Monday, October 19, 2009
Finnish Cardamom and Cinnamon Buns
I was feeling very domesticated on the weekend and decided to whip up a batch of Tessa Kiros' Finnish Cardamom and Cinnamon Buns, from Falling Cloudberries. I like Tessa Kiros a lot, but rarely cook from her books, which in my experience, tend to be more pretty than practical. (See my review of Venezia at The Gastronomer's Bookshelf). Falling Cloudberries is the exception - I love the wide variety of recipes from Kiros' international upbringing; more like a personal recipe journal than a cookbook. I've made a few recipes from Falling Cloudberries, and so far they've all been winners.
But back to the buns. I've wanted to make these for ages, and nearly got distracted by Saint Cinnamon style mega-buns or Nigella's gooey, sticky Schnecken. I even considered making the saffron cinnamon buns from Snowflakes and Schnapps, but the boring flat spiral shape just didn't do it for me. I loved the idea of these curled Finnish buns; their curves oozing out in a spirally fashion like a headily perfumed concertina.
I started these buns at about midday on Saturday (having to walk to the shop when I realised that we'd run out of yeast!), and by 4 in the arvo we were tucking into hot buns (haha... I said "buns") .
So, you start by mixing yeast, sugar and milk and waiting until it "activates", (i.e. the mixture froths up and gets bubbly).
Then you mix all the other ingredients in and let it prove for 2 hours (the recipe suggests kneading by hand - I graciously let the dough hook on the KitchenAid do all the work for me).
Whilst this was proving, I actually whipped up a batch of petits sablés shortbread biscuits. Because that's the kind of person I am. They will come up in a later post!
The dough actually only needed 1.5 hours to prove. I kept it in a very warm part of the kitchen to help it along.
Then you roll the dough out into a large rectangle, spread it with softened butter and sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top. The next step is to roll it up.
You then cut the dough sausage on a diagonal (see below)...
...before flipping each piece over onto its larger base and squishing down. This is what gives the finished Finnish buns (ooh!) their distinctive shape. After being brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled with sugar, the assembled buns need another 30 minutes proving.
Bake them for a mere 20 minutes, and they are done!
I was so pleased with how the recipe turned out - the buns rose impressively in the oven and smelled beautiful. The cardamom flavour was present but not overpowering (thank goodness!), and had just the right level of sweetness for my taste. They were crusty on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside.
We had a couple of friends over for afternoon tea, and these buns (and the petits sablés) were wolfed down with a strong cup of tea. There were some leftovers - I ate a couple for breakfast the next day (still good!), and have stashed the rest in the freezer for future cravings.
Hopefully these buns will keep for over a week - because as of today I am officially on detox! This means no caffeine/alcohol/white flour/white bread/white rice/meat/dairy or eggs for a whole week. (EEEEEK!) I managed to get through a Monday at work with no coffee, so I think I'm off to a good start.