When I first arrived in New Zealand, I began looking for a recipe book of New Zealand recipes, preferably one categorised by seasons because as I’ve mentioned previously, I was having difficulties convincing myself that apricots in February were totally seasonal. However, this wasn’t quite as straightforward as I’d expected and even the guy in the bookshop that I found that specialises entirely in cookbooks (uh-oh…) said that there weren’t really many books like that around. However, apparently there is a big baking tradition, and judging by most of the recipes, this seems to have been brought over by British settlers. So I walked out of the aforementioned bookshop with A Treasury of New Zealand Baking (after paying, obviously), which is made up of recipes by a whole host of the top Kiwi chefs, bakers and food writers, and there’s a range of recipes for all occasions, importantly using ingredients and fruits available here. I hadn’t baked from this book yet, so I picked it for this month’s Random Recipes, the theme of which was “If I knew you were coming…” which meant we had to bake something to celebrate the 2nd birthday of Belleau Kitchen. Happy blog-birthday, Dom!
The random number button on my trusty calculator referred me to page 200, which were the variations on a scone recipe. I decided to go for the cinnamon pinwheels option, because, well, they sounded delicious. I’ve never made scones before – to be honest, they’ve always intimidated me a little (a lot). Scones just seem to be one of those baked goods that are straightforward, but can go wrong so easily, and if you do them wrong, they can turn out inedible. So I was a little daunted at trying this recipe out, but rules are rules, so I got on with it…
I decided to throw some raisins in, so they turned into cinnamon and raisin pinwheels, and they turned out rather tasty. I was expecting them to rise a little more than they did, but I think this might have been because I don’t quite have the “lightness of touch” required for scone-making. I’m sure it’s a skill I just need to practice… Don’t be surprised if scone recipes start popping up on Sharky Oven Gloves left, right and centre (and if you never see another scone recipe again… you’ll know that the “lightness of touch” skill is still eluding me). I’m also entering these into this month’s Breakfast Club, being hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families, who happens to be a Kiwi living in the UK (and I’m sure she can correct me if I’ve got the Kiwi food scene completely wrong!). She chose “Sweet treats and pastries” as the theme – these might not quite count as a pastry, but they definitely count as a sweet treat!
Cinnamon & raisin pinwheels
Makes 12-14 pinwheels
Adapted from A Treasury of New Zealand Baking
These make a delicious breakfast, although they do take a little bit of time to put together. You can make them the evening before and they’ll keep if wrapped well. It is important to work these lightly or they will lose their lightness. They didn’t rise quite as much as I was expecting, but I think that might be because I wasn’t quite as gentle with the dough as I should have been – they were still delectable though!
6 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
375g all-purpose flour
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp icing sugar
Pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter, cold
300g unsweetened natural yoghurt
Milk, to brush
1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 240°C/fan oven 220°C.
2. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a little ramekin. Set aside.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, icing sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir together. Dice the cold butter and rub into the flour mixture using your fingertips. Stir in the raisins.
4. Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl. Add the yoghurt and mix together, before pouring into the dry ingredients and stir with a fork to bring the dough together into a soft, sticky dough (add a splash of milk if the mixture is too dry, but it will get stickier as you roll it).
5. Turn out onto a floured work surface and pull the dough together quickly so that it is soft and smooth. Lightly roll out into a rectangle of about 20 x 40 cm and 1cm thickness. Brush the dough with a little bit of milk. Keep aside about 3 tbsp of the cinnamon sugar mix and sprinkle the rest evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up from the long side and gently pressure it to make it an even thickness along the roll. Cut into 2.5cm slices, and place cut side up on the prepared baking tray, leaving about 2cm between each pinwheel.
6. Brush the tops with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 12-14 mins or until risen and golden.