Sunday 14 December 2014

Cheeky midweek baking: Ginger Mincemeat Chelsea Buns

I had a hankering to try my hand at a recipe along these lines, and I finally managed to get it done on Thursday, when I left work at the very reasonable hour of 3.30 with nothing in particular to do in the evening. It was bliss!

I replaced part of the filling with glace ginger, of which I have many tubs, thanks to my penchant for ginger squash cupcakes and my aversion to chopping ginger. It actually made for a very delicious bun: the ginger cut through the sweetness of the mincemeat and the obligatory thick white icing. These were seriously a bun and a half, though: absolutely gigantic. The recipe makes 8 but I would be tempted to try and make them smaller next time.

Adapted from BBC Good Food.

250ml whole milk
50g butter, cut into cubes
450g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
50g golden caster sugar
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
1 large egg, beaten
sunflower or vegetable oil, for greasing
For the filling:
50g butter, softened
25g golden caster sugar
300g mincemeat
150g glace ginger, chopped
For the topping:
2 tbsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling
2ish cups icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk

Heat the milk in a pan until steaming. Remove from the heat, add the butter, then leave to cool until lukewarm and the butter has melted.

Put the flour, yeast, sugar, spices and 1 tsp salt into the bowl of the Kenwood, and mix together. Make a well in the centre, and pour in the egg and milk mixture. Mix everything together using the dough hook to form a dough – it will be quite wet. Continue to mix until smooth - 5ish minutes. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size – this will take 1-2 hrs depending on how warm the room is.

Heat oven to 200C. But the bowl back under the mixer and knock it back for a few seconds. Tip onto a floured surface and roll out to a 45 x 40cm rectangle, with the longest edge facing you, cursing regularly about how ridiculously springy it is. Mix together the butter and sugar for the filling, and spread all over the dough. Follow with the mincemeat, then sprinkle over the glace ginger. Roll up firmly, starting from one of the long sides. Using a sharp knife, cut off either end of the roll to neaten, then slice into 8 even pieces. Arrange, cut-side up, on an oiled tray, leaving about 1cm between each bun and making sure the tail ends are pointing inwards. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size – about 30 mins. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Mr Z was in charge of baking because I went to see my friend Lizzy, and he checked after 20 mins and they were a bit overbaked.We do have a fan oven, though.

Mix the icing sugar with enough milk to make a runny icing. Using a spoon, drizzle the icing back and forth over the buns. I like the icing to be quite thick so mine was less of a drizzle and more of a monsoon, but you'll know how you like it.

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