Sunday, 10 December 2017

Chocolate, Clementine and Ginger Buns

It's nearly Christmas break. Woooooo! That means having absolutely no uni work to do (I hope), plenty of lie ins which lead into days spent doing nothing constructive whatsoever. apart from stuffing your face with chocolate and watching endless Christmas movies. Don't you just love this time of year?! 

I'm really relieved the end is in sight for this semester. It's been busy and hectic to say the least and I can't wait to do some much needed Christmas baking, listen to a bit of BublĂ© and just de-stress with family and friends. 

It was a proper snow day today and luckily I'd planned to make these lovely buns a few days before meaning I'd already bought the ingredients. So even though I couldn't make it to the supermarket for my weekly food shop today, a bit unfortunate as I literally had no fresh food at all, freezer food here we come...(it was actually fine because who cares when you can just live off these chocolate orange and ginger buns for the whole day!) Safe to say I was very popular with my flat mates, greeting them this morning with warm pastries straight outta the oven. 

I was going for festive vibes with the classic flavors of chocolate orange (clementine) and ginger with a hint of cinnamon for good measure. They offer something different from the usual mince pies, gingerbread and Christmas pudding which I think everyone tires of quite easily once you get to about the halfway mark in December. They'd make the perfect Christmas day breakfast treat and you could make these in advance then freeze them like I've done, meaning the morning itself will be relaxed and you'll be opening up your presents to the glorious freshly baked pastry smell wafting through your home. BUT equally, if your ever just in the mood for some hot gooey chocolate pastry goodness (which is a frequent occasion in my life) all you need to do is brush with a little beaten egg and bake to golden puffy layers of perfection.

Chocolate, Clementine and Ginger Buns

Makes 18 buns 


plain flour for dusting
750g ready rolled puff pastry (2 x 375g sheet)
1 egg, beaten
Ground Cinnamon, to sprinkle
300g (about 1 cup) chocolate hazelnut spread
2 clementines (juice from 1 ½ and zest from 2)
50g crystallized ginger, finely chopped


Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Lay out your first pastry sheet and brush some of the beaten egg all over. Sprinkle a light covering of cinnamon over the pastry. 

Put the chocolate spread into a small bowl with the juice and zest from the clementines, mix all together and if it's too thick, microwave for 20 seconds on high to loosen the mixture. 

Spread half the chocolate orange mixture onto the pastry sheet, covering it all over. Sprinkle half of the chopped crystallized ginger evenly all over the pastry sheet. 

Fold the pastry in half towards you and pinch the edges to seal. Roll out the folded pastry to make it thinner, creating a sealed layer of chocolate in between the pastry. Then cut into 9 sized equal strips (about 4cm wide). 

Take a strip and twist it into a corkscrew shape by holding one end and twisting the other. Wrap the pastry around itself so that you have a flat, twisted spiral. Tuck the end underneath the pastry, squeezing it to stick it. Repeat with the remaining strips. Then repeat the whole process again for the second pastry sheet with the remaining ingredients. 

At this stage the pastries can be frozen on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, and once frozen transfer to freezer bags. To cook, preheat the oven to  200°C/ fan 180°C/ 400°F/ gas 6. Put the pastries on a baking parchment lined baking tray and glaze with more beaten egg. From frozen - cook for 35 minutes or, from fresh - cook for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before eating warm. 

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