Friday, 2 July 2010

Orange & Cardamom Syrup Soaked Brioche Buns - POST FOR LISA

Lisa emailed me a couple of days ago, looking for a small hearts silicone mould. The question was if this mould was going to produce a bun of adequate size to make Valentine Warner's recipe for Orangey Honey Buns.

I'd never heard of the recipe, so went searching for it and also found this one at British Larder. The photos for this one were more inspiring, so I thought I'd have a go and find out. I think the little buns look seriously cute in the mini canelle mould  or larger version of canneles.

The recipe was easy. First of all to make the dough. I started this in the food mixer, but the volume of dough was so little that the foodmixer and dough hook wasn't really working. I therefore got on with the bowl and a wooden spoon.

You can see here that the dough is very loose - almost like a cake batter. Needed a bit more mixing after this, but it wasn't too far away.

Spoon the dough into the silicone moulds to half fill each cell and set aside until doubled in size. The dough made 12 little hearts and 12 little roses.

There is absolutely no requirement to grease or flour your moulds with this recipe.

Silicone moulds are non stick and ever so easy to use. There is however a rule. If the sugar content is really high or greater than the fat content, grease and flour them. If sugar content is low or good bit less than the fat content - you shouldn't need to bother. They work EXACTLY like non stick tins. The same stuff that will stick to a traditional non stick tin will stick to silicone.

I never grease or flour for pastry or bread, chocolate, fudge, brownies etc.. Many cake recipes do need greasing and flouring. Once used to them, you'll be able to look at the recipe ingredients and automatically know if you need to grease them. If it's a really ornate mould with loads of detail and I'm making cakes, I like to grease and flour lightly anyway to make sure I don't damage the detail when releasing.

As these are just small - be careful on cooking time. I put minie in the over for 5 mins, but 4 would have been plenty. To be honest, I don't think the fact they were a little over done spoiled them - given they were to soak in copious amounts of sugar syrup.

Here is the sugar syrup after boiling for 5 mins. Instead of 400ml of water and 100ml of orange juice, I used 300ml water and 200mm juice. There is star anise, cinnamon, cloves and lemon peel in there. To be honest, I think the alchohol used in Valentine Warner's recipe really is needed. These were nice without, but a boozy kick would take them to a different level.

After baking the buns and making the syrup, you put the buns into a 1litre jar sterilised jar and pour in the hot syrup. I used 2 x 500ml jars instead of one big one. Next time, I'd use 3 jars and 50% more syrup, as I wasted about 6 or 7 buns and also cramped too many into each jar. It's AMAZING just how much these little buns swell in the syrup - so don't forget to leave them more expansion room than I did !

The photo above shows theem just bottled. I actually sterilised the jars in my halogen oven whilst I made the syrup and was so easy ! I'll definately use my halogen cooker / oven for sterilising all my jars in future as it's so quick and easy - plus saves putting the normal oven on if I'm only making jam.

After bottling, these little sugary sweet buns have to sit to mature and swell in the syrup for at least 6 hours. By that time, you'll be itching to open them and the syrup level will have dropped about 1/2 way down the jar. These would make a super Christmas gift. VW says that they keep for a month in the fridge. The other recipe says a week. I'd be surprised if they last that long !

Next time I make them, I would :

make 50% more syrup
use 3 x 500ml jars
boil the syrup a minute or two longer to make it a tiny bit thicker
Add a good glug of booze !

Other than that, these were a great success :-)

Sarah-Jane -  - July 2010


  1. It's very good. I like your herts whit syrup

  2. Your Sweet Hearts (I mean the sweet buns you made:)) are awesome!

  3. I made VW's honey buns a few weeks ago using just a dome shaped silicone tray. They are lovely.

    I never knew about when to grease and when not to though, excellent tip.

  4. thank you all for your comments.

    I'm really pleased with how these turned out. I think they'll go down a storm for the Christmas hamper list !

  5. That are soo pretty Sarah! Ive never known or seen buns kept soaked in syrup . Thats amazing. The hearts turned our perfect.

    btw Sarah Im still waiting for your address. Im excited to send the mould and somethign else to you. do let me know your address very very soon. cant wait to mail them!


  6. you wouldn't believe if i say i was on hunt for this recipe, heard so much about it from my friend...can't wait to try...Thanks for the recipe :)

  7. Zurin - have emailed you. The hearts did turn out nicely

    Ananda - I'd never heard of these until the day I made them. You have Lisa to thank. lol


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