Thursday, 20 August 2015

Homemade Cinnamon + Walnut Swirls | food

When a spicy chill cuts through the air, and the aroma of warm vanilla wafts from the open kitchen door, enveloping you in a big bear hug, you know that sweater weather has arrived at last and it is finally socially acceptable to snuggle down with a creamy mug of hot cocoa to yet another replay of Friends (not that I haven't spent my whole summer doing just that).

And what could be better than settling down to watch Friends with a mahoosive mug of chocolate in one hand, a blanket in the other?

Answer: settling down to watch Friends with a mahoosive mug of chocolate in one hand, a dish of home baked cinnamon swirls in the other, gazing at the cakes as their warmth teases the butter into tiny golden rivers. Basically heaven, amirite (or amirite)?

Please excuse the ridiculous length of this blogpost, I'm kind of a perfectionist! Enjoy! 


for the pillowy dough
  • 3 1/2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1/5 cup of coconut sugar (let's keep things healthy, ok?)
  • 3/4 block of unsalted butter (because salt and cinnamon just don't work)
  • 1/4oz fresh yeast (this makes things interesting)
  • 2/3 cup of milk (I used full-fat because ha YOLO, but you can use whatever type you like)
  • 4 eggs 
for the sticky, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth filling
  • 1 cup of roughly-chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (I'm in love with the coco)
  • As much cinnamon as you desire (aka A LOT)
  • 1/2 a cup of agave nectar (optional)
for the golden topping
  • 1 egg
  • A little bit of milk (go freestyle here)
  • A couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • A few tablespoons of coconut sugar
  • A few tablespoons of cinnamon and allspice

How to make this magical badboy:

  •  Put the flour, sugar and diced butter into a bowl and roll up your sleeves 'cause you're making breadcrumbs
  • Sprinkle a shimmer of sugar (such alliteration, oh my) over the yeast to activate it and whisk it into the milk, followed by the eggs. Dollop that into the dry ingredients
  • Mix well (who needs a gym when you can mix by hand? #gains)
  • Knead the dough well for 10-15 minutes, making sure NOT to add any extra flour. The mixture may resemble something from Shrek's swamp at first but stick at it and soon it will improve, I promise
  • Gently plop the dough into a lightly-buttered bowl, cover it with a tea-towel and leave it sit for 1 hour in a warm, dry place (quite a challenge, as it is autumn)
  • Make the filling by crushing all of the dry ingredients and combining them with the agave nectar (if you have decided to use that)
  • Once the dough is as soft as a baby's stomach (too weird?), cut it in half and roll each piece out well until they form rectangles
  • Dust the filling over each sheet and roll in with a rolling pin 
  • Then tightly roll each slab by hand until they look like cool logs
  • Cut each log into wacky-looking snails and lay them onto a greased baking tray
  • To make the topping, mix all ingredients together. Using a brush, coat the snails with it. Dust with extra cinnamon and crushed nuts of your choice
  • Preheat your oven to a high heat (I set it to gas mark 5) and let your little snails rest for 30 mins before popping them into the oven for yet another 30 mins
  • Eat hot (because who lets baked goodies cool, anyway?)

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