have lemons and cream in the fridge and a well stocked spice cupboard, there are few things you can’t spruce up with the right citrus and spice (plus lemons are insanely useful for so many things around the house) and cream makes everything better and more decadent. As luck would have it, I also had some oranges in the fridge. Orange and cinnamon are natural partners, their familiar dance on your tongue is traditional but still exciting as the first time. Lemon and cardamom may not be as familiar to some, but when they take to the dance floor it’s clear they were always meant to be. And that has to get an award for the weirdest metaphor I’ve written… this week anyway! So I’m no shakespeare, but I think I got my point across – these are flavour combinations made in heaven! 

Meringue Nests

So with those strange metaphors swimming around my head, I added lemon zest to half of the meringue and orange zest to the other half. Baked them and filled the lemon ones with cardamom cream and the orange ones with cinnamon cream. The food colouring added the meringue is technically optional, but I really do think it’s what makes this dessert look so fun and inviting! So unless you have an allergy or an aversion to food colourings, I would definitely keep them in! 

Meringue Nests

 

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Spiced Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns

The perfect recipe for this Easter weekend!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

I’d been thinking about what to bake for Easter for a while and my mind kept going back to hot cross buns, even though I’m not a huge fan of them. So my challenge was to make these traditional Easter buns even more festive and tasty, and so these spiced chocolate & orange hot cross buns were born, I think I did a pretty good job!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

These sweet and sticky buns are loaded with chocolate just like the Easter bunny intended and warmed up with lovely spices and hints of orange. They’re finished off with a gooey, sticky orange glaze to give them that extra yum factor!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

These do require a little patience to make, but with only two rising times you’re not doing too badly for a hot cross bun recipe! And even though they’re “quick”, you won’t see any decrease in yummyness (a technical baking term), they’re still soft and delicious! It’s a fairly simple recipe too, and a bit of a messy one while you’re rubbing the butter into the flour, cocoa, spices and salt with your fingers. Then it’s spoon city as you stir in the sugar and yeast and then beat in the eggs and milk. Knead. Rise. Knead some more (adding chocolate and orange!) and rise again until finally it’s time for the oven (but not before those all important crosses!), then you just glaze and eat! These are best served warm and with lashings of butter, preferably this cinnamon honey butter because it’s to die for!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are traditionally served on Good Friday so I am a little late with this post, but let’s be honest you can enjoy these yummy buns all Easter weekend, even all year (I know, I’m just talking crazy now!!). It may be midnight in the UK, but it’s never too late to whip up a batch of yummyness, so get your apron on and get baking, you’re family will thank you!

[recipe title=”Spiced Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns” servings=”12″]
Ingredients

For the buns:

  • 400g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp salt
  • 85g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 sachets dried instant yeast (7g each)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 190ml lukewarm milk
  • 75g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 75g chopped candied orange peel

For the crosses:

  • 75g strong white flour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5tbsp cold water

For the glaze:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 50g golden caster sugar

Method

For the buns:

  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, spices and salt into a bowl. Add the chopped butter and, using your gingers, rub the butter into the flour mix until you get a breadcrumb texture. Stir in the sugar and yeast and make a well in the centre
  • Whisk together the warm milk and egg and pour into the well, quickly beat with a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Knead on a lightly floured surface for around 10 minutes, until you have a soft, smooth dough. Put in a large, lightly oiled bowl covered with oiled cling film. Leave to rise for an hour in warm place until doubled in size
  • Place the risen dough on a lightly floured surface and knead in the chocolate, zest and candied peel until it is all distributed evenly.
  • Divide into 12 equal balls and shape into smooth buns. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray, leaving a small gap between each roll. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. The buns should now be getting cozy and touching each other.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/390F

For the crosses:

  • Mix the flour, oil and water together to form a smooth paste. Pop into a piping bag and snip the end off.
  • With a serrated knife, score the tops of the buns with a cross. Pipe the mixture along the lines, you can use your knife to cut off the flow.
  • Bake the buns in the oven for 15-20 minutes until firm to the touch

For the glaze:

  • Put the sugar and orange juice into a small pan and heat on low until all the sugar as dissolved
  • Bring to the boil and bubble until thickened, around 3 minutes.
  • Once the buns have been removed from the oven, turn out onto a cooling rack and glaze.

Notes:

  • The buns are best served warm
  • They will stay fresh in an air tight container for about 3 days, but buns that are going stale will still be great toasted
  • You can freeze them too, just wait to glaze them. Once defrosted, warm through and glaze before serving.

[/recipe]
Happy Easter Everybody!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

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