I don’t have, nor have I ever had the intention to own any children. I credit this to my mother having more children when I was in my teenage years which seems to have put me off the idea all together.
Still as I get older I am finding that, even though the misses and I enjoy all the trappings a kid free existence allows us, our friends keep leaving their kids at our house. Sometimes for days. Terrifying.
One of the lessons I am beginning to learn the more we are asked to babysit is to always have a plentiful supply of things to do. Time seems to go so very slowly with things I would normally take hours on being started and finished in seconds. Never before have I known so many hours in a day.
For obvious reasons, the children left in our care generally want to bake with me. Easy enough request one would think but simple sponges and watery icing can only keep a little person entertained for so long.
So, as the bank holiday is fast approaching, I have come up with the following recipe. Each stage will take at least 20 mins and is kid safe from beginning to end. Light and fluffy sweet bread wrapped with strawberries and chocolate or caramel.
You will be far happier when the time comes to eat these things then the alternative of one of those awful shop brought, packet mix cakes with the flavourless paper topping!
Strawberries & Cream Teacups and Chocolate Caramel Flowerpots
500g strong white bread flour
10g quick active yeast. I normally just stick in two of the little packets which comes to 14g total and I’ve never seen any negative effects in the final product.
1 free range egg
60g unsalted butter – softened
50g granulated sugar
300ml milk – heated to lukewarm
For the milk chocolate caramel plant pots:
30g melted butter
60g caster sugar
10g cocoa powder
50g milk chocolate drops
50g caramel bar or caramel buttons – chopped
For the strawberries and cream tea cups:
70g strawberry jam
70g white chocolate buttons – chopped
50g dried strawberries (optional) – available at health food shops
*You don’t have to use the same little silicone pots as I do for these. You could substitute a muffin tin or simply bake them on a baking tray. They will still taste the same!
Place the flour, sugar, salt into a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the egg & butter then transfer to your mixer if using.
Slowly add the milk whilst mixing slowly with your fingers or mixer until the dough comes together into a loose dough. You may not need all the milk. Transfer to a clean kitchen side and knead for 10mins until the dough turns into a nice firm ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl and the dough ball then cover with cling film and leave in a warm location for 1.5 hours. It will take longer than a normal loaf due to the added egg and butter.
Once risen, tip the dough back onto your work surface and knead gently to knock the air out. Weigh the dough then split into two equal pieces.
Take one piece and roll out into a rectangle approximately 15” x 10”
For the strawberries and cream buns – spread the strawberry jam over the dough evenly. Sprinkle white chocolate and dried berries (if using) over the dough. Roll dough into a large sausage then cut into 2” rolls. Place each roll into a silicone cupcake case if using otherwise place onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Place them no more than 2” apart from each other otherwise they will bake together. Unless you want them to do that of course!
For the caramel and chocolate buns – spread the melted butter over the dough evenly. Mix the coca into the sugar then sprinkle over the butter covered dough. Cover with the chopped chocolate pieces. Roll as above.
Place the buns, covered, somewhere warm for 45mins to prove. During this time they will double in size. Pre-heat the oven to 200c.
Once risen, glaze with a little egg wash then place the buns onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 25mins. If they start to colour a little too much then cover with a bit of baking paper.
Once baked, remove from the oven a leave to cool for at least half hour before applying to your face.