Tomorrow, Australians of voting age are expected to place their ballots for Australia’s next prime minister.
I see more humanity and promise in the policies of the minor parties than I do in Labor or Liberal. At the same time, I know there isn’t much chance of a Greens or Xenophon takeover this election. But I can hope!
Your head may well be in the same space, so here’s a recipe to help you sprinkle tomorrow’s outcome with goodness — with the help of three of my favourite things: sugar, butter, and cinnamon.
Recipe #156: Gooey cinnamon scrolls. As well as involving several processes, there is quite a utensil list for this recipe: 2 x mixing bowls; 1 x medium saucepan; 1 x (20cm x 30cm) rectangular baking tray lined with baking paper; a set of cup measures; a whisk; a rolling pin; a spatula or two; a tablespoon; at least two teaspoons.
For the dough, you will need:
► 2 cups of plain flour [I use organic and unbleached] + extra flour for rolling
► 2 tsp of baking powder [I make my own to avoid added anti-caking agents: two parts Cream of Tartar to one part bicarbonate of soda]
► 2 Tbsp of light muscovado sugar [or you could use brown sugar, but I like the lighter colour for the dough]
► 3 Tbsp of softened butter [I use salted butter]
► 1 large egg
► 1/2 cup of milk
For the filling, you will need:
► 1/2 cup of brown sugar
► 1/2 cup of sultanas or currants
► 2 Tbsp of ground cinnamon [use fresh-ground if you can: there is no substitute]
For the caramel, you will need:
► 3/4 cup of butter
► 3/4 cup of brown sugar
► seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla pod [or 1 tsp of vanilla paste — I am loving Singing Dog vanilla paste right now]
► 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
► 1/2-1 tsp of finely-ground salt [I use Himalayan salt]
Start by preheating the oven to 200°C.
Now make the filling. Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set this mixture to one side.
Get your caramel simmering! Place all caramel ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat. Whisk occasionally as the butter melts. Once the caramel bubbles, remove it from the heat and whisk vigorously: you want the sugar to dissolve and emulsify completely with the butter. Taste the caramel for saltiness and adjust if needed [if you’re like me, you’ll want more salt]. Leave this to one side once it is complete.
You can make the dough at the same time as the caramel, so long as you’re prepared to check the stove after each step.
For the dough, mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar in another mixing bowl. Then press in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the milk and egg and mix well, until you have a thick batter.
Scatter a generous amount of flour over your rolling surface (this could be a clean benchtop or a large chopping board). Sprinkle a little flour over the batter and use a spatula to remove it from the mixing bowl; place the dough on the rolling surface.
Gently roll the dough until it is flat, rectangular, and 1-1.5cm thick. You may need to add extra flour along the way, to ensure the dough does not stick to the rolling pin or the surface.
Drizzle a thin layer of the caramel over the dough, spreading it with a spoon, and spread the filling evenly over the dough.
Roll the dough carefully into a log, and cut into even slices (you should get at least 12). You can press in the ends of the ‘log’ at the end beforehand: this makes it easier to cut.
Lift and shape each roll into the baking tray, giving each roll a little space around it for rising.
Next — and this is the best bit! — pour the caramel over the rolls and place the baking tray in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the scrolls to cool in the pan.
You can sprinkle over some crushed walnuts at this point if you like — they cut through the sweetness of the scrolls.
After baking, wait at least fifteen minutes before you attempt to extract and eat the buns, else they will crumble and burn you!
As this is a cake-ish recipe, I serve my scrolls with a fork and plate and, lately, with a semi-sweet cardamom cream. Very delicious indeed.
This recipe is inspired by countless others, and one I have refined through multiple tests over the last month [hearty thanks to my friendly test subjects!].
Cook some of these swirly goodies in the morning and I promise that, no matter which party wins, your election day will have a sweet finish.