At Hidden Curiosities, our passion for flavour extends beyond our exceptional gin; we love exploring every carefully-chosen botanical, unravelling the secrets of each one.
One that holds a special place in our hearts, (and our gin) is the distinctive cool and aromatic green cardamom. As a key architect of the intricate flavour profile of Hidden Curiosities Gin, cardamom imparts a herbaceous, citrusy embrace quite unlike anything else. It's this love for cardamom that led us to embark on a different kind of adventure - baking!
This cold January weather calls for comfort food, more particularly, some warm baked goods. Hidden Curiosities gin creator Jenny, fuelled by a profound appreciation for cardamom, decided to explore its aromatic potential beyond the distillery. She took to her kitchen to bake Swedish-style cardamom buns, and after a few attempts, perfected the recipe to deliciously fragrant effect. As each slightly tweaked recipe got better and better, she now thinks it might be ready for the world.
If you're in search of something that marries aromatic luxury with a soft, indulgent texture, look no further than these perfect Cardamom Buns. Let's dive into the method:
For the Dough:
Approx. 30 green cardamom pods (use less or more to taste)
100ml double cream
1 tsp real vanilla extract
75g unsalted butter
250g strong white bread flour
200g plain flour
1 tsp salt
30g caster sugar
9g fast-action yeast
1 egg, beaten
For the Filling:
100g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp plain flour
Approx. 10 cardamom pods (use less or more to taste)
1 tsp ground sweet cinnamon (optional but recommended)
50g golden caster sugar
50g caster sugar
A good pinch of salt (Jenny recommends a little more to complement the sweetness)
1 egg, beaten
Prepare the Cardamom:
Husk the cardamom pods and grind the cardamom seeds finely in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. A few coarser bits add character to the buns.
Heat up the milk and cream in a pan, then add the ground cardamom, vanilla and butter. Stir until the butter melts then take it off the heat and let it cool down (ideally to around body temperature - 37C).
While you wait for this to cool, measure out and whisk together the flours, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Then add the wet mixture and combine until well mixed.
Add the beaten egg and mix until a soft, coherent dough forms. It should be slightly sticky but manageable. Lay it out on a floured surface and keep kneading until smooth. You will want to knead the dough for a while until the form of the dough changes to a rubber-like texture - this is an enriched bread dough after all.
Place it back in the bowl and cover with cling film, then leave to prove for at least an hour (ideally in a warm environment to help the dough rise).
After an hour or so, the dough should hopefully have at least doubled in size...
Roll and Fill:
Lay out the dough on a floured surface and roll it out into an approx. 50cm x 30cm rectangle. Spread the filling over the surface using a silicone spatula or palette knife.
Shaping the Buns:
Serve and Enjoy: