Monday, 21 April 2014

Hot Cross Bun Cake

Be it crossed or otherwise I love making the spiced, sweetened and richly fruited buns that are in such abundance at this time of year, so much so that I often find myself with a surplus. As I am always begrudged to let any of my creations go to waste, I thought it would be fun to try and come up with an interesting (and of course delicious) alternative to my usual options for any buns at risk of going stale, which previously had been either frozen or turned into bread pudding. This cake uses the breadcrumbs from a pair of hot cross buns in place of flour and is further enriched with caramelly light muscovado sugar, ground nuts and little extra hit of citrus and spice. It is packed with flavour and texture, with a syrupy crumb yielding to warming spices, toasty nuts and just a hint of orange. It at once feels curiously complex, yet wholesome and satisfying, so much so that I will no doubt be baking an excess of buns next time just so I can make it again!

Before we begin it is worth noting that there is a great deal of room for manoeuvre when it comes to the ingredients you use, be it the nuts, spices or even the bread itself. You could even make it completely dairy free if you choose a simpler sweet bread. Just let your imagination be your guide!

2 Hot Cross or Fruit Buns (Around 150g)
100g Walnuts
100g Pecans
175g Light Muscovado Sugar
1tsp Mixed Spice
The zest of 1 Orange
5 Large Eggs (Beaten)
2tbsp Golden Syrup (Warm)

Begin by preheating the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5, greasing a 20cm deep, loose bottomed baking tin and lining it with baking paper. Also, you'll need to grab your mini-chopper/food processor/blitzer out of the cupboard. Using your mini-chopper whiz each bun to bread crumbs, then place into a large bowl. Toss each of the nuts into the mini-chopper and again give them a blast until they are loosely ground (Not finely, you'll want some lumps and bumps in there). Add them to the breadcrumbs, along with the sugar, spice and zest and give them a mix together. Add the eggs and mix to a evenly combined batter, then pour into your prepared tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. When you are happy the cake is baked remove it from the oven, leave in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin. Whilst the cake is still warm brush the golden syrup all over the top, then leave to cool completely. Finish by putting the kettle on, making yourself a lovely cup of leaf tea and treating yourself to a massive slice.

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