I think it stems from my buffet anxiety (yes that is a medical condition I have been diagnosed with). I mean, what if they run out? what if I miss something? or worse, what if I see the person in front of me take the last thing off a delicious plate that I had my eye on? I’m getting sweaty palms just thinking about the trauma!!
My kids are a great excuse for running to the buffet table as soon as it’s declared open. After all they’re only little. They need to be well fed!
Have you ever found yourself talking to an older relative or family friend when the buffet opens? Trying hard to smile and appear attentive whilst taking sneaky sideways glances at the line building up? Admit it now, you’re with me here aren’t you.
So today, rather than the usual pull apart version, I give you individual nutella and almond rolls – all served up nicely in your very own cupcake case. No you can’t have a bite. There’s one for you over there….
This mouth-wateringly good sweet roll is layered together with Nutella and homemade almond paste, then baked until flaky and brown, and topped with (slightly wonky) drizzles of cream cheese frosting. Delicious served slightly warm, cold or fresh from the floor – following one jumping out of my hand during the feeding frenzy (5 second rule!)
Almond and Nutella Sweet Rolls (Makes 12):
- 350g plain flour (plus extra for kneading)
- 45g granulated/caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12g instant dried yeast
- 120ml water
- 60ml whole milk
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 85g unsalted butter, softened
- 85g demerara sugar
- 85g ground almonds
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (extract is fine if you don’t have paste)
- 100g Nutella
- 150g cream cheese (room temperature)
- 160g icing/confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
- Splash of milk (optional)
- For the buns: In a large bowl add the flour and sugar, then on one side of the bowl add the salt, and add the yeast to the other side (yeast doesn’t like direct contact with salt). Set aside.
- In a jug, add the water, milk and butter, and heat in the microwave until the butter has melted and the liquid is hot, but not so hot it would burn you. Add the liquid to the flour mixture, then give it a stir with a wooden spoon and add in the egg. Give it all a good mix with your hands and then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead/stretch for about 4 or 5 minutes. It will be sticky, but try not to add too much more flour as it will make the buns tougher. Just pretend you’re a kid and enjoy the stickiness. Gather the dough into a ball and place in a bowl that’s been lightly greased with olive or vegetable oil. Cover with clingfilm and leave for 10 minutes.
- Make the almond paste filling: mix the butter and sugar, then add in the almonds, egg and vanilla paste/extract. Give it all a good stir.
- Roll out the dough on a well floured surface until it’s about 30cmx30cm/12×12 inches. Make sure the bottom is well floured, otherwise your dough will stick when you try to roll it up. If the edges are wonky, you can cut them off and roll that bit out at the end for your final sweet roll.
- Put the nutella in a little bowl and give it a quick blast in the microwave for 10 seconds to loosen it up. Gently spread over all of the dough – right up to the edges. This will take a couple of minutes as the dough is soft. Then blob the almond paste on top of the nutella layer and spread it out to the edges too (make sure you save a bit for the dough bits you may have just cut off).
- Cut the dough into 11 or 12 long strips, each 2.5x30cm/1×12 inches and roll up fairly tightly. ** Some people roll the dough into a sausage first, then cut into pieces, but I found this squashes the dough** Put each roll on it’s side in a cupcake case. Roll out any leftover bits of dough and make them into your final sweet roll. They will be squidgy, don’t worry, they’re supposed to be. Place the sweet rolls onto a baking tray and loosely cover with clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm draft free room for about 60-90 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 190C. Take the clingfilm off the sweet rolls (they should have increased in size during this time) and place in the oven to cook for 25 mins. It’s worth covering the buns with a bit of tin foil after 10 or 15 mins so they don’t burn.
- Whilst they’re in the oven, make the frosting. Mix the cream cheese in a bowl until it’s loosened up a bit, then mix in the icing sugar until there are no lumps and then add the water. Give it a good mix until smooth. You want a frosting that is thick, but still just pouring consistency, If it’s too thick, add a splash of milk or a little more water until you find the right consistency. You can mix using a hand whisk or an electric mixer.
- Once the buns are cooked, take them out of the oven and place on a cooling tray. Leave to cool a little, then drizzle or pipe on the frosting.
*** Tip*** These buns don’t keep very long – 2 or 3 days in a tightly sealed container, but can be revived with a 10 second stint in the microwave. It’s highly unlikely they’ll be around that long though!!