Monday, 23 April 2012

Coburg Buns

Recipe Number One Hundred & Eighty Seven:  Page 334.

These little buns have been included in my Facebook Poll on several occasions and each time only received one or two votes. I couldn't help taking pity on the poor things! Perhaps they never won due to the recipe title giving so little away. I'd certainly never heard of them before! A photograph accompanies the recipe and the little buns look rather pretty. Mary uses brioche tins to give a lovely shape. I very much doubt that they'd look half as good if baked in a plain cupcake pan.

A few months previously I had looked for a set of the suggested twelve mini brioche tins. I went to my favourite cookware shop and spent some time searching the numerous shelves. Eventually I found a few brioche tins in the required size. I took a large gulp when I saw the price! I didn't wish to spend a fortune on something I may never use again! Thankfully I came across a silicone version. It held six moulds in the one piece of silicone and, what's more, it cost the same as just one brioche tin – success! I've heard mixed results on silicone bakeware so I wondered how I'd get on with it.
I was excited finally to put my bargain to the test. I extracted it from the kitchen drawer with glee. I tried to pull off the cardboard packaging stuck to the top of the silicone mould only to find it had been fastened on with thick plastic grips. I pulled with all my might but I couldn't get the plastic off. Neil even tried with a pair of pliers but it wasn't budging. I tore the cardboard off and hoped the plastic would survive the heat of the oven – I didn't hold out much hope!

I sprinkled a few flaked almonds into the base of each mould and turned the oven on to pre-heat. I weighed the self-raising flour into a bowl then grabbed a teaspoon to measure out the baking powder and multiple spices. I required a little mixed spice, ground ginger and ground cinnamon. It seemed like a lot of spice for these small buns. I felt as though I was adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that! I'd remembered to leave the butter out of the fridge, so it was suitably soft when I cut off a modest amount and added it to the mixing bowl. When cracking in the egg, half of the shell also jumped into the bowl. As the shell was so large I easily managed to pick it out from the bowl but it was a messy business. I thought it strange that there was no sugar in this recipe but instead just one tablespoon of golden syrup. These buns were sounding more and more virtuous by the second! Last of all I poured in a small amount of milk. Mary says to beat the mixture for two minutes or until well blended and smooth. I used my electric whisk and, in under a minute, my thick mixture was beautifully smooth. However, I carried on for the full two minutes. I'm glad I did as the mixture loosened up and became less stiff.

I'd been under the impression that the moulds were small. However, as I added the mixture, I found that I didn't have enough to fill them. As I had to make two batches it made it more difficult to judge. I put them into the oven and hoped for the best. The cooking time was a suggested fifteen minutes, so I sat down in the living room to enjoy the unusual peace. My little boy was having his afternoon nap and Neil had popped to the shops. I enjoyed the bliss of absolute silence for all of five minutes before a neighbour started drilling, hey ho!!

When the time was up I went to the kitchen to see if the buns were ready. A gorgeous waft of spices escaped the oven as I opened the door. Sadly my joy was short-lived. When I caught sight of my buns I saw that they had barely bothered to rise and were very pale in colour; it was a poor effort! I put them back into the oven for another five minutes, but there was no change so I gave up and turned them out onto a wire rack to cool. The lack of rise made me check my Baking Bible to see if I had missed a vital ingredient; I was horrified to see that I had!! I'd forgotten the sugar, not what I'd expected! Fortunately all was not completely lost as I still had half of the mixture left. I measured in half the total amount of sugar and gave it a good mix.

This time I wanted to put a bit more mixture into each mould and see if I could make them a little bigger to show off their pretty shape. This meant that I could only make four more. This batch took twenty minutes in the oven and they were cooked to perfection. I tried a sample of each. The first batch was not very tasty, not unsurprisingly!! The larger buns were much more palatable! They were full of warming spice and the texture was a cross between a scone and a rock cake. They were light in texture but a little dry. They were a perfectly tasty little bun, but nothing to get excited about! On a happy note, I'm delighted to report that the plastic grips melted just enough for them to be easily removed – hurrah!!
Little ones and big ones. Neither are very easy on the eye!!

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