Cooking with Redmond – Steamed Coconut Buns

Cooking with Redmond – Steamed Coconut Buns

I bet we all love a good dessert after our main meal of the day; something sweet, moreish and ideally easy to prepare. Lately we have been trying to cut down on the number of cakes we munch our way through, a littleJ. So as a distraction I have ventured into the world of steaming and have experimented with some healthier dessert options. We used our Redmond Multicooker to prepare some coconut buns… If you never heard about multicookers, they are actually pretty clever machines which let you cook, bake, shallow and deep fry and of course steam all in one utility… very minimalistic; if you missed my full review you can read it here… Now, back to the buns… well as it turned out our steamed coconut buns couldn’t be easier to make. They are totally fool proof and can be adapted to suit any taste.

Ingredients:

For the buns:

  • 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 2 empty coconut tins of self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1tsp bicarbonate soda

For the filling:

  • 50g dehydrated coconut
  • 1tbsp golden syrup

or

  • 2tsp light cane sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon

Method:

Let’s start with the filling…

Cooking with Redmond - Steamed Coconut Buns

Whichever you are going for, all you need to do it to mix the ingredients together, so you either mix coconut with golden syrup (messy business but don’t give up… they will combine eventually, much easier if you warm the golden syrup up first) or the sugar and cinnamon.

Then prepare 10 muffin cases (we used silicone ones, if you are opting for paper ones double them, just in case). Our steamer basket will only take 5 at a time, so if you want you can make just a half sized batch and steam them all in one go or like us you will have to steam them in two batches.

Now, for the buns themselves…

Pour the coconut milk into a food processor or a large bowl if you will be using your hands.

Then how handy is this… just use the empty coconut milk tin to measure out the self-raising flour; sift two full tins into your coconut milk.

Add the salt and bicarbonate soda and mix until you achieve a smooth dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and work until you can shape it. It is very sticky and messy dough but it is worth it, wet your hands with some water to help minimise the stickiness 🙂

Cooking with Redmond - Steamed Coconut Buns #cookingwithredmond

Split your dough into 10 equal parts (more or less), roll them out into thin flat rectangles and fill either with your coconut or cinnamon mixture, then take one of the short ends and start to roll until you end up with a log in your hand. Squish the ends over to seal up the ends. Your bun should be fairly ball shaped by now from all the working, just simply place it into one of the muffin cases and repeat the whole process with the next piece of dough.

Place your filled muffin cases in a single layer into a steamer basket. Remember not to overfill your muffin cases; the buns will grow and if you have added too much mixture they will end up sticking to your Redmond lid once they are full cooked.

Cooking with Redmond – Steamed Coconut Buns #cookingwithredmond

Fill the main cooking bowl with 800ml of water, as per the steaming instructions.

Place the steaming basket, filled with your buns, on top and close the lid.

Cooking with Redmond #cookingwithredmond

Turn your multicooker on and pre-set to Steam (we used Steam vegetables); set the time for 10 minutes.

Cooking with Redmond

It will take about 10-12 minutes for the timer to start counting down… but don’t worry your buns are safe there.

Once the program is up, remove the buns from the steaming basket and load again with the remaining five buns and repeat the cooking, or should I say steaming, process.

1.Cooking with Redmond – Steamed Coconut Buns 2. Cooking with Redmond – Steamed Coconut Buns

The buns are light and fluffy. They aren’t overwhelmingly sweet (unless you have seriously overfilled them with goodies). They make for a lovely afternoon treat and can be eaten on their own or with the addition of a spread of your choice.

Remember also, this is a very versatile recipe. Simply remove the sweet elements to have a simple plain, albeit coconut flavoured, bun as a base for building on. You can also add a spicy filling to take your buns down the savoury route to dinner. The options are as good as your imagination.

So, what do you think?

Do you like our twist on coconut steamed buns?

*Recipe commissioned by Redmond
**Recipe based on Jamie Oliver 15 minutes Coconut Steamed Buns

Easter Favourites – Hot cross buns

Baking with Hartley’s – Easter Favourites – Hot cross bunsYou don’t need to know anything else bar those three delightful words that bring the promise of all-time favourite loved by all. They may not be the focal point of our Easter celebrations but I would hazard a guess that they would be sorely missed if someone forgets to put them in the basket whilst shopping.

Though as ever that nagging question starts to surface again, how hard can it be to coin a popular phrase?

So to the kitchen I go and start to prepare, though for some reason, maybe I was awash with confidence but instead of sorting all my ingredients out on my worktop before I began like I usually do I had just decided to dive straight in. I had scalded the milk that was now slowly cooling, I had whisked my eggs and I had even started my yeast on its journey to happiness. Then I came to needing some flour, uh ho! The cupboard was bare and I briefly danced with the idea of just using plain flour but then rejected that notion, it just wouldn’t be the same. Then the clouds parted and in the dazzling light I saw it, tucked up in the back left corner of the lowest shelf a 1.5kg bag of strong white bread flour, though on closer inspection I find it is apple and cinnamon flavoured, least I now remembered why it was stored where it was.

So, a crushed passion for a tasty crispy tea time snack or that passion realised with a distinctly apple and cinnamon twang. I talked myself into thinking that they would probably be quite nice and you know what, they were indeed.

As for the recipe I turned to my most trusted tomb, Leiths baking bible. I know I have said it before but I will say it again do check out their range of books, informative, educational and loads of gorgeous recipes.

So what do we need for this culinary wonder….?

  • 200ml milk
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 450g strong white bread flour (apple and cinnamon wins the day)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 115g raisins
  • 30g of mixed peel diced
  • Sweetened milk (for the glaze)
  • 115g flour (for the white cross)
  • Spoonfull of water

Method:

Scald the milk and then allow to cool to body temp.

Mix the yeast and 2tsp of the sugar with a couple of spoonfuls of the warm milk.

Sift the flour, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl and with your finger tips rub in the butter. Then add the remaining sugar and make a well in the middle of your flour. Pour in the eggs and the yeast mix and enough of the milk to make a soft dough.

Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes or 6 minutes in a mixer. Once the dough is smooth and elastic put it into a greased bowl with enough spare room so it can double in size. Cover with some oiled cling-film and a tea towel draped over the top and set aside somewhere warm for an hour and a half.

Put the oven on with a shelf set in the middle so that it heats up to 200C.

Check on your dough and it should be at least double its original size, if not leave it for another half an hour until it is. When it is remove from the bowl onto a lightly dusted work top and lightly knead again for a minute. Roll out flat till the dough is about 1/2cm thick and then sprinkle your raisins and mixed peel all over. Fold the dough up and knead gently for a couple of minutes to make sure the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Split the dough into equal sized portions, the recipe states 16 but I only made 8 as 16 seemed to make them far too small in my opinion. Shape each portion into a nice bun shape and place on a baking try that you have either dusted or oiled. With a sharp knife cut a cross into the top of each bun and set aside till they double in size again.

Baking with Hartley’s – Easter Favourites – My Hot cross buns in the makingWhen they have finished brush the top of each bun with the sweetened milk (we used condensed sweet milk from the tin mixed with an ordinary milk).

Mix 115g of flour with just enough water to make a paste with the consistency of toothpaste and put into a plastic syringe or small piping bag and use to make the cross on the top stand out.

Pop into the oven for 20 minutes and remove briefly. Now either brush your buns again with the sweetened milk or some heated up and melted apricot jam, this will add an amazing shine to your finished buns.

Pop them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Baking with Hartley’s - Easter Favourites - Hot cross bunsWhen you are ready to eat split your bun into two and toast it.

Serve with lashings of butter, some lovely jam of your choice (we opted for an apricot one) and a cup of your favourite brew.

Enjoy!

Baking with Hartley’s - Easter Favourites – Hot cross bunsBaking with Hartley’s – Easter Favourites - Hot cross bunsHave you ever made your own hot cross buns?

Are you tempted to give it a whirl for this years’ Easter surprise for the family?

* Hartley’s provided me with a hamper full of baking ingredients needed to create hot cross buns.

What’s Cooking – Breakfast Cheese and Onion Rolls

What’s Cooking – Breakfast Cheese and Onion Rolls

This is a special request recipe.

A good friend of mine (Paul yes that would be you), saw one of my posts in which I described what we were cooking when Iwona from Smakowite Jadlo was here… one of the items on the menu were Breakfast Cheese and Onion Rolls. Apparently he searched for the full recipe in hope of baking some, but the recipe was nowhere to be found… not surprised really as I never actually posted it… ooops. Anyway when I saw him last time he was clearly not impressed with me or my omission, so here you go Paul – this is especially for you 🙂

Breakfast Cheese and Onions Rolls

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 2tbsp flour
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 125ml milk

Additional:

  • 300g flour
  • 2tbsp melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk for egg wash

Stuffing:

  • 2 large onions
  • 100g cheese
  • Pinch of marjoram
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Pepper to taste
  • Butter for frying

Method:

Combine the fresh yeast with sugar, 2tbsp of flour and 125ml of milk and mix well in order to remove all lumps. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to begin to rise for 15-20 minutes.

Gently melt the butter and combine with the eggs and whisk.

Into a large bowl put 300g of flour, the lightly beaten egg/butter mix, a pinch of salt as well as the starter dough and start to combine to form a ball of dough.

Knead the dough in the bowl until it doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Form a nice ball, cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for around 1 hour to rise.

Whilst the dough is raising this is the perfect time to prepare the stuffing.

Chop the onions into small pieces and fry slightly in some butter on a low heat. Do not let them change colour we just want to soften them.

Grate the cheese. The cheese will define flavour of your rolls so pick something you like and enjoy. We went for a lovely Swedish cheese from Västerbottensost.

Chop the herbs if you are using fresh ones.

Go make a cup of tea and relax for a while.

Breakfast Cheese and Onion Rolls.

When the dough has doubled in size remove from the bowl and place on a lightly dusted surface and work it a little with your hands. When ready roll out to achieve a thin flat base, ideally in the shape of a rectangular. Spread your onions evenly on top of the dough and then sprinkle with grated cheese. Add spices/herbs to taste but be very careful with the salt. If your cheese is quite strong tasting I would advice to skip the salt all together.

Now you need to roll everything up into a log. Starting with the long side, use a palette knife to raise the edge so you can grab it. Fold it over on top and then with flat hands gently roll it all up.

Breakfast Cheese and Onion Rolls

With a sharp knife cut the log into small slices roughly a couple of cm wide and place into a baking frame. Again cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise for another 15-20 minutes.

Paint all the tops with some egg wash and bake in the middle of the oven you preheated earlier to 180C, for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm.

What’s Cooking - Breakfast Cheese and Onion Rolls

*Pictures credit: Iwona from Smakowite Jadlo

What’s Cooking – Cinnamon Swirls

Cinnamon Swirls
Cinnamon Swirls

Guest post by Mark :-)…  again

The other night for some inexplicable reason I awoke at 3am, you know the one where you feel like you have had 8 hours sleep and could take on the world even though you have only been asleep for a couple of hours. So the dilemma unfolded, stay in bed and try to return to the land of nod or get up and do something. What to do if I did get up, stumped I lay there and thought. Then it occurred to me, I’ll cook up a treat for breakfast. Instantly I was consumed with a burning desire to munch on a cinnamon swirl, don’t ask me why as I have no idea, I have not had a cinnamon swirl for years, all I knew now was “I want one NOW”.

So off to the kitchen we go. The dogs looked at me like I had lost the plot, but undeterred I carried on. Rummaging around in the pantry the ingredients started to form up on the island worktop. The final collection included the following items:

  • 150ml of warm milk
  • 150ml of warm water
  • 1tsp heaped of honey
  • Fresh yeast about 25g
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3tbs of Olive oil
  • 2tbs of ground cinnamon
  • 50g butter melted
  • 100g Raisons
  • 1 Shot of espresso coffee
  • Shot of brandy
  • 100g of flaked almonds
  • 1 pack of course ground natural brown sugar
  • Some butter and grease proof paper for greasing your baking tray

So how do we make them…

Put your oven on at 180C and place a shelf in the middle position.

Put your milk and water (300ml total) into a beaker and microwave for 1 minute, or heat up in a small saucepan. When warm but not burning to the touch mix in the honey and then crumble in your yeast, give it all a good stir and place somewhere warm.

Make your espresso coffee by whatever method you would normally, we are after a single but strong shot. Put your raisons into a bowl and pour the hot coffee over and add the brandy. Place this bowl with your yeast cocktail.

Melt the butter gently, again in the microwave or a small saucepan. When almost melted remove from the heat and add your cinnamon and stir to make a nice thick paste. Add this to your growing collection of bowls.

Take a large baking sheet and with your butter give it a good greasing all over, don’t miss anywhere out.  Now place a large handful of your sugar in the middle and with a 70’s disco dance move shake the tray all around so that the sugar sticking to the butter ends up forming a nice even layer all over. Tip out any excess sugar into a bowl, we will use that later. If there are any gaps repeat until you have them all filled in.

Now if you have a food mixer this next bit is easy, if you don’t then prepare for your early morning workout. Measure out your flour and sift it into your mixing bowl, add the salt and olive oil.

By now hopefully your oven is up to temperature, place the almonds on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes till they are a nice golden brown. This as it goes is just enough time to add your yeast mixture to your mixing bowl and mix until a dough has formed. Now either with a dough hook kneed your doe in your food mixer, or alternatively tip out onto a floured work surface and hand kneed. Remember you cannot stop until the almonds are toasted, so keep going. When done rub some olive oil over you dough ball and around the inside of you mixing bowl, put your dough in the bowl and cover with cling film and a spare tea towel and leave somewhere warm for an hour, or at least until the dough has doubled in size..

Take your almonds out of the oven and leave to cool.

Ok, you can now go and have a cup of tea, or coffee and relax for a while, you are ahead in this game.

When the dough has doubled in size remove the cling film and punch the dough to flatten it down. Grab your dough and place on a floured worktop and kneed for another minute or two. Then with a floured rolling pin roll out your dough gently. You want to try as hard as possible to keep a rectangular shape to your dough and it should be about half a cm thick.

Take your almonds and roughly smash them up to get a range of sizes in the pieces.

Finally we can start building. Spread your cinnamon/butter mix all over the dough, like your buttering a slice of bread. Drain your raisons and sprinkle them over the top, and then the almonds. Now sprinkle half the remaining sugar from your dusting remains to complete the toppings.

Use a large knife or preferably a pallet knife to lift up the short end of your dough and start to roll gently till you end up with a large sausage roll. With a very sharp knife cut into slices about 2cm thick and place on your sugared baking sheet. Don’t fret a small degree of reconstruction will inevitably be required at this point. Place your swirls close to each other so they almost tough their neighbours. When your tray is full, lay a sheet of cling film over the top and return to a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour.

They should now be all puffed up and starting to look tasty, but resist! Sprinkle the last of the sugar over the top and a dusting of cinnamon powder and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until they are a nice golden brown. Remove and let cool on the tray for 10 minutes, you can use this time to fully appreciate just how amazing your house smells at this moment.

Straight from the oven
Straight from the oven

Now the sugar from the tray and what you sprinkled on top should have caramelised so you may need a knife and a fish slice and a degree of delicate persistence to get them out but trust me it’s worth all the effort .

Serve with a nice homemade latté (boil some milk and add a shot or two of espresso or just a spoonful of instant coffee), or if you have the equipment make a proper one!

Perfect combination - cinnamon swirls and freshly brew coffee
Perfect combination – cinnamon swirls and freshly brew coffee

Best enjoyed when warm.

***