I made these cardamom buns yesterday. They’re a bit like a Danish pastry – twirls of enriched pastry with a filling. In the case of these, the main flavours are nutmeg and cardamom. I use cardamom when cooking rice and also in curries – but rarely find call for it in anything else. There is definitely a place for it in sweet foods though! These buns have a lovely, exotic and aromatic taste.

I made these using a recipe found at London Eats blog.

The Recipe

To make cardamom buns (makes 12):

For the dough:

• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 50g sugar
• 60g butter
• 150ml milk, scalded and cooled
• 1 egg
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace
• 325g strong white flour

First thing – whisk the egg and divide in two. You need half for the dough, and half for the glaze.

If using a bread machine: put one portion of the egg and the rest of the ingredients into the mixing bowl. Run the “dough” cycle. Simples!

If making by hand: put the flour and butter into a bowl, and rub with your fingers until the butter has been incorporated. Fold in the salt, sugar, nutmeg/mace and yeast. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and one portion of the egg, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon, then work with your hands until you have a smooth, stretchy, silky dough (at least 5 minutes). Leave the dough a warm place for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Knock back and knead again for 2-3 minutes.

Once the dough is ready, turn it onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle until the dough is about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick. Spread with the filling, then roll up into a sausage. Use a sharp knife to cut into 12 slices.

Lay each slice, cut face up, on a bun case. Cover with cling film or a damp tea cloth and leave to rise for at least an hour until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Take the remaining egg (remember that?) and mix with a tablespoon of water. Brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake the buns for about 10-12 minutes until golden.

When done, remove from the oven and cover with a clean tea-towel (this will catch the steam and keep the buns soft).

For the filling:

• 60g butter, soft
• 60g caster sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground cardamom

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

My Observations

The recipe is straight-forward and easy to follow. However, the dough took much longer than I expected to rise. At least 2 hrs for the first rise. Not sure why this is as I make bread every week using fast acting yeast and the dough has usually doubled in size after 45 minutes. I don’t have much experience with enriched doughs, though. I thought it may be because the temps have dropped – but the heating is on here. Anyway, it wasn’t a problem.

I ground up two whole teaspoons of green cardamom pods (including the husk, which is edible, though a bit ‘fibrous’ if not ground up). The scent coming from the grinder was amazing. I don’t have ‘pearl sugar’ so just sprinkled over some granulated sugar.

Variations I can think of to the recipe include maybe adding some pistachios to the filling, and possibly if feeling really indulgent, glazing the buns, perhaps with an apricot jam (though they don’t really need it).

I would also consider making them on a baking sheet next time, rather than a muffin tray, in a flatter, more traditional Danish pastry style. But the smaller buns are very nice and probably a better size.

Inspiration

This recipe is from London Eats blog, here.

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Cardamom Buns

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