Thursday, 14 February 2008
Nigella's Love Buns
Happy Valentines Day everybody. I whipped these gorgeous pink Love Buns for today. The recipe is from Nigella’s book, “Feast”.
The recipe was easy to follow, didn’t take too long and produced gorgeous fluffy light vanilla cupcakes and the rich topping which is very similar to the frosting we made at Christmas with the Daring Bakers – the Yule Log. Everyone went nuts for that icing then, so I’m hoping all the recipients today will too!
My only addition was pink food colouring to make them even more cutesy. Here is Nigella’s recipe:
For the Buns:
125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbs milk
For the Topping:
2 egg whites
4 tbs golden syrup
100g caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp pink food colouring
Take everything you need out of the fridge in time to bring it to room temperature - this makes a huge difference to the lightness of the love buns later - and preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
Put all of the ingredients for the buns, except the milk, into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel, to make a smooth dropping consistency.
Divide the mixture into a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers or heart-patterned cases, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top; you want a little peak if possible.
Let them cool a little in their tin on a rack, and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.
Now for the topping.
This is a topping that has a kind of meringue base, by which you whisk egg whites over heat until they're stiff and gleaming. Think Mr. Whippy. So make a double-boiler with a bowl that will fit snugly over a saucepan of barely simmering water, and put all of the ingredients for the icing, except for the vanilla and the sprinkles, into the bowl. Whisk everything with an electric beater until the icing becomes thick and holds peaks like a meringue. This will take about 5 minutes, so be patient.
Take the bowl off the saucepan and on to a cool surface and keep whisking while you add the vanilla (and pink food colouring). Then keep whisking until the mixture cools a little. You want a proper peaked and whipped covering here, so spoon some icing over each bun, and then dollop another spoonful over in a swirly fashion. Immediately shake over your choice of sprinkles, as the icing will set very quickly. Indeed, these look rather like stage prop buns or the fake ones that some bakeries use to keep in their windows, so plasticky and gleaming are they.