I feel so happy to say goodbye to Winter and welcome the arrival of Spring with open arms. It's been a while since my last post but I have good reasons for it. We bought our first home in London. I'm still getting used to the idea that we are home owners. Our spare time has been preoccupied with decorating, moving, unpacking and buying furniture and home accessories. All this has been taking place whilst I'm in my third trimester of my pregnancy.
I have also been busy with other projects.
Did you see these Irish Cream Chocolate Brownies and Irish Potato Cake recipes I contributed for Tastebook?
I'm so pleased to announce that I am now a contributor to Stocksy. I have admired their portfolio of stock artwork for some time and was genuinely honoured when they asked me to become a contributor. You can see more of my food and lifestyle photographs available for license here.
You can also find some of my food photographs available for licensing through Photocuisine. I was equally thrilled when they asked me to become a contributor recently and you can find my photographs on my profile here.
I did a photo shoot for Minimal Affair - a decoration design studio based in London, offering bespoke decorations and balloons for any occasion. I had so much fun shooting with Amalie and her balloons. This setting was just gorgeous.
I spent another day shooting in the Shoreditch studio of Briggs & Shears - a London based leather and accessories company. I have so much admiration and respect for the beautiful craftsmanship and hard work that goes into creating their high quality products like this piece.
In the meantime, I made these Mocha Hot Cross buns for the Easter weekend. These are a reminder and re-creation of the ones I used to buy at Easter time when I lived in Sydney. The next time I write my next post, I will have a bundle of joy with me to share more good news with you.
Wishing you all a safe and happy Easter!
Makes 8 hot cross buns
Recipe was adapted from BBC Good Food
FOR THE BUNS
400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
50g caster sugar
7g sachet dried yeast
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
30g instant coffee
1 medium egg, beaten
100g chocolate chip cookies (optional)
FOR THE CROSS
50g plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water
In a large bowl, mix together the strong white bread flour, caster sugar, yeast, cinnamon, mixed spice and cocoa powder.
Warm the milk with the instant coffee and butter in a pot. Ensure the butter is melted, the instant coffee mixed through but do not boil the milk. Add the milk mixture and egg to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Flour a work surface and stretch and knead the dough for 10 mins. Place in a clean, lightly greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to prove for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Tip the dough out of the bowl and you can add chocolate chips to the dough at this stage if you are using. Divide and roll the dough into 8 equal balls. Place them in a rectangle baking tin or tray lined with baking paper. Ensure the balls are not touching and there is room for them to rise again. Cover the tin with a tea towel and allow to prove for another 20-30mins, or until doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF/Gas Mark 6.
To make the paste for the cross on the buns, combine the plain flour, caster sugar and water. It should be a thick paste and if too runny then add more flour. Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe the crosses over the buns. Bake the hot cross buns for 20 mins.
If you prefer to add a glaze over the buns, microwave 2 tbsp apricot jam in a microwave for 30 seconds and brush it over the buns.