Saturday, 26 November 2011

Orange Marmalade Rolls

Happy belated Thanksgiving y'all! (Please don't ask why I'm pretending to be from the American South  - it just seemed right so I went with it)

As usual, I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving; despite saying EVERY SINGLE YEAR that I will start a tradition of cooking Thanksgiving fare and inviting friends round. Perhaps I should make that 2012's resolution?

I also really should get my act together and at least celebrate holidays on my blog! Surely, I could have made something Thanksgiving-y and posted it on Thanksgiving day right? Okay, adding 'celebrate holidays on my blog' to my non existent New Years Resolutions list!

I wasn't going to post this because as you can see, my orange marmalade rolls didn't look exactly as they were supposed to. I decided to because imperfection is a part of everything. Even baking. Especially baking. Hopefully you'll learn from my mistakes and you and I can do it better next time!

I know you guys think I'm perfect, and I never get anything wrong ... right? Oh you don't? Moving swiftly on :) Seriously though, people do think that everything I bake turns out perfectly and I never have disasters but that couldn't be further from the truth! My only saving grace is that I am often able to salvage (read: hide) those disasters. And other times, like now, something may not look as it should but it still tastes damn good! And isn't that the whole point of baking after all? :)

FYI, I think my mistake with this was rolling out the dough too thin so I struggled to roll it up and cut it into slices. I love everything in the 'roll' family so I'll be making lots more of these. And hopefully they'll be better looking!

If you're anything like me, you find recipes with yeast slightly threatening but believe me when I say these were very easy to make! And so yummy!

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

For the rolls
473ml Whole Milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
7g active dry yeast
4 cups (plus 1/2 cup extra, separated) plain flour
1/2  teaspoon (generous serving) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant serving) baking soda
1/2 tablespoon (generous) salt
8 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Orange Glaze
900g icing sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 dash salt

1 - Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off the heat and leave to cool for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2 - When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in the yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add the 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together.
Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
3 - After rising for at least an hour, add 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder, the baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it - overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).
4 - When ready to prepare rolls, sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape.

5 - Spread marmalade over the top. Pour on butter, and then sprinkle the brown sugar evenly. Sprinkle with salt

6 - Beginning at the long side furthest from you, roll the dough into a long roll toward you; being careful to keep it tucked tightly. Pinch edge to seal.
7 - Cut rolls into 1 to 1 1/2 inch rolls and place into buttered pans. Allow to rise for at least 20 mins.
8 - Bake at 190C / Gas Mark 5 / 375F for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown (but not overly brown).
9 - While baking, mix together the ingredients for the orange glaze, thinning with more milk or orange juice to make mixture thin enough to be pourable.
10 - Immediately drizzle orange glaze over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Snickers Cookies and Marathon Running

I officially lost my mind a couple of weeks ago ... more than usual, I mean.

My sister got a charity place with the Salvation Army on the London 2012 marathon and had been trying to convince me to do it with her. "No way Jose" was my (very sensible) reaction. I've always wanted to run a marathon - just once - and boy will I milk that one time marathon every day for the rest of my life.

"When I ran a marathon ..." will be how I reply to questions from friends about where we should go for dinner.
"I learnt several things when running a marathon; the most important of which ..." will be how I start the debate with my future toddlers about why they should eat their vegetables. 
You get the point :)

Anyway, I wasn't ready to run a marathon just yet. And then I spoke to my sister one day and she gave me a spiel about how this wasn't just any marathon but it was LONDON TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE, Olympic year, no London marathon would ever be the same ... blah blah. Long story short, don't ever give my sister the chance to convince you to do something because ... oh, sorry, went off on a tangent there, long story short, on the 22nd of April 2012, I will be running the longest I have ever run in my entire life. Hey, if a 100 year old man can do it, I can too right? Right?

Anyway, the only plus side to running a marathon is I've heard that with all the training, I can pretty much eat what I want without putting on weight; which will mean lots of cookies whoop whoop. Check these out - if you like Snickers, the big soft biteful in the middle of these cookies is amazeballs :)

Recipe from Bakers Royale who adapted it from Cook's Illustrated.

Makes 24 - 30 3inch cookies
Prep: Heat oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5/ 375F. Line baking tray with grease proof paper


2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
227g butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 large eggs
5 Snickers bars, each sliced into 6 pieces
1 cup chocolate chips
1 - Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl; set aside
2 - Place 140g of the butter in non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking and using the handle of the pan to swirl the butter around. Swirl butter constantly until it becomes dark golden brown in colour and gives off a nutty aroma; 1 - 3 minutes. 
3 - Remove saucepan from the heat and transfer browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Stir in the remaining butter into the hot butter until completely melted. 

4 - Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to brown butter mixture and whisk until full incorporated. 
5 - Add eggs and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.Rest mixture for 3 minutes, then whisk for another 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. 
6 - Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
7 - Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough, flatten it into a round disc and place a Snickers slice on top. Fold edges over Snickers to seal it. Place cookies 2 inches apart on grease proof paper lined baking trays.
8 - Bake cookies one sheet at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 10 to 14 minutes. Cool cookies.