Monday, April 7, 2014

Apricot Cardamom Chelsea Buns - IHCC Fit for a Brit!

This week, our second cooking with featured chef Nigel Slater, I Heart Cooking Clubs' theme is all things British. I made Chelsea buns, a sweet, yeast-raised bread that's been around since the 18th century and is a relation of the much more decadent North American cinnamon bun. 
Traditionally, these sweet buns are filled with dried currants and cinnamon but Nigel's version was made with dried apricots and cardamom. This recipe had me ignoring my baking shelf where the ground cardamom resides and looking to my savoury spices for the green pods I normally use in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. I enjoy the flavour of the ground spice in sweet baked goods though it's not widely used in North American recipes, but nothing compares to the fragrance and flavour of seeds you've crushed yourself. 
proofed buns
proofed and ready for the oven
baked buns
freshly baked....
Since Nigel had already messed with the traditional recipe, I thought I would put my stamp on it as well and use half (by weight) whole wheat bread flour. The dough, enriched with a little sugar, butter and egg, was soft and sticky but easy to work with after fermentation. I decided to make 12 smaller buns so rolled the dough out into a larger rectangle. I had added what little apricot jam I had to the filling of softened dried apricots and had none left for the final glaze, so used an egg wash before baking to give the buns a shine followed by a sprinkle of turbinado sugar.
My oven makes charcoal of sweet breads baked at high temperatures so I baked at a more moderate 190C. They were beautifully golden and baked through in 25 minutes.
Delicious! The roll was soft and just a little chewy and not very sweet...fabulous with the tangy apricot filling perfumed with cardamom and topped with crunchy sugar. They were wonderful with an afternoon cup of tea as Nigel recommends but just as good rewarmed the next day as a breakfast treat to enjoy with a morning coffee!

The recipe for Apricot Cardamom Buns can be found here. Visit IHCC to see other dishes that are "Fit for a Brit".


  1. These look amazing and I'll bet I could use strawberry instead of apricot. Husband isn't a fan of the apricot, but I am!

  2. I love the Middle Eastern flavors in this version. This looks just scrumptious!!

  3. Hi Zosia,
    Such perfectly made chelsea buns. I love dried apricots, my most favourite among the dried fruits in baking. Perfect for afternoon tea indeed. I'm joining you and I'll bring along the thyme and lemon cake! :)

  4. Sitting here with my first cup of morning coffee, I am wishing I had that first sugar spangled Chelsea bun on my plate! These looks beautiful ... you have really done it this week!

  5. These are so gorgeous and I love the flavors--apricot and cardamom is such a wonderful combination. ;-)

  6. Your buns look sensational, and I'm loving the flavourings of apricot and cardamom for a great twist on a classic.

  7. Your buns look great, I like the combination of cardamom an apricots.

  8. The inside of these buns looks so light and fluffy. I became a fan of cardamom after we cooked with Madhur Jaffrey. I find myself wanting to add it to everything--even my blueberry smoothies.

    Nice job on the Chelsea buns, Zosia. Beautiful and perfect texture.

  9. I love the refreshing taste in your Chelsea buns. I'm sure that must taste good. I must try this sometime soon. I absolutely heart the golden brown look of your buns :)

  10. They look so yummy and soft! Got to try it with apricot and cardamom :)


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