My Afternoon Tease debut in Cambridge…

This weekend was a momentous one for me…I ran my first ‘Afternoon Tease’ cake stall at the Mill Road Winter Fair in Cambridge. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work, 15 solid hours of baking, quite a few sleepless nights and endless list writing, but I managed to pull this out of the bag…

I chose to make my favourite selection of goodies that I’ve blogged over the last year and a half, here…coconut macaroonsbanana pecan fudge loaf,chocolate orange cupcakeslebkuchensticky lime and coconut drizzle loafsticky toffee cupcakeschocolate brownies.

In the calm before the storm, I nervously wondered whether the good people of Cambridge would actually buy my cakes…

I’m very chuffed to say that everything sold like proverbial ‘hot cakes’ and I was cleared out well before the end of the fair.

One of my bestsellers on the day were the Stollen Buns…

To make them you need…

500g Strong white bread flour

3tbsp light muscovado sugar

7g sachet fast-action yeast

3tsp ground mixed spice

1tsp salt

85g butter

200ml milk

1tbsp black treacle

2tbsp brandy

2 eggs

2tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil

250g mixed sultanas, raisins, peel and glace cherries (I used Sainsburys Taste the Difference Armagnac soaked fruit)

Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

400g marzipan

A handful of flaked almonds

For the syrup…

50g icing sugar, sifted

4tbsp hot water

This might sound like it’s going to be a long winded, tricky recipe but although you do need to set aside some time for letting it rise etc, it’s pretty low maintenance and I promise you…it’s worth it!

Mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, spice and salt in a large bowl. Rub the butter in with your finger tips until it has the consistency of crumbs and there aren’t any lumps of butter left.

The recipe I was using said to warm the milk, treacle and brandy in a saucepan, making sure it’s warm, not hot before adding 1 beaten egg and the oil. However, as I was using fruit already soaked in Armagnac, I omitted the brandy at this stage.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and leave to one side for 10 minutes before giving it a quick knead on a floured surface. Pop it back in the bowl, cover it and leave it to rise until it has doubled in size.

Now roll the dough out to A4 size, scatter over the dried fruits and zests and knead until they are evenly distributed through your dough. Be prepared for raisins to fling themselves liberally around your kitchen! 🙂

Roll the dough into an 50 x 15cm oblong and dampen around the edges with some water…

Roll the marzipan into a 50cm long sausage and place along the middle of your dough. Roll the dough around it and pinch the final edge to seal it so that your buns don’t unravel in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Slice the dough sausage into 14, discarding the very end pieces. Place your slices on a couple of baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper, with plenty of space between them…

Re-cover them and leave them to rise until plump and pillowy.

Beat the remaining egg with 1tbsp milk and use to glaze the buns. Finally, sprinkle them with flaked almonds and then put them in the oven for 15 minutes.

Whilst they’re cooking mix the icing sugar with hot water to make the syrup. Paint this over them as soon as you take them out of the oven…

Then make a cup of tea and then sit down an savour!

I really enjoyed being part of such a lovely event, meeting so many nice people and receiving some great comments and feedback. Cambridge hasn’t seen the last of the ‘Afternoon Tease’…I’ll be back!

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