Christmas twists with whisky icing

Christmas twists with whisky icing
  • Serves icon Makes 10-12
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 25 min, plus rising and proving

A revamped version of the cinnamon bun, complete with a whisky filling and icing – it’s the ultimate Christmas snack recipe from Signe Johansen.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
302kcals
Fat
14.2g (6.6g saturated)
Protein
5.5g
Carbohydrates
34.7g (25.9g sugars)
Fibre
1.1g
Salt
0.8g
Calories
302kcals
Fat
14.2g (6.6g saturated)
Protein
5.5g
Carbohydrates
34.7g (25.9g sugars)
Fibre
1.1g
Salt
0.8g

Ingredients

  • 250ml whole milk
  • 50g lightly salted butter
  • 350g refined/light spelt flour (the food team used Marriages Light Spelt Flour)
  • 100g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 50g strong white bread flour
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly ground cloves
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 20g fresh yeast or 10g dried fast-action yeast
  • 1 tbsp barley malt extract or golden syrup
  • 2 large free-range eggs, 1 beaten to glaze
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Flavourless oil for greasing
  • 1 medium free-range egg to glaze

For the whisky filling

  • 75g lightly salted butter, at room temperature
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp barley malt extract or golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or to taste
  • 2 tbsp whisky or to taste

For the whisky icing

  • 180g golden icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp whisky
  • Handful toasted flaked almonds to decorate

Method

  1. Heat the 250ml milk with the butter in a medium pan over a medium heat until it just starts to steam and simmer. As soon as the mixture is hot, remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flours, 50g caster sugar, salt, ground spices and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl, then stir in the yeast. Make a well in the centre, add the malt extract/ golden syrup, 1 egg and the vanilla extract, along with the cooled milk mixture (the milk should be below 50°C degrees, otherwise the heat can kill off the yeast). Stir together with a rounded dough scraper or spatula until the dough is smooth and springs back when touched (or knead it in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 10 minutes at a slow speed). Don’t worry that the dough is slightly wet – that’s a good thing.
  3. Put the dough in a lightly oiled deep bowl, then cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in size – this can take 0-90 minutes depending on the temperature of the dough (or see Make Ahead).
  4. Meanwhile, make the whisky filling by creaming together all the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Taste it – if you think it needs a little more flavour, such as whisky or vanilla, add it.
  5. Gently turn out the risen dough onto a clean, lightly oiled surface. Roll out with an oiled rolling pin to a rectangle about 30cm x 50cm (don’t worry too much about precise measurements, as long as you have a rectangular shape). Using a spatula, spread the whisky filling over the lower half of the rectangle to cover. Fold the uncovered top half over the filling.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthways into 10-12 strips. Pick up each end of one strip and twist in opposite directions (see Food Team’s Tips). As you twist the dough will start to coil up. Fold it as though into a knot, tucking one end into the loop that forms and the other end underneath (this helps to keep the shape when the twists are baking).
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough strips, then place them on 1–2 baking sheets, making sure they’re not too close together. Cover with a lightly oiled piece of cling film or a damp tea towel and set aside to prove until the dough no longer springs back when pressed (15-45 minutes, depending on the warmth of the room and how long it’s taken you to assemble the buns).
  8. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ gas 7. Glaze the buns with the beaten egg. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to 190°C/170°C fan/ gas 5 and bake for 20 minutes more or until they’re golden and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack. 9 Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl, then whisk in 2 tbsp whisky with a fork. If it’s not runny enough to drizzle, add another tablespoon (see Food Team’s Tips). Drizzle the icing over the cooled buns, scatter with the almonds, then serve.

See how to twist the dough here.

delicious. tips

  1. If the icing isn’t runny enough (step 9), add a splash of water to loosen.

  2. Prepare the dough to the end of step 3 up to 24 hours in advance and leave to rise in the fridge, covered, overnight. The buns are best on the day they’re baked, but they’ll keep for a day.

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