So as some of you may know, and some of you may not, and some of you may not care, I've entered to the Great British Bake Off 2014. I even got through to the phone interview round! But I totally freaked out when they called me ("what?! You want to talk to me?! Yes I can talk about baking I love cakes I want to eat cakes all day I've been baking for 7 years my parents don't like cake but it's okay because people at work do did I mention I love cakes wowweeee!" "Erm, thanks Xinmei".) Paul and Mary, at the very least I hope you'd be proud of these chelsea buns. (You can find the recipe here, or below.) So these are a twist on the normal cinnamon and raisin chelsea buns in that it's got a bunch of mixed fruit on it to spice things up a bit. Speaking of spice, you could try it with mulled wine mulling syrup! That would be interesting, and totally yummy. It's the first time I've tried making these and I wanted to practise more bread based baking. They are easier to make than they look, it's just a case of waiting around for the bread dough to rise and rolling it together with the fruit inside. The hardest bit is trying not to eat all of the fruit before it goes into the oven :) I got excited and many close up shots. Trusty mixer to the rescue again! Waiting for the dough to rise... (cover with some cling film and a damp clean cloth, or ditch the cling film if you're confident the cloth is clean... which living with housemates you can never be sure...) Roly poly holy schmoly =O See that line ranger fighter his corner over there?? Poor guy. "Nobody puts baby in the corner!!" But I digress. After you cut the rolled up dough into slices like the photo above, you're supposed to let the dough rise for another 30 minutes or so. Mine didn't move very much though, I hope you have more luck with yours. Ta da! Again, these are easier to make than it seems but look very pretty and is quite impressive for an afternoon tea (or breakfast mmmmmm). Thanks Paul! p.s. I'm linking these to Javelin Warrior's Made With Love Mondays - which is a recurring series to show culinary things made entirely from scratch. I think it's a great concept, no transfats or cans for me today! p.p.s. I'm also linking my buns (hehe) to Calendar Cakes hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes, for January's "If It Makes You Happy". These make me VERY happy. I'm happy I tried them for the first time and they came out ok, I'm happy that I got to give some to my friends and they were happy and I was happy that they were happy and it all went a bit circular after that but I think I've made my point. Happy! Paul Hollywood’s Chelsea Buns From the Great British Bake Off Takes 1-2 hours, including dough rising time For the buns 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting 1 tsp salt 1 x 7g sachet fast-acting yeast 300ml/10fl oz milk 40g/1½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin 1 free-range egg vegetable oil, for greasing For the filling 25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted 1 orange, zest only, grated 75g/2½oz soft brown sugar 2 tsp ground cinnamon 100g/3½oz dried cranberries 100g/3½oz sultanas 100g/3½oz dried apricots To finish 1 heaped tbsp apricot jam 200g/7oz icing sugar, sifted 1 orange, zest only, grated Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast. Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter is melted and the mixture is lukewarm. Pour into the flour mixture, add the egg and stir thoroughly until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well for five minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to rise, covered with a damp tea towel, for one hour or until doubled in size. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle about 30x20cm/12x8in. Brush all over with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the orange zest over the buttered surface, followed by the sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit. Tack down the long side of the dough rectangle nearest to you by pressing it down onto the work surface with your thumb. Roll the opposite long side of the dough towards you quite tightly, until the roll is complete and tight. With a sharp knife cut into 10 4cm/1¾in thick rounds. Grease a deep roasting tin or baking tray thoroughly with butter. Place the buns, cut side up, into the greased baking tray leaving about 1cm/½in of space between each one. You want them to be close enough so that when they rise further and then bake, they will bake with their sides touching. They can then be pulled apart and you get a lovely soft edge. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. When the buns are ready, put them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown. Check after 15 minutes or so and cover the buns with foil if they are getting too brown. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool slightly before transferring them from the tin to a cooling rack. Melt the jam in a small saucepan with a splash of water until smooth. Brush the jam over the buns to glaze and allow to cool. Mix together the icing sugar, orange zest and two tablespoons water. Drizzle the icing over the cooled buns and allow to set before serving.