The lady in question was of course Nigella Lawson, although thankfully only in photo form. I was making Hot Cross Buns (yes I know I’m a day late) using Nigella’s recipe from Feast and it was a rare recipe showing multiple photos of Nigella actually doing it (mmm, that phrase could pick up some rather depraved Google searches) and Girl Lacer was comparing what “the lady in the photo” was doing with what mummy was doing whilst she was helping me finish the buns off. Making Hot Cross Buns is one of those recipes which you do solely because you probably haven’t got anything much better to do, it involves so many steps and is at times fiddly (hence the photos) but as an activity to do on a snowy Easter Saturday it rates fairly highly.
The photo’s selectively showing the ‘best’ crosses, as the crosses were the fiddly things, probably hampered by my blatant disregard for actual tablespoons (I must get a set of proper measuring spoons) meaning I got the proportion of flour, sugar and water wrong and my cross mixture was too thick, so it was difficult doing the crosses.
The actual buns, well even Nigella admits in her introduction they’re only an approximation to the real thing, they’re smaller in size, appear to be distant relatives to rock cakes and they don’t taste quite right, although saying that they still taste nice.
For the record my favourite hot cross buns are made by Waitrose, particularly the Bramley Apple ones and my hot cross buns do not beat those, however they’re in stiff competition with the less superior Sainsbury’s Hot Cross Bun.
All this yeasty bun making is making me look forward even more to the release of Jane Brocket’s (creator of the Yarnstorm blog, see my blog roll to the right) latest book in the summer, Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer, she describes testing buns for the cake in her blog here, delicious, I think I know what I’ll be making when I get my hands on a copy!
Edited to add (24.3.08) – I made the hot cross buns on the 22nd March, a batch of 15, 9 were eaten on the day, the remaining 6 were put in a tin, none were eaten the next day as we were too busy eating chocolate, when tried the day after although still strictly speaking edible they were pretty horrible having morphed into something more like dense fruit cakes rather than buns, if I try hot cross buns next year it’ll be a different recipe.