Saturday, 18 June 2011
Hazelnut Latte Buns
A Note on 'Beating'
Beating a cake mix isn't like beating a carpet or your wife; it's a specific technique. Tilt the bowl away from you so that the mix gathers at the far side. Now paddle furiously at it in a steady rhythm with your wooden spoon, as though trying to turn a coracle or log canoe away from a waterfall in a Harrison Ford film. You should find that it makes a very satisfying 'doff-doff-doff' noise, which is the sound of air getting trapped in the wake of your spoon and hitting the batter, becoming incorporated and making those tiny Aero-bubbles you find in great sponge. Every so often you can group the mix into one blob again by scraping around the edges in a big circle. It can also help to rotate the bowl every so often.
Hazelnut Latte Buns
You Will Need: large bowl, wooden spoon, cup, fork, butterknife, chopping board, large knife, coffee-making apparatus, scales, teaspoon, muffin tin.
2 beaten eggs
4oz butter (kerry gold if possible)
4oz self raising flour
approx. 50g hazelnuts
small cup of strong black coffee
1 capful vanilla essence
1) Butter six of the tin-holes. Chop or blitz the hazelnuts very finely, and put a teaspoonful of crumbs into each hole. Roll around the holes to coat the sides, leaving some at the base of the holes. If you have nuts left, drop a few whole into the base of each hole as a surprise for nommers.
2) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
3) Cream the butter and sugar; add the egg a little at a time. Beat to a smooth batter. Add the vanilla.
4) Beat in the flour 1/3 at a time; alternate flour with coffee, until the mixture is latte-coloured, fragrant and batter-like, but not runny. You want it to hold its shape on the spoon when a spoonful is lifted out, but easily drop off the back of said spoon. Add the coffee very slowly, and don't necessarily use all of it.
5) Beat almost excessively to a very light and fully combined mixture; try to get plenty of air in.
6) Divide the mixture evenly between the tin holes, and bake until fully risen, and a skewer in the middle comes out clean. You may find that the buns erupt slightly as the unbaked centres rise through the baked outer shells; don't worry, that's normal and makes a lovely light cake!