Learn how to create the classic Chelsea Bun, infused with the flavours of sweet and spicy from the Chai tea, paired with cardamom to give warmth to the dessert.
Start by making the dough:
- In a small pan add the milk and butter and gently heat until the butter is melted. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, you want it to be lukewarm. In a stand mixer add the strong white flour, yeast, caster sugar, cardamom, and Maldon salt, mix this together so the sugar and spices are mixed well in the flour. Then make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the beaten egg along with the milk and butter mixture. Then turn the stand mixer onto low and mix. Using the dough hook attachment on the stand mixer, continue to mix and knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes until smooth, supple and elastic.
- Cover the bowl in cling film and leave the bowl in warm place for approximately 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
While the dough is proving, you can make the filling:
- In a large bowl mix together the softened butter with the light brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Grease a 20 x 30cm baking tin with some of the softened butter.
- When the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out with your first. Then, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out till its roughly 30 x 50cm. Leaving a space along one of the long edges to start your rolling, spread the spiced butter filling across the rest of the dough and smooth it out. Then sprinkle evenly across the top of this with the currants and dried cranberries, using your hands to press them in slightly to the dough.
- Using the long board you have kept clean, tightly tuck this under and roll the dough until you have a neat spiral with the filling. Once rolled, use a sharp knife to trim off the messy ends, and then cut into 12 equal rolls. Then place the rolls, spiral side up, in the greased baking tin with a 1cm gap between them. Loosely cover the tray with cling film and allow them to prove for a second time in a warm place for 30 minutes until well risen again.
Whilst the buns are proving preheat the oven to 180c.
- When the buns have risen and doubled again, they are ready to bake. Place them in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and baked through. While they are baking, place the 2 tbsp golden caster in a small bowl and add a tbsp of boiling water, stir until the sugar has dissolved and then set aside to cool. Remove from the oven and then brush all over with the caster sugar syrup, then allow the buns to cool.
- For the final icing garnish, mix together the icing sugar with the spices. Then add 2 – 3 tbsp of water until it is smooth but with a good drizzle consistency. Place the icing into a small piping bag and snip off the end. Pipe and drizzle the buns with the icing in a zig zag pattern.