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Orangey Honey Buns

(Valentine Warner’s recipe, fiddled with)

Buns

4 tsp caster sugar
150g plain flour
pinch sea salt flakes
1 x 7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
75g butter, slightly softened, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
grated zest 1 orange

Syrup

500g caster sugar
1 orange, rind only, rind cut into long strips
500ml cold water
100g-150g clear honey (mine was a bit weak and feeble, so I upped it to 150g)
4 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
1 tsp orange-flower water

whipped cream, to serve (optional)

Grease the wells of a 12-hole mini muffin tray and mini doughnut tray with Cake release spray.

Mix together the sugar, flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl until well combined. Add half (or 3/4) of the beaten eggs, then whisk using an electric whisk until the mixture is well combined and forms a sticky paste.

Gradually whisk in a little of the remaining beaten egg. When the egg is fully incorporated into the mixture, add 1-2 butter cubes and whisk in until fully incorporated into the mixture.
Whisk the remaining beaten egg and remaining butter cubes into the mixture in alternate turns, until the mixture comes together as a soft dough. It will climb up the beaters repeatedly. Do try not to fling it against the wall.
Add the grated zest and then, using a wooden spoon, beat the dough until smooth.

Divide the dough mixture equally among the wells in the prepared muffin tray. Set aside in a warm place for 50-60 mins, or until the buns have doubled in size and filled the wells in the tray.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

When the buns are swollen, bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until well risen and pale golden-brown. Swap the trays over in the oven after 5 mins. These buns have a real thing about burning. Watch them like a hawk.
Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, for the syrup, heat the sugar, orange rind and cold water in a pan over a low heat, stirring well. When the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil and continue to boil for 5, 7, maybe even 10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened slightly and resembles syrup. Don’t over-think it – it thickens significantly once it’s been in the fridge.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the honey, orange liqueur and orange-flower water, until well combined. Set aside until cooled slightly.

Pack the buns into two 1 litre/1¾ pints sterilised jars. Equally divide the syrup and set aside for 20 minutes, then cover the jar and seal tightly. The buns can be kept in the fridge for up to one month.

www.creamuntilfluffy.co.uk

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