Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Fictional Food Adventure: Making Paddington's Favourite Marmalade Buns (Cakes).

Paddington loves Marmalade, and so do I. When I went to make Paddington's favourite marmalade buns just before Christmas, I had not yet made my own marmalade. So I selected a cute little jar from the shelf which I was given by a lady who runs a stall at our local farmers' market. It is VERY GOOD marmalade, and has a subtle warmth from some added ginger. 

I launched into making these buns one bright morning in late December, as I was due to visit a friend in the afternoon and wanted to take the buns to share. (Now that I know how nice they are, I wish I hadn't - they were the nicest thing I think I've ever baked!)

I went about it all wrong, and although I checked the recipe as I went along, I was a bit careless about the order of ingredients, and made assumptions based on other cake recipes, so added certain things too early, which made it harder to add the other parts. It was also quite a battle to cream the butter and sugar as the butter wasn't soft enough and I had jelly-like arms by the end of it. Anyway, in the end, everything was in, and the batter was smooth and full of air, so does it really matter? If we had a food mixer I'd have shoved it all in together anyway. Our electric whisk is usually quite good at cake mix, but not the initial stages of butter beating. And there's something about a wooden spoon, isn't there?

I'd gone out to buy some large paper muffin cases as we don't ever have these, and joyously plopped the mixture in. While they baked I got on with the icing, which is just icing sugar and lemon juice. The recipe said to make it thick, to spread generously over the top of each bun, but I really don't get much pleasure from lots of icing so I made it dribbly so I could just drizzle a little over each one. I rather enjoyed that part, and thought they were very pretty and appealing. I did try one 'naked' straight from the oven,
with a cuppa, and it was such a treat. I was so thrilled to have baked something so cosily delicious and soft and perfect. It really felt like a wonderful triumph. 

I took them off to my friend's house where we devoured them in front of a cheery log fire, and her daughter ate every last crumb of hers, right down to and including, the paper case. As she perched there, grinning and chewing, her Mum assured me that she used to do the same with cake cases and was very surprised that I had never done so. Who's weird here, me or her?

Having tried them now with and without the icing, I have to say the icing really complimented the tangy cake, and was just the right amount not to overpower it. 

This is a recipe I am keeping and will relish making again and again. I am about to make some grapefruit marmalade so it might be interesting to try it in these buns. Yummers. 

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