Wow, well this is it. The final Bake Off challenge of the series and I must say, whilst this recipe is fairly easy, to be given the challenge that the contestants had on the show, I would have struggled. For those who don't watch or haven't seen it yet, the instructions they were given were minimal. In fact, it was simply, 'Make 12 Belgian buns'.
Luckily I have the website with a full list of instructions: Paul Hollywood's Belgian Buns - The Great British Bake Off | The Great British Bake Off
These did not require much hands on time, although they did take a while to make due to all of the waiting whilst the dough proved. I hear with enriched dough (containing fat and sugar) this is a lengthy process and with the temperatures being so low this weekend, it was difficult to find a good spot for this to happen. It eventually did though and the results were lovely. A perfect Sunday morning breakfast with a nice cup of coffee.
So here we go for the last time:
For the dough: 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting 50g caster sugar 7g salt 7g fast-action yeast 40g unsalted butter, softened (I used vegan butter) 120ml whole milk (I used soya milk) 1 egg, beaten, to wash (I used soya milk)
For the lemon curd: juice and finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon 50g caster sugar 25g unsalted butter 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk
I used the following ingredients and followed a method I had used before:
100 ml lemon juice (fresh, not from concentrate)
100g granulated sugar
30 ml soya milk
35g vegan spread
For the filling: 150g sultanas
To decorate: 200g icing sugar (I used 100g and less water) finely grated zest of 1 lemon 6 glacé cherries, halved
The lemon curd
To make the vegan lemon curd
-Whisk up the cornflower and water to make a smooth paste in a saucepan.
-Add the sugar and lemon juice and continue to whisk.
-Heat on a medium heat to dissolve the sugar.
-When the mixture has thickened (it will look a little like wallpaper paste!) add the spread and soya milk and turn the heat down.
-Stir until everything is mixed and melted then remove from the heat.
-Pour the lemon curd in a jar and leave to set in the fridge.
(The recipe I used was twice what was needed but now I have a little left over for on toast!)
Assembly and baking
Tips based on my experience:
-I mentioned that this was an easy recipe. I did have to redo my dough, however, as I managed to use yeast from a tin that was quite old and it just did not prove initially. As the proving process is a long one, save yourself some time and make sure your yeast isn't one that's been lurking in the cupboard too long!
-I used less icing sugar mixture and piped it on rather than dipping the buns in the icing sugar, I think they look a lot nicer this way and they are sweet enough with half of the mixture on. I still used the full amount of lemon zest which gave it a real zing!
-No more advice really. This recipe was easy to follow and I imagine it is open to a bit of playing with in regards to flavours. You could use different fruit and different jams. Maybe add nuts?
This was a time consuming but easy recipe. Not as cakey as the other recipes have been so a nice change. Much less washing up than in previous challenges and much more sitting down with a brew and a book time rather than hours of hands on multitasking. The flavours were delicious: sweet but the lemon balanced this out to make it just right. I would make these again for sure.
It feels like an achievement to make it to the end. When I saw that eight layered cake half way through the process I thought that I would likely not reach the end but it has been fun and it has taught me a lot. Thank you to those who have read all of the blogs in this series and commented both online and in the shop. It has really helped motivate me to continue. Thank you also to my taste testers who have worked tirelessly these past weeks eating cakes and pastries for me! Well done to all of the contestants on Bake Off too. They really have been an inspiration!