Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Coconut and Strawberry Buns

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
85g sugar
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.


  1. You can't go wrong with coconut and jam - it's one of those perfect combinations. These look divine!

  2. I love old books with handwritten notes, lovely to read back on! The best cookbooks are covered in splatters. I always have the random thoughts too, mainly thinking what me and my imaginary twin would do together *mortified*

  3. The oldies are really the best sometimes, love the history behind the book too! I've got an old baking book that has a recipe for cumin and raspberry jam buns, I'm utterly petrified of it! I'd rather stick with your coconut and strawberry combo!

  4. These look great, strawberry and coconut are yummy together. I never knew syrup and milk could be an egg substitute! I've heard mashed banana can be too. My friend once tried it when she was an egg short and her baking turned out fine!

  5. The Caked Crusader - Cocunut and Jam, Coconut and Chocolate, Coconut and Lemon. Coconut and almost anything works so well!

    CMyAT - I'm wondering how a post about an imaginary friend would go. So many avenues here!

    Hannah - Cumin and Raspberry, you'd be right to be satisfied. Can't see what good could possibly come out of that recipe.

    Jo - Mashed banana is a new one on me too. Would be afraid to try it, I really would.

  6. I think coconut and jam must be my all time favorite bun combo - nostalgia rules. I have the same type of help in my kitchen sometimes - when it all gets to stressful I give them some dough to 'roll out' (eat raw) My name is Anne Marie and I am a bad mother ;)

  7. Amee - Ha ha, think we could have been sisters in a former life. Good to know I'm not the only one who should be reported!

  8. These look delicious and I love that they have come from a well used book. I recently got hold of my Grandma's old cookbooks, I think one was a Be-ro one and I was horrified at some of the stuff in there, basically saying that to be a good wife there had to be good food on the table etc! Definitely going to give some of the recipes a go, if this is anything to go by!

  9. Kim - Mad isn't it that times have changed so much. Think I'd be divorced at this stage if the test for being a good wife was whether you had food on the table!

  10. can anyone tell me why does the buns i make expand so much ? , i follow all the instructions and ingredients however it still expand so much .. is it because od the baking powder ? but i did follow the ingredients....