Prunella teaches you how to cook like a toff!
These used to happen only once a year – but now the yummy mummies are at the helm there seems to be one every bloody week. In support of this or that worthy cause, and, no doubt, well-attended by those with nothing better to do. However, one digresses.
Should you be foolish enough to be bamboozled into providing ‘something for the cake stall’ I have the following advice.
If you just want to get it over with choose any one of an almost infinite number of tray bakes for which you will find recipes on the darknet and bake it in a disposable tray. Voila.
However. Should you wish for cult status in your community there is a way. Chelsea Buns.
Spiced bread buns loaded with fruit and drizzled with white icing. The catnip of the cake world.
However there is a price to pay. A four in the morning start. But if you are willing…
At four in the morning.
Into the bowl of your trusty stand mixer place the following.
2kg strong plain flour
8oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
250g very soft butter
Mix gently while the kettle boils. In a large jug put half a litre of cold milk add half a litre of water just off the boil (this equals tepid) add four sachets of dried yeast. Pour the lot into the dry ingredients mixing slowly. This should make a fairly sticky dough. If it’s too dry add some more milk.
Crank the Kitchenaid up to number three and leave it to knead the dough for ten minutes. Then switch it off and crawl back to bed. Not forgetting to set your alarm for six.
When you crawl downstairs knock back the dough and divide into thirds.
Melt 250g of butter
Mix 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and one of ground cinnamon into about 150g of brown sugar
Open a bag of good quality sultanas (500g)
Roll a third of the dough into a rectangle approximately 18in x 9in
Spread a third of the melted butter across the surface. Sprinkle a third of the ginger/cinnamon sugar and a couple of large handfuls of sultanas.
Roll up from the long side. Cut into about 1.25in slices.
Lay the resulting spirals flat on a baking tray leaving about an inch all the way round (baking paper is much easier than greasing the bugger).
Repeat with other two bits of dough.
Cover with a clean old sheet.
Go back to bed.
Set alarm for 8
Buns will have doubled in size. Crank oven up to 220C (which will stink to high heaven if the oven isn’t clean – make note to self to have Mrs Thing clean oven when she comes in on Wednesday).
They will take about 15 minutes (the way to tell is to pick one at random and eat it).
When buns are cool, make up a bowl of simple water icing (icing sugar sieved and cold water) drizzle over buns and top each with half a glacé cherry.
Alternatively. Find an independent bakery and order four dozen buns.
Look out for more tips on how to cook like a toff next week!