I always say this, but when I cook with my children, I have to be in just the right mood. A laid-back, chilled-out, hey-it’s-fine-to-wreck-the-kitchen kind of mood. Because cooking should be fun, right? For all of us, kids and parents alike. Which also means I won’t be too precious about what the end result actually looks like.
Take these Halloween iced buns for example. Who in their right mind wants to eat something smothered in black icing? Well, my daughters it would seem. Especially when covered in hundreds-and-thousands and oozing with green jam – or green snot as my two like to call it. Delightful pair.
But looks aside, these iced buns are rather tasty. Fluffy, sweet bread rolls fill with rhubarb and ginger jam and topped with lemon icing. A simple idea for a Halloween-themed tea party.
Green goo iced buns for Halloween
Makes 12 buns
250g strong white bread flour
250g plain flour
1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
2 tsp salt
50g soft butter
2 tbsp caster sugar
100ml semi-skimmed milk, warmed
200ml tepid water
half a jar any green-coloured jam
400g icing sugar
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
black food colouring (or whatever colour your children fancy)
Sift the flours into a mixing bowl along with the yeast and salt. Make a well in the middle, and add the soft butter, sugar, milk and egg. Bring all the ingredients together using a wooden spoon, adding just enough tepid water, a little at a time, to form a wet dough.
Dust your work surface with flour, and then knead the dough for around 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place for an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Knock back the dough, remove from the bowl and cut into 12 roughly equal pieces. Roll into bun-shapes, and arrange on a lined baking tray.
Cover the buns with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for another hour to double in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6.
When the buns have proved again, bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until risen and a lovely golden colour. Pop onto a wire rack to cool.
When the buns are cool, insert a chop stick (or something similar) into each one, lengthways. Give it a wiggle to create a decent cavity. Fill a piping bag with your jam / goo / snot. Using a long piping nozzle, squeeze a generous amount of jam into each bun.
To make the black lemon icing, sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl and mix in enough lemon juice to create a thick but slightly runny icing. Add a few drops of food colouring and mix in well.
Use a tablespoon to drizzle the icing over each bun, finishing off with a sprinkling of hundreds-and-thousands. Now, time to clear up the kitchen carnage…
These buns are best eaten same day.