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Devonshire Splits (Cream Buns)

Devonshire Splits, or Cream Buns

Devonshire Splits, a proper, old-fashioned tea-time treat!

My oldest living relative, great aunty Audrey, lives in Australia. She’s visiting the UK for a few months and staying with my mum for most of this trip. I haven’t seen her in about 20 years until this week but she’s hardly changed, is immense fun and a bit of a cheeky character. Apart from being the start of her visit, it was also her 87th Birthday, so naturally I felt the need to contribute to the celebrations in the form of some baking. She and my mum had been trying to order something they remembered from their childhood, what they called ‘Penny Buns’, from my mum’s local baker without success. I did a little online research, discovered that they were talking about Devonshire Splits and found a Nigel Slater recipe to recreate these yummy little cream buns that are filled with whipped cream and jam; a great variation on the scone for afternoon tea.

Devonshire Splits (or ‘Penny Buns’)

Ingredients:

  • 450g plain flour
  • half tsp salt
  • 14g dried easy-bake yeast
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • extra flour for kneading

Put the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. In a pan, warm the milk and butter until the butter is melted, then allow to cool slightly until it’s hand hot (you’re going to be getting your hands in there and you don’t want to burn yourself or have the mixture too hot to bear).

Pour most of the butter and milk mixture into the flour and mix to form a soft dough; if necessary add more of the milk until it all comes together. The dough should be soft and a little sticky (err on the side of too wet rather than too dry).

Once you’ve got a ball of dough, tip it out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until it feels slightly elastic (you can’t really knead it too much, but you can certainly knead it too little). Put it back in the bowl and cover loosely with clingfilm or a clean tea towel, leaving it to prove somewhere warm for about an hour.

After the proving time your dough should be roughly doubled in size. Turn out on to a floured surface and divide into 8-10 pieces that area all about the same size. Roll each one into a ball and place on a floured baking tray (I used two trays), leaving a little space between each ball. Cover with some lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to rise again for 10-15 minutes. During this time, heat your oven to 200C.

Remove the clingfilm and bake for 18-20 minutes until pale golden. You know they’re done if they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

To serve, cut a deep split and ease apart. Cram full of as much whipped cream and strawberry jam as you dare, and dust with a little icing sugar. A proper old-fashioned treat!

I’ve just discovered these little beauties won the Golden Spoon award this week from The Sunday Bake Club (thanks)! Take a look at their blog here.

Strawberry Roulade with Salted Caramel Sauce

Strawberry Roulade with Salted Caramel Sauce

Creamy Strawberry Roulade with Salted Caramel Sauce

I’m heading to a friend’s for dinner this evening and volunteered to bring dessert. There are some lovely British strawberries in the shops now and the weather is glorious so I wanted to make something really fresh and summery. The addition of salted caramel sauce (I’ve used Nigella Lawson’s recipe) is just a little extra indulgence of my own obsession (I’ve already told you how much I love the stuff in my Upside Down Apple and Caramel Cake recipe)!

Strawberry Roulade with Salted Caramel Sauce

For the salted caramel sauce:

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 125ml double cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Melt the butter, sugars and syrup in a saucepan giving them a bit of a swirl every now and again. Simmer for about three minutes. Add the cream and HALF the salt and stir everything together. Taste a little of the sauce (be careful not to burn your tongue) to see if it’s salty enough for you and add more of the salt if you think it needs it (I like mine salty but it’s all down to preference). Bear in mind that when the sauce is cool it won’t taste as sweet or salty as when it’s warm. Once you’re satisfied with it, leave to cool.

For the roulade:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp cider/white wine vinegar
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • 250g double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 250g strawberries

Heat the oven to 150C and grease and line a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin or high sided baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Now, to make your meringue it’s really important your bowl is scrupulously clean – if possible use a glass or metal bowl and wipe round the inside with the cut side of half a lemon or a paper towel with a little vinegar on; this should get rid of any grease. Put your egg whites in the bowl and whisk until you get to the stiff peaks stage. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking all the while. Sprinkle over the corn flour and vinegar and give one last short whisk until everything is combined and glossy. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared tin, smoothing into the corners with a spatula and trying to get a flat, even surface. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the surface of the meringue is just firm. Remove from the oven, let it cool for about ten minutes. Lay a sheet of greaseproof on a board and dust with icing sugar. Once the meringue has cooled a little turn it out onto the board and carefully remove the greaseproof from the base and leave to cool while you assemble the filling.

Remove the stalks and chop your strawberries into small chunks; set to one side until needed. In a large bowl, whip together the cream, icing sugar (sifted) and vanilla. I recommend using a hand whisk; it really doesn’t take that long and it’s so easy to over-whip with an electric whisk and end up verging on butter. You’re aiming for cream that holds the whisk, but easily plops off with a tap on the side of the bowl. You’re now ready to turn this all into a roulade!

Slather the cream over the meringue, then sprinkle/spread the chopped strawberries over the cream. Using a teaspoon, drizzle a little (about 2 tablespoons) of the salted caramel sauce over the top. With the shortest end of the meringue facing you, roll it away, folding over and using the greaseproof paper to try and keep the roll compact. Once it’s fully rolled, place on a serving plate with the fold underneath. Serve with the remaining salted caramel sauce for your guests to drizzle over their slice of lusciousness at will!

You can keep any left over salted caramel sauce in the fridge for a week or so. It’s great on loads of things – try with vanilla ice cream, a baked apple or a warm chocolate brownie.

Strawberry Milkshake Blondies

Strawberry Milkshake Blondies

Strawberry Milkshake Blondies with White Chocolate Chunks

I’ve been wanting to bake something strawberry milkshake flavour for ages. Today, I did it. I had half a punnet of strawberries in the fridge, some milkshake powder and white chocolate in the cupboard so I settled on blondies. Today the sun is shining (for once) and I’m going to take these little bites of summer to a barbeque.

Strawberry Milkshake Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 200g strawberries chopped into chunks
  • 200g butter (plus a little for greasing)
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 3 tbsp strawberry milkshake powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 150g caster sugar (plus 1 tbsp for the strawberries)
  • 200g plain flour

Heat the oven to 170C and butter and line a tin (approx 25x22cm) with greaseproof paper. Warm the strawberry chunks and tablespoon of sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is just melted and the strawberries are beginning to release their juices. Remove from the heat and set to one side.

Melt the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the milkshake powder and 100g of the white chocolate and stir until everything is melted and combined (it might separate a bit on standing but don’t worry). Turn off the heat.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugars and eggs until light and fluffy. Using a spatula, stir in the flour and melted butter/chocolate mixture until everything is well combined. Pour into the prepared tin. Chop the remaining chocolate into chunks and scatter over the surface of the brownie batter. Follow by scattering the strawberry chunks, reserving as much of the juice as possible. Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes – they’re done when brown on top but still a little gooey if you insert a skewer. Remove from the oven and drizzle over the remaining few spoons of strawberry juice. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out and chopping into squares.