Bloggers Bake Along to GBBO: FINAL WEEK: St. Clements Iced Buns

Sunday 11 October 2015

The Bake Off is all over, and I am super upset to see it go. There's something about sitting down to watch it each week, and getting excited about baking, that I love. I can honestly say this year has been my favourite bake off, as I have not only been watching, but as you my lovely readers know I have also been baking every week! I remember right bake to my first bake, and I was so worried as to whether I would be able to keep up, and my confidence has just soared since then, and I really feel like I kind of know what I am doing now. So much so that I hope to keep up my one bake a week on my blog, and I hope you will all enjoy reading them.

So onto the final bakes. Originally I decided I was going to make all three of the final challenges, but after I decided what I was going to make for two of them, I just knew I would be setting myself too much work. One bake I knew I couldn't go without making was the iced buns. These have been a favourite of mine ever since I was a kid, I'm used to a plain bun topped with gorgeous water icing, but with my recipe I have gone all out! I decided to go with two of my favourite flavours, orange, and lemon. Hence the name of the bake (I tried so hard to be clever with).

For the bun and icing parts I decided to go with Paul Hollywood's recipe which can be found on the BBC website here.

This involved putting all the ingredients into a bowl and mixing them by hand. We all know how much Mr. Hollywood likes to get his hands dirty. This ended up with my hands being glued to the dough, but with a little extra flour, and a lot of kneading it turned out pretty well! This then had to prove for one hour until doubled in size. Then I had the rather difficult task of shaping my buns... Honestly I blame the cheap Ikea table I was trying to shape them on! Once they are shaped you place them onto a greased baking tray and leave to prove for 40 minutes more. By which time (if you are doing a batch bake) they should be touching. After that all that's left is for them to go in the oven. I was shocked to find they only needed a mere 10 minutes in the oven, until they came out looking brown and lovely, or so I thought! I let these beauties cool, got all nice and ready to decorate them and they were RAW underneath! Never again shall I take the word of Paul Hollywood. So in they went again for another 10 minutes upside down. Low and behold when they came out there were still doughy... Needless to say I was fuming... I don't know exactly how long there were in for in the end, but I kept having to put them back in every time I thought they were done!

Whilst my buns were proving I started making my fillings, starting with one of my all time favourites, Lemon curd. To make this I followed this recipe also from the BBC website. This involves melting butter and sugar into lemon juice and zest over a pan of simmering water. Once this was all melted I then added whisked eggs to the mix, stirring quickly until combined. Then you cook this slowly stirring occasionally until it coats the back of a spoon. Once at this stage simply remove from the heat to leave to cool, and thicken.

Once my curd was out of the way I moved onto a marmalade. When researching a recipe for this I was disheartened to see a tonne of recipes that involved leaving things overnight, as I am impatient and wanted it to be done fast. So I found this recipe for fast marmalade that only takes 20 minutes to cook, and I can confirm it turned out really well. The recipe called for a blender, but as I don't have one I simply zested my oranges, chopped down the flesh as small as possible, and then chopped the skin into strips. All that's left to do is add the sugar and boil the mix. Once boiled for 20 minutes, leave the mix to cool and it begins to thicken!

When the buns were FINALLY done, I moved on to filling and decorating them. I whipped up some cream to go in the middle, and then made up some water icing in Orange and Yellow colours. Then I simply cut the buns in half, spread the filling on, piped on the cream, and carefully (a.k.a messily) placed the water icing on the top. Which as you can see from the photos didn't go so well... I had originally intended to pipe this on, but I only had one piping bag left...

So here's the finished article! I'll admit they aren't the prettiest iced buns I've ever seen, but I have honestly never eaten any tastier ones! The lemon curd is so tart, and just works perfectly in the bun, and the marmalade is just sweet enough to add something new to the classic iced bun. I will definitely be making these again soon, but next time I'll be ignoring Paul Hollywood's directions!

Have you managed to bake anything this week?
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