Wordless Wednesday: Changing Colours

tree Princes Street Gardens
Cr

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Swedish Cinnamon Buns – Easy Like A Sunday Morning

A couple of weeks ago I made several references to the fact that I’d spent a (very domestic) Sunday morning doing a spot of baking and – the dreaded – ironing. Now that all the blog-birthday frivolities are over it’s time to share the better half of that morning’s labours – Swedish Cinnamon Buns.

Swedish Cinnamon BunsI’ve always been slightly scared of baking with yeast. No other ingredient has ever stopped me in my kitchen exploits (although granted, the octopus was an unmitigated, rubbery disaster), except yeast. It’s a bit pathetic really. It means I’ve never made a loaf of bread – I think we can all agree that using the breadmaker doesn’t count as baking, delicious as its produce is – not even a measly Chelsea Bun! But these times are a changing, and I’ve done a little manning up.

The Swedish (whose tourist board provided this recipe), it would seem, are quite into their buns. Take that as you will, but they would have it with a healthy dose of cinnamon – none of this icing nonsense that the Belgians and the Americans are in to – and use it as a snack to accompany coffee when they’ve guests about. In fact they like their kanelbullar so much that they even have a national day of celebration for it! Kanelbullar Dag – 4th October, if you’re interested – has been marked for the last few years by bakers up and down Sweden, and I think I might start joining them.

This recipe is really straightforward and whilst that nightmare ingredient might put some off as it initially did me, I would thoroughly recommend using this as the perfect excuse to get over the baking fear. I took the end result into work with me the day after I’d made them; I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that they didn’t last long.Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients

For the dough:
25g yeast
75g butter
250ml milk
50g granulated sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
600g plain flour

 For the filling:
100g butter
100g caster sugar
4 tsp cinnamon

For the Glaze:
1 egg
2 tbsp water
Pearl sugar/demerara sugar to decorateSwedish Cinnamon Buns

Directions

1. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and mix with a few tablespoons of the milk. Melt the butter and pour the yeast/milk mix on top. Add in the other dough ingredients and knead for 10-15 mins (I cheated and got the dough hooks for my mixer out of the cupboard).

2. Put the dough mix into a lightly-oiled dish (it makes it easier to get out), cover in clingfilm and allow it to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Roll out the dough – it should be about 3mm thick and 30cm wide. Spread the butter over the dough, then make a mixture of the cinnamon and sugar before scattering it evenly over the dough.

4. Roll the dough up (the long way, like a Swiss Roll) and then chop into equal slices – the mix should make about 25.

5. Place the bun dough into muffin cases on a tray*, cover with a tea towel and allow it to rise for about an hour (or the buns have doubled in size).

6. Beat together the egg and water before brushing over the buns. Sprinkle with sugar and bake in the centre of the oven for around 10 minutes at 225ºC, or until they are golden.

Enjoy,

Cr

*The original recipe told me to put them in muffin cases, but if I did this again I would probably place them side-by-side on a baking sheet, then tear them apart when I wanted to eat them. I would have put this in the recipe, but since the photos show them in bun cases I thought I’d go for a little bit of continuity.

Instagrammers Anonymous: Mixed Reactions

Now that the year has been suitably reviewed in A Second Year In Photos, it’s time to get back to something a bit more normal. Somehow it is once again Friday (where has the week gone?) which means it is time to take stock of the week that has been and look  ahead of another busy weekend – it’s Instagrammers Anonymous.

We’re going to start this week with a moan and a boycott. There is an excellent bar in Edinburgh called The Dome, it was (I think) once a bank, so has fantastically ornate marble floors, floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls and an enormous circular bar. All in all it’s pretty special, and it’s very to lose an evening in amongst the mood lighting and palm fronds. However, they also have a tendency to put their Christmas decorations up too early. WAY, WAY, WAY TOO EARLY! They’ve now been up for a week and a half, and it’s NOT EVEN THE END OF OCTOBER!!!!

In case you hadn’t already gathered, this irritates me quite a bit. I will, therefore, be boycotting it in a sort of one-man (slightly pointless) protest until the 1st December – then it can be Christmasy to its heart’s content.

Christmas decorations, the Dome, Edinburgh

This week also the rather sudden disappearance of a famous landmark. The other day a fog descended on town and Edinburgh Castle vanished from view, leaving some very bewildered tourists looking at their maps and pointing to the blank patch where they (quite rightly) thought it should be. As a side remark to this photo (because the tram-wire pillar is about the only thing you can see) a ‘progress report’ on our sodding tram project came out this week – apparently the whole thing is now “on track”. I think the painful irony of this pun was rather lost on the report’s authors.Edinburgh Castle in the Mist

On to happy and less irate news: In case you haven’t realised, I’m quite the Bond fan. In celebration of the release of Skyfall today (!!!) my younger brother and I decided a while ago to watch all of the previous 22 films. We watched the first 4 then ‘skipped a couple’ before watching number 22 last weekend. With a spare evening popping up on Wednesday, we decided to squeeze another one in, I had an excellent evening in with my favourite Bond film and a large glass of wine. And even better, I have my tickets sorted for seeing Skyfall later this evening. The word ‘excited’ doesn’t even come close to describing my feelings.Casino Royal dvdWith an action-packed Friday night planned and the potential for making some jam to follow on Saturday (just how I roll) it looks like I’m in for a jam-packed (sorry, couldn’t resist) weekend. Whatever you’re up to – I’m just assuming you’re going to the cinema – I hope Adele and the sound explosions brightens up your weekend.

Cr

A Second Year In Photos: It’s All About The Sunsets

And finally, the last little section of A Second Year In Photos. Much like yesterday’s black and white day, it seemed unlikely that sunsets weren’t going to feature somewhere in this list. Although, if you were being picky, I’ve already sneaked one cheeky sunset into Cake and Kremlin Adventures

I’m sure someone who writes more creatively could turn this post into some metaphor about the sun setting on the second year of Contemplating the Clouds, but fortunately that’s not the way brain my works; I am just obsessed just really like sunsets.

The first two photos come from around the time I was working down near Inverleith Park and often walked round its rugby pitches and pond on my way into town to meet friends.Sunset, Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, Inverleith Pond,Rugby Posts, Sunset, Inverleith Park, Lent, 40 Days of photosThe last photo in this year’s review was taken way back in January out at Blackness Castle. We were walking back to the car after a stunningly beautiful, frosty walk and this was the site that greeted us from the car park. Bliss.Sunset over Blackness Another Day Another Sunset Edinburgh

And so ends A Second Year In PhotosI hope you’ve enjoyed this little round up of my favourite pictures from the year, and fingers crossed there are plenty more photos to come. Thanks for stopping by.

Cr

A Second Year In Photos: 50 Shades of Grey(scale)

Of all the wonders of photography and all the joy and vibrancy that colour brings to an image, I still love a good bit of black and white. Perhaps it’s the drama that they create, but there’s something about black and white images that I really like. Not all the time, that would leave you feeling a bit… uhm… grey, but if done occasionally it really makes it stand out.

Over the past year there have been quite a few black and white (or greyscale, if you prefer) photos on the blog, but unlike many of the other categories for A Second Year In Photos, I had no problems selecting which two images to use. In fact it was quite the opposite; I thought of these two before anything else, then found a category that would fit them both.

The first is the wonderful Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens, as see one sunny lunchtime in early March.
Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, Sunlight, Walk, Spring, EdinburghThe second was taken during the Olympics when I was walking up the bank of the Thames. It’s of St Paul’s Cathedral, the millennium suspension bridge, and (possibly most importantly) the clouds and sky above it.
Black and white St Paul's Cathedral over the Millennium bridge.I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do.

Tomorrow, for the final instalment of this year’s favourite photos, I’ll be returning to my old, but never tiresome (to me, at least), favourite: sunsets.

Cr