Do you ever get random or bizarre thoughts? You know the ones that leave you wondering "now where did that come from?" I get them - constantly. They tend to go along the following lines, "If I was the Queen, would I still shop in Zara?" or "I wonder what the Pope does to relax?" Another gem is "If we had 10 more kids, would the sequence continue with boy, girl, boy or would it change so that we'd have 10 more girls?" I was having these random silly thoughts as I was making these buns the other day with the kids helping me. (Note: "helping" can be loosely translated as "annoying the hell out of me by spilling flour, eating raw egg and dipping little fingers in the butter - all of which stresses me out causing a mild sweat to appear on my upper lip").
This is my Mums recipe from the only baking book she owns called “All in the Cooking”. There is no publishing date on it but her copy has a handwritten date of December 1970. Imagine, it's over 40 years old. It’s been held together with a combination of sellotape, rubber bands and a build up of flour and kids drool. There are handwritten recipes squeezed into the bottom of almost every page of the book.
Flicking through the book the other day gave me a laugh. It’s so old that the concept of Political Correctness was unknown. The chapter entitled “Choice, Buying and Storage of Food” starts with “It is most important to buy only from shops run on hygienic lines. All foods should be protected from flies”. You’d be at risk of a jail sentence if you put anything as blatant as that in print these days. I suppose I need to remember how old it is – 40 YEARS, WOW! At the back of the book, Mam has a handwritten note saying “One teaspoon of golden syrup in a half pint of warm milk is equal to 3 eggs in a cake”. That’s news to me and to be honest, I don’t want to risk ruining a good cake by testing her theory.
Coconut and Strawberry Buns
Makes 6 large buns or 10 medium buns.
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
85g unsalted butter
60g dessicated coconut
1 egg, beaten
Few tablespoons of milk
3 tbsp strawberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
Rub in the butter, add the sugar and coconut (keeping back about 2 tablespoons) and mix well.
Mix to a fairly stiff consistency with with the beaten egg and the milk.
Take a tablespoon of mixture between two forks and place on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 mins, until golden.
When cooled, brush over with the ham and dip in the remaining coconut.