No, really!! Nice buns! Lemony Buns to be exact. I made these last weekend and thought I’d put up a little recipe post as I haven’t done that in ages. They’re an altered recipe of something I made for Christmas treats, I thought at the time that it would be very adaptable so I decided to give it a go using different flavours and ingredients from the original.
The basic recipe is very simple. Make up a soft cake batter, adding any spices or flavours you like. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper cases and add about a third of the batter to the cases. Pop a teaspoon of something nice in the centre of the batter, the original recipe used mincemeat, and use the other two thirds of the batter to fill up the paper cases, and bake. What you end up with is a soft muffiny type of little cake with a sweet filling in the middle when you bite into it! An this is where the adaptability bit came into play, because I started dreaming up all manner of ideas for fillings and bun/muffin flavour combos, the world is, quite literally, your oyster.
So my first flavour is Lemon Poppy Seed with a Lemon Curd Filling. Scrummy. We ate four of them on Saturday right after they were cool enough to handle and then a few more on Sunday! I had to put the rest in a container and put it in the cupboard otherwise we would have eaten the lot!
And this is how they turned out. You can see the poppy seeds but otherwise, an ordinary little offering! But cut it open and you have a soft, gooey, flavoursome centre!
So here goes with the basic batter recipe, the American quantities and ingredients are in brackets:
- 6oz SR Flour (1 3/4 cup of plain flour with 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of baking soda sifted together)
- 3oz – 4oz of sugar (1/2 cup) Depends on how sweet you like things, I usually do the 3oz only.
- 6oz softened butter (1 1/2 sticks) I use a mix of butter and a soy margarine type spread at a ratio of 50/50
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of milk, I use soy milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
To this basic recipe, I added a heaping tablespoon of poppy seeds, the grated zest of a lemon and a good grating of fresh nutmeg to the flour.
Either by hand or with a mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Mix any spices, poppy seeds, lemon etc with the flour. Beat the eggs together along with the vanilla. Alternate adding the egg and some flour to the mix until it’s all incorporated. Finally, mix in the milk.
Line the muffin tin with 12 paper cases and use about a third of the cake batter to partially fill them. Add about a teaspoon of Lemon Curd to each one, make sure the cake batter is mostly level and keep the Lemon Curd in the centre. Use the rest of the cake batter to fill up the cases. Don’t be tempted to add too much of the filling, you don’t want it boiling out and making a mess.
Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven at Gas Mk 5 / 375F / 190C for 15 – 18 minutes. I’ve always given mine the full 18 minutes but I turn the pan around after about 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack. These do keep pretty well, assuming you have any left to keep that is!!
For the American contingent: Lemon Curd is a jam like smooth spread made with eggs, butter, sugar and lemon rind and juice. You beat it all together in the top of a double boiler until it’s thick, smooth and the eggs are cooked. It’s fantastic stuff, brilliant as a cake filling, on toast or scones or whatever you might normally use jam for. The trouble is that it doesn’t keep and needs to be used within two to three weeks if you make your own. However, you can buy it at specialty food stores, good grocery stores and even at Trader Joe’s, which is where mine came from. Well worth seeking out.
And now this is where the fun begins… Andrew immediately said Ginger and Lemon would be wonderful! I think Peach and Almond would be pretty great too! And can you imagine if you know someone who makes homemade jams! Strawberry, blueberry, tangy raspberry, tart rhubarb… ooh the list goes on and on!
And of course, there is the original recipe. It’s called Little Mince Pie Cakes and it’s in a little book from the BBC Good Food magazine people that I bought when I was in England last year. It’s also available on their website and I’ve linked the name in case you’d like to try that too. I made the originals just before Christmas and took them in to work as some of the Americans I work with had been asking me about English mincemeat. I thought these buns were a great way of letting them have a taste of my homemade mincemeat, without giving them a proper mince pie that might be too strong a taste for them. I took two dozen in and only brought one home, so I think they were well received!
Give them a go, and I’d be interested to hear what other flavours you might dream up.