When I was a kid growing up, one of my all-time favourite treats (apart from jelly pies with mock cream, but that’s another story!), was iced buns. Back then, it was basically either what we in NZ (incorrectly) called a Sally Lunn (a large circular bun jam-packed with raisins, topped with thick white icing and shredded coconut) or, if you were particularly lucky, a raspberry iced bun, made with fresh cream and a daub of jam.
And, it’s the latter that I made this weekend. Actually, I got the idea after watching one of my favourite programmes, ‘The Great British Bake Off’ master series, where Paul Hollywood demonstrated what he called his ‘Iced Fingers’.
The recipe, from Paul Hollywood at BBC.co.uk, is super easy, though I found some of the quantities didn’t work for me. For instance, the dough was way too wet so I had to add more flour to make it workable. Also, the icing sugar wasn’t anywhere wet enough, so I had to add quite a bit more water. Not sure why the inaccuracies, but in case it was me, I’ve left the recipe as is. Just bear in mind you may need to adjust the quantities.
Other than that, the only changes I made to the recipe was to add some raspberry powder to the icing mixture to make a raspberry version, and to use raspberry jam instead of strawberry. You can, of course, use whichever flavours float your boat. Oh, and by the way, I halved the recipe and made 7 buns which fed the family perfectly.
I was really stoked with the result – lovely, light and flaky bread paired with freshly whipped cream, raspberry icing and jam… yum. Every bit as good as I remember!
- 500g (1lb 2 oz) strong white flour (I used Italian strong flour)
- 50g (1-3/4 oz) caster sugar (super fine sugar)
- 40g (1-1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 free-range eggs
- 2 x 7g (1/4 oz) sachets instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 150ml (5fl oz) warm milk
- 140ml (4-1/2 fl oz) water*
- 200g (7 oz) icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- About a quarter teaspoon freeze-dried raspberry powder
- 5 tsp cold water, or more as needed
- 200ml (7 fl oz) heavy cream
- 100g (4 oz) raspberry jam
- Icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.
- To make the dough, place all the ingredients into a large bowl, holding back a quarter of the water. Stir the mixture with your hands, then slowly add the remaining water (but only if needed) to form a dough and knead in the bowl for four minutes.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces, each about 75g/2.6oz, then roll into balls and shape into fingers about 13cm/5in long.
- Place the dough fingers onto a greased baking tray, leaving space for them to double in size, then set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes. They should just touch each other when they’ve risen. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then set them aside to cool.
- Add the icing sugar and raspberry powder in a wide bowl and gradually stir in the cold water to form a thick gloopy paste (it shouldn't be overly runny though, or it won't hold it's shape on the bun).
- Dip the top of the cooled fingers into the icing, smoothing it with a damp finger, then leave to set on a wire rack.
- Lightly whip the cream and spoon it into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle (I used a 1cm round nozzle). Spoon the raspberry jam into another piping bag with a smaller round nozzle.
- Sliced the iced fingers diagonally, leaving the back edge intact. Pipe in a generous line of whipped cream into the middle of each finger, then a thinner line of jam over top. Dust the iced fingers with icing sugar and serve. NB: These need to be eaten as soon as possible (within an hour). Otherwise, store them in the fridge until required, then bring them out to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting