Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sticky Toffee Maple Sticky Buns for Maine Maple Sunday March 24th

OH MY!!!!! You do need to try these!!

When I first started baking I was leery of trying anything with yeast as it seemed so complicated and I thought you needed a degree in baking to make it work but slowly over the years I have tried more and more yeasted recipes and they have started to work for me - this one is a winner and always works out perfectly - won't you try it even if you too are made a little anxious but the mention of using yeast. I am doing these in honour of Maine Maple Sunday March 24th when many of the sugar houses in Maine are open to the public and you can watch the divine elixir being created from thousands of gallons of sap - or as in my own case from a couple of gallons :)
Yes the sap does get frozen in the tap on these chilly March nights. Each year I tap my one big maple tree and 'sugar down' on our trusty wood stove so we end up with a quart or so of our own lovely Maple Syrup - yum!!!!

For the best Sticky Buns EVER - gleaned from the best magazine EVER, British Country Living - I give you:
 Sticky Toffee Sticky Maple Bunnage Galore

RECIPE: Makes 12 buns – recipe easily cuts in half for 6 (I made a half recipe for this post and it worked perfectly) – you can replace any maple syrup with sugar if you don't have maple syrup on hand.
First make the Sticky Toffee Maple Sauce – this is so good you can put it on anything sweet – ice cream, cakes – anything! This is quite a lot of sticky deliciousness so you can pour more over the buns when they come out of the oven…YUM!!!! If you like your buns very sticky double the recipe - I know you'll always manage to find some way to use any that's leftover!!

10oz weight/ 1 scant cup maple syrup – preferably from Maine for it is Maine Maple Sunday March 24th!! 

6oz butter/ 12 tablespoons – I prefer salted for that great salted caramel taste 

8 tablespoons of heavy/double cream or half and half 

1. Put all 3 ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmering boil until it starts to thicken and the bubbles are dense and lighter in colour.
2. Allow to cool while you make the buns.

3. Using about ½ of the sauce put about 1 tablespoon sauce into each space of 12 muffin pans OR cover the bottom of two 9” cake pans – I show pics of doing it both ways.

STICKY TOFFEE BUNS – oh my SOOOO good – like a really light brioche bread!!!
1 tablespoon of active dry yeast

1 teaspoon maple syrup - again you can use sugar

6 fl. ozs/2/3 cup/150ml  warm almost hot to the touch water (the recipe uses milk but I find water is fine)

1. Mix these 3 ingredients together in a bowl/jug and allow to sit in a warm place for about 10 minutes to get all bubbly, creamy and gorgeous: 
Let your yeast mix bubble to this kind of amount - even if takes longer than 10 minutes - I have found this amount of bubble-age is the key to getting yeasted recipes to work well. if your yeast isn't bubbling after say 15 minutes either your yeast is old or your liquid wasn't warm enough - put the bottom of the jug/bowl into a bowl of warm water and see if that activates it.
My ingredients warming on the shelf of the wood stove - purring gently!
Everything should be at room temperature to help better activate the yeast.

1 pound/500g unbleached white flour sifted

Large pinch of salt

2oz weight maple syrup or sugar

2 large eggs beaten

4oz/1 stick softened butter – again I use salted but you can use unsalted if you want.

If you want to use nuts toast 4ozs or even 6ozs if you like a lot of nuts in a 350F oven for a few minutes until fragrant – keep an eye out as they catch and burn very easily – allow to cool – you can use almonds, pecans or walnuts.

1. Sieve flour into a large bowl, stir in the salt and sugar (if using sugar) – for maple syrup make a well in the flour and pour in the maple syrup, eggs, softened butter and yeast mixture and blend until it comes together.
(Remember I only made a half of this recipe so my dough ball looks small)

2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

3. Roll the dough into a ball, return to the bowl and cover with a tea towel, place in a warm spot (mine is on the shelf above the wood stove) and allow to double in size which should take about 1 ½ hours.

4. Turn the dough onto refloured surface and knead a little for about a minute.

5. Shape into a rough rectangle – about 14” x 20” I do half the recipe so my rectangle was 7” x 10”ish

6. Spread about 1/3 of the sticky toffee sauce over the centre of the rectangle thus:
7. Sprinkle nuts over if you are using them

8. Roll up the dough from the short side – don’t worry the sauce will ooze as picture below.

9. For full recipe cut into 12 even pieces – it will squush when you are cutting – don’t worry – my half recipe of course I cut into 6 pieces. 
10. Either put them in your cake pan or muffin tins and drizzle more maple syrup/sauce over:
11. Put back to the warm spot uncovered for about ½ until well risen again.

12. Meanwhile warm your oven to 350F and when ready bob in the buns for between 35-40 minutes until well golden brown:
with nuts and....
......without - more maple glaze - or just more plain maple syrup if you prefer - drizzled over the top!!

13. Allow to cool slightly before removing and then devour hot, warm or cold- when still warm drizzle over any remaining sauce –


Let me know how you do – Happy baking!!! Please feel free to post your baking pictures on my Facebook page.

Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome Spring 2013 and Mr. Bluebird too!

Spring 2013 arrived yesterday at 7:02am and then yesterday afternoon, as if on cue, this lovely spritely male Eastern Bluebird alighted in our old apple trees to suss the spots for nesting, I assume. What a little beauty he was and hopefully we will see more of him as the weeks go by.

Just the day before we were in the midst of our latest snowstorm named Ukko meaning paternal grandfather in Finnish, which graced us with about 10" of light, fluffy beauty - I wonder if this will be the last snow of the season?

The tenacious birch leaves are still clinging to the branches providing a welcome splash of colour in the whitened landscape.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Free Worldwide Shipping from my Society6 shop until Sunday March 17th - hooray!!!!!

Please click on this link to obtain this offer:
Available on totes, prints (not framed), cards, iPhone & iPod cases and covers, skins, pillow covers (but not pillows with inserts) and t's and hoodies until Sunday March 17th - Saint Patrick's Day

THANK YOU!! Patricia.