At 10pm tonight the Binkys, Cheskas and Proudlocks of London will be hitting our screens again with the new season of Made In Chelsea. But there’s something funny about tonight’s episode – it’s barely in Chelsea at all. The Sloanes have made it out of Kensington, and have jetted off to St Tropez instead.
This isn’t unusual for this new breed of Chelsea-ites, though. The times are a-changing. Look at the cast a little closer, and you may notice the absence of tweed, blue blood breeding and poor dentistry. Their tans are a little too deep, their teeth a little too white, their clothes a little too well cut. Because this new generation of Chelsea kids are far more Eurotrash than Old Etonian.
So when we were thinking about tonight’s TV Dinner we decided to steer away from the traditional Eton Mess, and came up with a new take on the Chelsea Bun instead. We’ve ditched the candied fruit, and have taken inspiration from Swedish kardemummabullar which uses exotic cardamom flavours. Because we suspect the Made in Chelsea crowd weren’t really ‘Made in Chelsea’ at all – but ‘made’ in far flung corners of the world, and brought up on the ski slopes of Zermatt, the beaches of St Barts and yachts of Biarritz. So it’s only appropriate that this ‘Chelsea bun’ is about as ‘Chelsea’ as they are.
White Chocolate and Cardamom Not-So-Chelsea Buns Makes 14-16
500g strong white bread flour 10g instant yeast ½ tsp fine salt 1 tsp ground cardamom 175ml milk 2 medium eggs 125g unsalted butter, softened 65g caster sugar
For the filling 50g unsalted butter 25g caster sugar 100g white chocolate pieces 1 tsp ground cardamom
For the glaze 100ml milk 100g caster sugar
1. Mix together the flour, yeast, salt, and ground cardamom. Add the butter in small chunks, and use your fingers to gently rub it into the flour.
2. Whisk together the milk and eggs, and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir so everything is evenly incorporated, and then use your hands to pull together to form a ball of dough. It might feel a little wet – this is fine.
3. If you have a stand mixer use a dough hook to knead it on a slow setting for 7 minutes. Otherwise, knead it by hand, using a little vegetable oil to coat your hands and the work surface. After 10 minutes it should be lovely and smooth and no longer sticky.
4. Place the dough back in the mixing bowl, and cover with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for around an hour. If it’s left somewhere quite cool, this might even take 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has roughly doubled in size – and feels soft and very slightly spongy if you pull up a corner and look underneath.
5. Roll out the dough into a large square, roughly 1cm thick. Melt half the 50g of butter for the filling, and brush over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle over the caster sugar, white chocolate pieces and ground cardamom.
6. Roll up into a doughy log. Use a very sharp knife to cut it at 2cm intervals.
7. Place the little rounds – which now should look like spirals – onto a high sided baking tin, lined with baking parchment. Roasting tins are perfect for this. The rounds can just be touching.
8. Melt the remaining half of the 50g of butter, and brush the tops of each round. Cover with cling film, and leave to rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 220C.
8. Cook the buns at 220C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
9. While the buns are cooking, measure out milk and caster sugar for the glaze into a sauce pan. Heat gently – making sure you watch the mixture, as milk can boil over very easily. Simmer until syrupy. This will take around 10 minutes.
10. Take the buns out of the oven. While still hot, brush the buns with the milk-sugar glaze. Leave to cool, or eat straight from the tin.