I had one of those ear worms happening on baking day this week. It wasn't an annoying tune, it was an upbeat number from the 1960s, and I found myself happily bopping around the kitchen. Some of you might remember the song in question. It was originally recorded by The Drifters and the chorus was: "Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey, I'll never, ever let you go."
Actually, a cover by The Searchers, a Merseybeat band, was number one on the UK charts in 1963. I think I prefer their version because that's the one my older siblings used to play, together with another favourite song of theirs, Needles and Pins.
On checking Wikipedia, it seems that Sweets for My Sweet has never gone out of vogue, with remakes by various artists across the years - including 1966 (The McCoys, and also Don and the Goodtimes), 1968 (Cashman Pistilli and West), 1969 (Sweet Inspirations), 1977 (Tina Charles), 1979 (Tony Orlando); 1993 (Neil Diamond), 1994 (CJ Lewis), 1995 (Brian Wilson) and 2004 (The Preluders).
Methinks it's a song that perfectly suits this recipe for Scandi-style cardamom scrolls with vanilla maple buttercream. (Scroll down to listen). That song, and these sweet little buns, are just the ticket for Valentine's Day. ❤
SCANDI CARDAMOM SCROLLS*
300g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
45g unsalted butter, softened
80ml lukewarm milk (add a little more if the dough seems too firm)
1 teaspoon dried yeast
2 free-range eggs (one for the dough, one for the filling and glazing)
45g vanilla-infused caster sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
icing sugar or vanilla sugar, for dusting, optional (if not icing)
Combine the warmed milk, dried yeast and one teaspoon of the caster sugar in a small Pyrex jug and work the mixture up with a teaspoon. Leave to rise on a sunny windowsill or warm corner of the kitchen.
To make the dough, place TWO THIRDS of the flour, together with the salt and cardamom, in a bowl. Rub in the butter and make a well in the centre. Add the milk/yeast mixture and ONE egg, and mix gradually, adding the remaining flour little by little, until a smooth, slightly sticky, dough forms. Knead the dough into a ball. Place it back into the bowl, cover and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes. Now, knead the dough once again until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and leave it to rise in a warm place, away from draughts, for an hour or two.
When you are ready to make the scrolls, grease a 9-inch cake or baking tin* with butter. Meanwhile, lightly whisk the second egg and set it aside. Then, knock back the dough and transfer it to a lightly flour bench top or board. Roll the dough out to a rectangle shape, about 12 x 5 inches.
Brush the dough with most of the beaten egg, sprinkle the caster sugar and cinnamon evenly over the dough, followed by the raisins. Roll up lengthways, much as you would a Swiss roll. With a sharp knife, cut the roll in half through the middle and then cut each into six scrolls around 1/2-inch (or so) thick.
Place the scrolls into the greased cake tin and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place, free from draughts, for about an hour. Preheat your oven to 200 deg C. Brush the scrolls with any remaining beaten egg, then place the tin into the oven, lowering the temperature to 180 deg C. Bake the scrolls for 15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
If you are not going to ice the scrolls, brush with a little butter while they are still warm, and dust with icing sugar. Otherwise, drizzle over the vanilla maple buttercream while the buns are still slightly warm. Makes one dozen. The scrolls are best eaten on the day of baking. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and warm them in a microwave briefly before serving. Preparation time: allow three or four hours.
VANILLA MAPLE BUTTERCREAM
11/2 cups pure icing sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
1 teaspoon milk
To make the icing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl, beat until smooth and then chill in a blast chiller or pop into the freezer to allow the mixture to set slightly. Drizzle over the scrolls once they have cooled slightly.
To make the dough in the Tefal Cuisine Companion, place the milk and yeast into the bowl with the kneading/crushing blade and heat at 35 deg on speed 5 for 3 minutes. Then add the flour, butter, one egg, a teaspoon of sugar and the cardamom. Launch the P2 pastry program, allowing for the program to run through the additional 40 minutes. Then, remove the dough from the bowl (taking care not to cut yourself on the blade), work it by hand into a smooth ball. Place it into a bowl, cover and leave to rest. Follow the recipe above from there.
* Notes: I bake my scrolls in a heart-shaped ceramic dish, but a 23cm cake tin also works perfectly. My recipe was originally based on one by Annabel Crabb in her book, Special Delivery. However, it didn't work so well for me, so I came up with my own, including the buttercream. It's been triple-tested and works. Enjoy. ❤
And so that you, too, can dance around the kitchen as you bake, The Searchers from 1963 at the BBC.
What say you, dear readers? Do you remember this song? And do you ever bop around the kitchen?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.