Friday, March 18, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls :)

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Uni has been going okay, though, as you might've been able to tell through my lack of posting, it's been very busy.

And it's been putting my mind into a slightly nervous state.

I'm disliking the responsibility of having to find out and remember dates of quizzes and due dates for assignments- especially as there are so many to remember in addition all the other things I should be doing everyday. My travel strips off a huge chunk of my day, so midnight always arrives much too early, leaving me very agitated as I'm always worrying there's something important I should have done.

I'd like to think that I'm a very positive and carefree person, but I'm starting to see that subconsciously I'm quite a worry wart- as my mother often tells me. When I caught the bus to uni for the first time, I checked the same timetable (for the exact same bus) countless times, starting from a week before the trip right up until the morning of the trip. In the first week of uni, I found myself looking at my timetable, more than hourly, eventhough I'd actually memorised all the classes off by heart, as well as the location and the routes to each of the buildings. And often checking once more before entering the room- just incase I'd misread.



I know all this worrying and checking is stupid, pointless and unneccesary (and I could probably construct a pretty convincing argument as to why) but it happens and I'm sure it'll gradually decrease as I get used to uni- I don't check my bus or uni timetable anymore!

Anyways, here's something a lot more interesting than my life at the moment- cinnamon rolls! I've never actually had cinnamon rolls before- so I was very surprised at how good they tasted! The buns were extremely soft- probably one of the softest buns I've ever made (though this probably had something to do with the fact that I accidently added more water than I was supposed to) and so delicious I almost couldn't stop myself from eating it all in one go!

Oh. And if you were wondering, this was made with a recipe which I reread a billion times before and during the making of it! You know. Just incase I misread something very impmortant ;)



Cinnamon Rolls
recipe from Pioneer Woman via A Southern Grace

Dough:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4 cups + 1/2 cup flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder

Filling:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
pinch of salt


Make ahead: Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar and oil in a large pot over medium heat. Heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, until just before boiling. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about an hour or until lukewarm (between 105° – 115°F; use a thermometer to check). Sprinkle the yeast into the warm milk mixture and allow to sit for a few minutes. Add 4 cups of flour and stir together until a sticky dough forms. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise somewhere warm for about an hour. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to dough and combine thoroughly to form an elastic dough. Spray the inside of a large bowl with cooking spray. Put dough in the bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator overnight, or up to a day.

Assembly: Spray 3 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Generously flour a clean, dry surface. Place half the dough on the floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll out into a large rectangle. Gently spread 1/2 cup of softened butter over the dough with a butter knife. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar over the buttered dough.

Starting on the longer side of the rectangle, roll dough in a tight spiral toward the other end and pinch the seam shut. Slide a strand of dental floss under the rolled dough 1-1½ inches from the end. Cross the ends of the floss over the top of the roll and pull in opposite directions, slicing off a section of dough. Repeat with the rest of the dough, placing buns in the prepared pan. You will have space between the buns.

Repeat with the second half of the dough. (If you only want to make one batch of buns, you can tightly wrap and freeze the other half at this point. In that case, use half the amount of the ingredients for the glaze.)

Set aside to rise for 30-45 minutes. Bake in 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Make glaze: Mix together all ingredients and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.



Note: I didn't make the glaze...which is why my rolls look so bare at the top!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chocolate Biscuit Pudding

31 comments
I started uni on Monday!!! *gasp* ;)

Yup- after waking up terribly early at 6:30 (considering i usually wake up at around 10) and wondering whether the time on my clock was was actually the right time, then taking an hour and a half bus ride, which abruptly ended long before my stop, leading to much panic as I tried to find another bus, then arrived at the uni only to get confused as to where the lecture theatre actually was, I finally settled down into my first lecture (and met a really nice person too) :)

So a week on, what do I think of it?

Well- I'm not exactly thinking at the moment. I never realised how tiring 4 hours travelling everyday would so tiring, or how boring maths lectures could be. And I hate 8am maths lectures with a passion. Still- it's interesting, with all the meeting new people, bumping into high school friends, trying to find places and joining clubs (I'm still sad we don't have a food lovers club though *sigh* I guess the chocolate society will have to do). I sort of miss high school but in a way, I'm sort of happy to be in the next 'stage' of my life.

IMG_4790

The other day we passed the suburb where we used to live when I was small which brought back many memories. It seems not too long ago that I was in preschool, madly screaming and banging on doors as my mother left me or when I started kindergarten, barely knowing english (I still don't remember how I quite communicated with others).

I actually feel a lot older now that I'm around all these 'big' people. A lot older than I'd like to feel, when inside, I know I'm still quite childish- I like to wear T shirts with huge cartoons on them, I like playing with cute stuffed toys, I like bright colourful things.....and I don't like coffee ;)

Which is all very well as this tiramisu looking dessert (as noted by grub) is actually chocolate biscuit pudding. No coffee whatsoever :) It's incredibly good, with deliciously rich chocolately mousse sandwiched between layers of milk soaked marie biscuits and scattered with cashews to give it some crunch. The crazily high amount of butter, chocolate, and whipped cream makes it terribly unhealthy but it's so good it's worth it!

I made this with my friends during the summer holidays and we had a very fun afternoon playing around with this recipe. We didn't quite have enough time to chill it until set (and wanted to eat it before we went home), which is why these photos are of a slice of melted and then rechilled pudding- but it's still so good!

Chocolate biscuit pudding


Chocolate Biscuit Pudding
Recipe from here

8 oz chocolate chips
8 ozs butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
10 ozs Marie Biscuits (we used 1.5 packets)
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup whipped cream
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped cashew nuts
1 tbsp Rum (optional)
1 tsp Vanilla
Pinch of salt


1. Combine chocolate, rum, 1/4 cup water, and the vanilla in a heat-proof bowl. Set it over a pan of simmering water just until the chocolate melts. Cool completely to room temperature. Whisk butter until combined. Set aside.
2. Place egg whites, the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a bowl. Beat on high speed until firm but not dry.
3. Place the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar in a bowl. Beat on high speed until pale yellow. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture.
4. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula.
5. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
6. Soak the biscuits in milk slightly. Layer a bottom of a square pan with them. Next layer with chocolate mixture (about 1/2 inch high). Sprinkle with cashew nuts. Follow with another layer of soaked biscuits and then the chocolate mixture and cashew nuts. Continue layering until all of the chocolate mixture is over. Make sure that the top layer is chocolate mixture and cashew nuts.
Chill for at least 2 hours
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