Saturday, 23 April 2011

Monkey Business

So yesterday, I was quietly watching TV and I saw Chef Michael Smith's program where he was preparing some goodies for a bake sale. Among the sweet treats he has made was a Monkey bread. That looked sticky and yummy and I particularly liked the fact that you can make the little pull apart balls whatever size you want. So last night, I set myself on a mission to find that recipe. Unfortunately I could not find the exact recipe but I have found this one (on which is totally awesome:


For the caramel:

  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped 

For the buns:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 50g butter, chopped
  • pinch of white sugar
  • 8g sachet instant dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
1- Line a baking dish with baking paper and a little sprayed oil (I used a 20cm square Pirex dish)
2- To make the caramel: mix the melted butter, honey and brown sugar in a bowl. (I actually put everything in the pan to melt the brown sugar a little too). Pour the caramel in the prepared baking dish. Lay the nuts over the caramel. (I didn't have any pecan but I had some sliced almonds so I used that and the end result was really good, it provided the crunch that is necessary in this dish).
Then leave that alone and make the buns.
3- Place the milk in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute on high. Add the butter and stir until it's fully melted. 4- Then add the yeast and stir a little to combine. At this stage I panicked a little because yeast is generally not my friend and it looked a bit lumpy BUT do not worry, it all worked out in the end.
5- Place the flour, eggs and sugar in a food processor (a bowl works just as well) and add the milk mixture. 6- Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 2 minutes until it become smooth and elastic.
7- Cut the dough in 12 pieces and roll them into balls. Place them in a single layer on top of the nut and caramel. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for an hour until it doubles in size. ( Now typing that recipe, I realise I have accidentally skipped that step. The end result was still very good, but I guess if I had left it to rise it would have been much more airy and light. Note: to try next time). Preheat the over to 180C.
8- Leave in the dish to stand for 5 minutes.
9- Turn out onto a wired rack lined with baking paper (or on a plate lined with foil. Again another part of the recipe I didn't read properly, but no harm done).

It didn't last for 5 more minutes without being attacked. My husband loved it and I remembered then that I don't actually have a sweet tooth, I just like baking.
If, well it's more a case of when, I'll make it again, I will swap the honey for maple syrup. The honey flavor is a little too strong.

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