Monday, August 22, 2016

Sticky Caramel Buns : Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

I've added a few cookbooks to my collection recently, one of it is Rose Levy Beranbaum's book, The Bread Bible. This is  one book that I've wanted to buy for ages, and so glad that I've finally bought it. I have four of Rose's fantastic books, but this is the one that I love the most! Could not wait to try many, many recipes, (if not all!) from this book. Upon googling for some info on some of the recipes, I've discovered a group of bakers who are currently baking through this book, and they are into their fourth recipe with this bake. Of course I could not help myself from joining in! This lovely group is "Rose's Bread Bible Bakers", who are baking one recipe each month. And I like it that the list of the bakes are notified months in advance, something that works really well for me. Gives us ample time to source for ingredients and any advance preparation if needed. 

To make the Sticky Caramel Buns, you would need to prepare the basic brioche dough first. I made the dough the day before I plan to bake these buns.

The brioche dough starts with a sponge. Mix the sponge in a mixing bowl, and a mixture of flour, yeast and salt is then sprinkled over the sponge. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and left to stand for 1-1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature. The sponge will bubble through the flour mixture. I am rather intrigued with this method, as I have never done this before. In less than an hour the sponge has already puffed and pushing through the flour mixture. 

Proceed with the rest of the recipe  (4 pages of ingredients plus instructions) from the book. 

Raisins are soaked in rum, drained before use. The rum is reserved to make the glaze which is to be brushed over the buns before baking. 

Prepare the sticky topping in advance by mixing the butter, brown sugar, and Lyle's golden syrup, and simmer for a few minutes until it bubbles and form a dark brown caramel. Pour it into the prepared lightly greased baking pan. Let it cool completely.  

The dough is rolled out to a rectangle, scatter over it the mixture of toasted chopped pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar and granulated sugar, with the drained raisins. Roll it up and sliced into 1 inch slices. At this point, before I sliced the dough, I freeze the rolled up dough as advised, for about 5-10 minutes, for easier slicing. Place 3 pieces of pecan halves onto each cut sliced dough and place it onto the prepared baking pan with the pecan side down. Cover with cling wrap and let rise until double in size. Make the rum glaze and brush it over the buns just before baking.

Freshly baked!

Unmould the buns onto a serving plate or  on foil-lined counter. With the sticky caramel on the top.

Look at the gooey sticky caramel! And the pecans! And the raisins peeking in between the swirls!

Eat while still warm.

Soft bread texture with gooey sweet caramel, moist plump raisins and nutty pecans, with the aroma of the cinnamon. Delicious!

I've also made the Blueberry Muffins, which was the first bake back in  May, for the group. Lovely muffins these are! Soft, tender crumbs, not too sweet, makes the perfect tea-time treat or a snack anytime of the day! 

Next on the list for August is Cinnamon Raisin Loaf. I'll be making the Flaky Scones which was the second bake, back in June, to catch up with everyone at Rose's Bread Bible Bakers!

Lemon Iced Tea

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), it is "Special Edition : No Cook Challenge" theme. It is always hot and humid around here, so no cook challenge is a welcome theme indeed! For this special theme, we can use any recipes from any our previous featured chefs or our current featured chef. I've decided to use Curtis Stone's recipe, Lemon Iced Tea, which I've made a few times already.

The ingredients needed ; apple juice (no added sugar), herb tea bag, lemon juice and lemon wedge, and some water. No heat required! I've used mixed apple cranberry juice. For the tea bag, I've used lemon myrtle herb tea bag.  

So simple : mix everything in a glass, leave to infuse the tea bag for about 5 minutes or so.

Remove the tea bag and enjoy sips of this delightful tea drink. This is refreshing, makes a great thirst quencher on hot days!

 Sometimes I drink it warm, but most times times I've added ice cubes. And I've even added a tablespoon of honey on days that I want a sweet tea! 

Lemon Iced Tea
(adapted from, recipe by Curtis Stone)
100nml apple juice (with no added sugar)
100ml water
1 herbal tea bag (lemon soothers give a nice aroma)
1 squeeze lemon juice and lemon wedge

  1. Place all ingredients in glass, then let tea bag infuse.
  2. Serve immediately.
(p/s : recipe is no longer available at

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
"Special Edition : No Cook Challenge"

Friday, August 19, 2016

Cherry Tomato Crostini with Homemade Herbed Cheese

This week at Cook The Book Fridays (CtBF), the selected recipe from David Lebovitz's cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, is Cherry Tomato Crostini with Homemade Herbed Goat Cheese

To make the herbed cheese, either whole goats' milk or cows' milk yoghurt can be used. Since I always make my own yoghurt at home using whole cows' milk, that's what I used. 

Strain the yoghurt over a mesh strainer lined with a few layers of cheesecloth overnight in the refrigerator. What you get is really Greek Yoghurt, thick and creamy. Transfer the thick yoghurt into a bowl, and stir in finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice, though David did mention that be sure to include chives. So I snipped a few young stalks of chives, and basil leaves, both from my garden pot, and mix it with some fresh coriander. Chop them finely and mix into the yoghurt along with finely chopped shallot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper with a generous pinch of cayenne powder. 

Halved the cherry tomatoes, place on a baking tray, drizzle some olive oil, tuck in some fresh herbs, of which I've used basil and rosemary leaves, both from my garden pot. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, stir to mix and bake in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes, stir once or twice in between. David suggested to bake these ahead of time, up to 8 hours in advance, so that the tomatoes have time to marinate in their own juices. 

For the bread, I've used my homemade sourdough bread. I've lightly sprayed the bread with olive oil and toast in the oven until light brown. As soon as they are out of the oven (even though it was suggested when just cool enough to handle), I rub the toasts with a garlic clove. Love it! I did not expect that the garlic would be like almost grated when rubbed onto the surface of the toasts, and find that I need another clove of garlic (for 6 slices of toasts). We are garlic lovers! And the aroma is just fantastic!

Time to assemble  (tummy growling!) ; the herbed cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, slices of toasted sourdough bread and some fresh parsley for garnish.

Spread a generous amount of the herbed cheese on the toasts, top with a few of the roasted tomatoes, along with some drizzle of the wonderful juices from the tomatoes and garnish with some fresh herbs. 

 Bon appetit! Yummy!

I love the herbed cheese! We had the leftovers as a dip, with more sprinkling of cayenne powder, with some fresh celery and carrot sticks. So good! 

Do stop by CtBF to view everyone's take on this delicious crostini. If you have the book or thought of getting one, please do, and join us! Full details here.


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