Blackberry Buns with a Sweet Milk Glaze

Buns and Breads

Hi Joe

I’m sat in a cafe right now and they love Mamma Mia! They’ve been playing the film soundtrack for 3 hours.

It’s an unassuming cafe; the tables are brown, the walls are grey, and they sell the same caramel crunch slices you get in every Costa Coffee between Glasgow and Oxford, and propbably beyond. I love it.

Blackberry Buns!! I’ve been trying to find a way of getting fresh fruit into cinnamon roll form without them baking into soggy fruit bum rolls for quite a while now – and i’ve cracked it. They are pillowy soft with a slight kick of sharpness from the blackberries, mellowed the second it hits the tounge by the sweet milk glaze.

These buns come with thanks to the lovely Rosa, baker and owner of too many forks, who agreed to test this recipe for me last week. Thank you Rosa!

Note on Dough For this recipe, I use the same dough as in my cinnamon rolls. It can be made on the day or the night before you want to bake these buns. If you choose the night before, allow the dough to have the first prove in the fridge overnight. The next morning you can fill, shape, prove then bake. This dough tends to rise quite fast though so you can easily do it all in one day. I’ve given you instructions as if making this dough by hand but if you’d prefer to use an electric mixer allow a dough hook to do the kneading for you – I’ve done it both ways and I can’t tell a difference.

Note on Filling – The filling needs to be cooled completely before using. It can be made a few days in advance.

Ingredients

For the Blackberry Filling

  • 60g sugar
  • 150g fresh blackberries
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tbs water
  • 10g cornflour

For the Dough

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 7g active dry yeast
  • 1tsp salt
  • 20g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 medium egg
  • 80ml milk
  • 60ml water

For the Sweet Milk Glaze

  • 70g icing sugar
  • 30g cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp milk

Method

Making the blackberry filling. Add the sugar, blackberries, and lemon juice to a small heavy bottom saucepan. Mixing occasionally, simmer on a medium heat for 5/6 mins until the fruit has broken down and the mixture has reduced.  

Whilst the fruit cooks, combine the water and corn flour to form a loose paste. When the fruit has had 5/6 mins, lower the heat, and add the corn flour paste. Whisk briskly. Keep whisking the mixture for about 1 minute, until it has thickened. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Allow to cool completely before using.  

To make the dough. In a large bowl add all ingredients for the dough apart from the 60ml of water. Mix everything together with one hand, or a metal spoon, squeezing the dough to incorporate the milk. Add the water and give it another mix and squeeze to form a shaggy mass. 

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. It is a sticky dough and will still want to stick to the work surface a little even once it has had enough kneading – don’t be tempted to keep on adding flour to your worksurface. Knead for about 10mins until smooth, elastic, and tacky. If using a mixer, stop when the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hook.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. If making this the day before, allow to rise in a warm place for 15mins before transferring to the fridge for the night.  

The last step is to fill, shape, prove and bake the buns. Grease and line a small rectangle baking dish, I use a 25cm X 18cm one. Set aside.  

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Press into a rectangle shape with the long edge closest to you. Roll the dough out to roughly 9 X 13inch. It can be a little wider, for example 10 X 13inch, if you want a swirlyer swirl. You don’t have to worry too much about the exact measurements of the rectangle, so long as it is a rectangle shape and about half an inch thick, you’ll be grand. As you roll, gently pull the corners of the dough to keep as best a rectangle shape as you can, it will make the rolling and cutting easier.

With the 13inch side closest to you, spread the blackberry filling evenly over the dough, going right to the edges.  

Roll up the dough tightly so you end with a sausage of dough 13inches long, seam side down on your work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 2inch pieces. You should get 6. If you are very good at maths you will see I’ve given you an extra inch to play with in case something goes wrong, you are welcome! Put these buns, swirl side up, evenly spaced in the lined baking dish.  

Cover with a tea towel or cling film and allow to prove until doubled in size. The rising time will depend on the temperature of your home, usually they need about an hour and a half. You can tell they are ready for the oven like this: very lightly press a fingertip into the dough, your fingerprint should fade away as the dough puffs itself back, fixing the dent you made and returning to its original position. How poetic.

While the buns prove, pre heat the oven to 180 / 160 fan.  

Bake the buns for 25 – 30 mins until golden brown on top.  

Finish with the icing. Mix the icing sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt. Stir in a tsp of milk. If you want a looser icing add in the other tsp. Let the buns sit out of the oven for 10mins before pouring over the icing. It’s best to let these cool for a futher 10/15 mins to let the structure set before eating…hey look, this bun needs the respect it deserves.

Have a good bun boiii oii ! Caitlin x

Summer Berry Crème Fraîche Cake

Cakes

Yo Joe

Mmmmm some peng cake. So soft, so sweet, so buttery, studded with strawberries and blackberries, covered in lime and raspberry jam icing.

I recently started my first job as a baker at an independent cafe in Glasgow called Kelvin Pocket. Lol I’m pretty proud of this fact, brings me a lot of joy. A guy called Paul owns and runs it. I really don’t know how he does it, he’s there 6 days a week and you rarely find him without a smile on his face. He also trusts me to bake things in his kitchen, for his business, which I think is a big deal. Maybe he doesn’t think too much about letting me bake for his customers in his kitchen, but I do.

The idea for this loaf came from a cake we make at the cafe. This cake, is really David’s cake. David works in the kitchen, who, along with Caroline, make producing well over 60 different baked goods a day look like something they could do in their sleep. Icing a cake takes them under 2 mins and putting together sweet bun dough can be done in about 7…. magic. I hope David doesn’t mind me pretty much copping his idea, I hope he finds it flattering instead.

I was a lil bit blown away when I watched Caroline and David put jam in the water icing for this cake in the cafe (hahaha I really am that easily entertained). I bought some back for the girls in the flat. It got squashed in my bag but they all went mad for it – telling, I think. This isn’t some fancy multi layered, french patisserie thing, it’s just really, really good cake.

I messed about with the ratios a lil bit, using David’s recipe as my blueprint, to produce his cake reincarnated cakeonmyface style. ah, the circle of cake life. While I was taking pics of this reincarnated cake I thought it looked like some kind of abstract painting, it was quite beautiful actually (lol, here we bloody go). I wasn’t the only one that thought this. I went past Katie’s flat and threw a bit of this cake at her to try while I was running to work. She sent me a message later saying ‘Emma says it is like gallery cake’. Emma is Katie’s sister, I’ve met her twice, about 2 years ago, but sounds like we see cake the same way.

Ingredients

For The Cake

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 140g crème fraîche
  • 160g self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 160g berries of choice, I use strawberries and blackberries

For The Icing

  • 210g icing sugar, no need to sift it
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam, or any other jam of your choice
  • water to reach the right consistency.

Method

Pre heat the oven to 190 / 170 fan oven. Grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper, letting a bit of paper hang over the sides of the tin so you can lift the cake out later.

Wash and cut the berries into chunks. Halves and quarters is perfect, if you chop them too small the berries will turn to mush and vanish into the cake batter. Set the berries aside.

Using electric beaters, mix the butter, sugar, lemon zest, salt and vanilla extract until it fluffs up and starts to clump at the side of the bowl, about 1 min. Do yourself a solid and don’t tire your arm beating this for ages, you’ll get the exact same fluffy cake with no more than 1 min of mixing.

Beat in one egg at a time, making sure the first is fully incorporated before you add the second.

Tip the crème fraîche, flour and baking powder into the butter mix, beat together for a few seconds just until everything is combined.

Gently fold in the berries and pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for about 55mins or until the surface of the cake feels bouncy when pressed gently with your finger tips and a couple of moist crumbs cling to a knife inserted into the cake.

Allow the cake to cool for 15 mins in the tin before lifting it out to cool completely.

When the cake is completely cool, put all the icing ingredients, exept the water in a bowl and mix with a whisk or fork. Add a little (very little) drop of water at a time, mixing between each addition, until you have a thick icing that can be poured over the cake.

Allow the icing to set a little before cutting into the cake (or just, cut into it now.)

Hahahah I had to copy and paste ‘crème fraîche’ from wiki every time it appears in this recipe because I don’t know how to get the accents on my keyboard. I wanted you to have the authentic experience of reading ‘crème fraîche’, Joe, like in a real recepie book. Caitlin x