I'm not normally the type of person who gets obsessed with television shows. Actually, that‘s a lie, I was a huge Sex and the City fan and have all the Buffy and Angel series on DVD! However, there hasn’t been any in a while that I’ve obsessed over, until now that is.
Made in Chelsea was shown on E4 (a UK “freeview” channel) a few months ago. Similar to the American show The Hills, it’s a “reality drama” about the young socialites of London’s most exclusive area, Chelsea. As E4 describes it, “beyond the posh accents, fast cars and polo parties, life isn't all champagne and canapés. See the real-life rivalries and relationships that set tongues wagging and phones beeping behind closed doors on the Kings Road.”
So in celebration of South-West London’s socially elite I decided to make these delicious Chelsea Buns. As English and traditional as the cast themselves, these buns are sweet and decadent. Serve for afternoon tea with your most well-to-do friends whilst sipping copious amounts of Earl Grey…fabulous darling!
Find out more and watch episodes of Made in Chelsea at www.e4.com/chelsea
Made in Chelsea Buns
500g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mixed spice
50g unsalted butter
1 large egg
50g caster sugar
7g dried active yeast
a little sunflower oil
3tbsp orange juice
100g soft brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
25g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
Place the flour, salt and mixed spice in a large bowl, mix lightly, make a well in the centre and leave to one side.
Put the milk and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and beat the egg, sugar and yeast into the milk mixture.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and beat with a knife to make a sticky, soft dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 10 minutes.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough will be very sticky so add more oil in small amounts as and when needed, also oil your hands to prevent sticking. Lightly grease a bowl with sunflower oil, place the dough in the bowl and turn it until it is lightly covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 40 minutes to 1 hour to allow the dough to rise.
Meanwhile, place the sultanas in a small bowl and pour over the orange juice, leave to one side to allow the sultanas to soak up the juice.
Line a large square or round tin (or 2 smaller tins) with baking paper, grease lightly.
When the dough is ready lightly flour a surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 0.5cm thick. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of the dough with the melted butter. In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the dough until coated. Drain any remaining moisture from the sultanas and spread evenly over the dough.
Roll the dough into a tight cylinder shape and cut into 3-4cm wide slices, you‘ll have about 9-10 buns.. Place the slices, cut side up, in the prepared tin (or tins) leaving a little space between them. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30-40 minutes, meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
Mix the milk and sugar together and glaze over the buns with the pastry brush. Place the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Belle’s Top Tip
These buns take a lot of time, although they’re definitely worth it! Try and prepare as much of the ingredients as you can in advance and maybe make them the day before and store in an airtight container overnight.