Boston Bun (Raisin Brioche Bun with Coconut Icing)


 
Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche
Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche
Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche
Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche
Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche
Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche
Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche

I know there’ s a lot of fancy, swirly bread round here. Knots, and rolls, and babkas. Swirly bread is one of my absolute favourite things to make, but today I’m sharing something a little more simple, but still super delicious - a Boston Bun. I did a little crowd sourced research on Instagram, and discovered that, although it is called a Boston bun, nobody from Boston has ever heard of it - I have no idea where the name came from, but I do know it’s super yum, so lets just go from there.

The Boston bun is essentially one big brioche bun, filled with raisins, and topped with icing and covered in coconut. They are a bakery staple back home - we always used to get them as a special treat from the supermarket for being good and not standing up in the trolley while Mum and Dad shopped. Turns out it’s called two different things in New Zealand which is super weird - from what I can gather, anyone from the South Island or Wellington calls it a Boston Bun, while anyone further North calls it a Sally Lunn. This is one of the few things I can think of where things have different names throughout New Zealand. It’s strange.

Anyway, this is super simple to make, and doesn’t require any fancy folding or knotting or even rolling out of the dough. It starts with a basic enriched dough, which has some raisins kneaded through it. After the first rise, it gets patted into a disc and popped into a ring from a springform pan or a cake tin, which removes the need for any fancy shaping, and makes the bun rise nicely within the confines of the pan. Once it has baked to a fluffy, golden brown bun, it gets loaded up with a vanilla icing, and covered in shredded coconut. It’s essentially just fruity bread with icing, but it’s crazy easy and perfect for morning or afternoon tea treat with a cup of tea or coffee.

A few wee tips:

  • The first rise for this can be done overnight if you like - you may just have to increase the second rising time by 30-45 minutes to account for cold dough, but this is a great option if you want to serve it for morning tea or breakfast!

  • If you don’t have a stand mixer this can be done by hand - bring the dough together in a bowl, then turn onto a surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth, then incorporate the raisins.

  • If you don’t have a ring to bake this in, you can do it in an 8” cake tin too. Just make sure you lightly butter it, and place a parchment paper circle in the bottom.

 

 

Boston Bun (Raisin Brioche Bun with Coconut Icing)

- Makes One 8 inch bun (serves 6-8) -

Bread Dough
180g (3/4 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
50g (1/4 cup) sugar, divided
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
400g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, at room temperature
100g Butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
175g Raisins or sultanas

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

Vanilla Bean Frosting with Coconut
180g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp salt
375g powdered sugar, sifted
2-4 Tbsp Whole milk
Desiccated Coconut to finish (I used threaded for the photos but finer tastes better to me)

 

- PROCESS -

BREAD DOUGH

Place the lukewarm milk, 1 Tbsp of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the flour, salt, and remaining sugar, and mix briefly to combine. 

Add the milk mixture, egg, butter and vanilla to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Add the raisins and mix for a minute or so to combine. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and finish kneading the raisins in by hand. Shape the dough into a ball, and then place into a lightly buttered bowl (I use my stand mixer bowl to save dishes), cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately an hour.

Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured work surface, and knock back the dough. Grease an 8 inch ring, such as the ring from a spring form cake pan, and place onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Pat the dough into a disc, and place inside the ring on the baking sheet. Gently pat the dough to the edges of the ring, making a flat disc. Cover with plastic wrap and rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, until puffy. In the last 20 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.

Brush the surface of the bun with egg wash. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the surface of the bun is golden brown, and an internal temperature measures 200°f / 95°c. The bun should sound hollow when you tap the bottom.

Remove from the oven, let cool 10 minutes, then remove from the ring and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool Completely.

 

ICING AND ASSEMBLY

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, vanilla bean paste and salt until pale and creamy. Sift in the powdered sugar, and mix on medium speed until well combined. If needed, add milk a tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is light and fluffy, and a spreadable consistency.

Spread the icing on the cooled bun, then cover generously with desiccated coconut.

Slice and serve with butter if desired. Best eaten on the day it is made, but leftovers can keep in an airtight container at room temperature.

Boston Bun is a raisin brioche bun, covered with vanilla icing, and finished with shredded coconut. It is super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment or dough twisting, and makes the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or to entertain guests. #bostonbun #sallylunn #raisinbrioche

Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake


 
Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake - a simple cake which comes together in two bowls, no fancy equipment required. Perfectly dense, flavoured with tangy greek yoghurt and floral, fruity olive oil. the perfect cake for any occasion. #bundtcake #lemonbundt
Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake - a simple cake which comes together in two bowls, no fancy equipment required. Perfectly dense, flavoured with tangy greek yoghurt and floral, fruity olive oil. the perfect cake for any occasion. #bundtcake #lemonbundt
Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake - a simple cake which comes together in two bowls, no fancy equipment required. Perfectly dense, flavoured with tangy greek yoghurt and floral, fruity olive oil. the perfect cake for any occasion. #bundtcake #lemonbundt
DSC03043.jpg
Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake - a simple cake which comes together in two bowls, no fancy equipment required. Perfectly dense, flavoured with tangy greek yoghurt and floral, fruity olive oil. the perfect cake for any occasion. #bundtcake #lemonbundt
Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake - a simple cake which comes together in two bowls, no fancy equipment required. Perfectly dense, flavoured with tangy greek yoghurt and floral, fruity olive oil. the perfect cake for any occasion. #bundtcake #lemonbundt
Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake - a simple cake which comes together in two bowls, no fancy equipment required. Perfectly dense, flavoured with tangy greek yoghurt and floral, fruity olive oil. the perfect cake for any occasion. #bundtcake #lemonbundt

Hi! Happy Sunday! Things are a little quiet around here - I managed to catch the cold that most of NYC seems to have at the moment, so I have been hiding at home a bit more than usual so I don’t spread it to everyone else that I know!

I had to pop on though, and share this recipe with you, because I’m super excited about it, and don’t think I can wait any longer to get it out in the world. I worked on it all of last week, tweaking and tweaking, until I came up with what I think is the perfect Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake recipe. I am a sucker for a pretty cake pan, so purchased a couple of bundt pans a few years ago and haven’t used them anywhere near as much as I would like, and I am determined to change that! I think that lots of people (me included) are scared of bundt cakes because they are worried that they won’t pop out of the tin nicely. After a horrific fail during my first test of the recipe, I think I have a couple of wee tips up my sleeve to help prevent that - more on those later!

First, lets talk about this cake. I love all things lemon, and I also love the way that fruity olive oil plays against the tart citrus flavour. I wanted a cake that was perfectly dense, with the perfect amount of moisture, but still super simple to put together. I added some almond meal for texture, and also some greek yoghurt to give some tang and to compliment the smooth olive oil and lemon flavour. This cake comes together in two bowls, with no stand mixer or fancy equipment required - everything is just whisked up, before being poured into the bundt pan and baked until perfectly golden. I finished it with a quick brush of syrup while it was still warm to help drive the lemon flavour home and help lock in some of the moisture of the cake. This cake is perfect for any occasion, and serves loads of people, so would be great to feed a crowd.

When you add olive oil to a cake, or to any baking, you really want to play on the flavour, so it is important to use a super high quality oil - something you would happily eat straight. I have partnered with Filippo Berio for this post - using their 100% Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The oil is light and fruity, and a tiny bit peppery, making it the perfect choice to use in baking - I love how it plays with the lemon in this cake, and gives the most beautiful texture. You may remember I did a bunch of posts with Filippo Berio last year, showcasing their amazing pesto. I am so, so happy to share that I have a year-long partnership with them, to help show off all of their amazing products! I have been using their olive oil in my day to day cooking since I moved to the States four years ago, and they are a great company run by amazing people, so I am super excited to share more recipes with you using their oils, pestos, and glazes. I will be sharing one recipe a month, so watch this space!

A few wee tips:

  • I found that there were a few things that helped for an easy release from the bundt pan. The first being the type of recipe - the cake has to be dense enough that it has enough structure to release from the sides. The first test of this recipe I did was far too light in texture, and it stuck something wicked. By the end of the testing, I developed a recipe that popped right out of the pan!

  • The second tip is to adequately grease the tin. You can use a baking spray to get in all the little holes in the bundt pan, then generously dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess, or you can use a baking spray that also contains flour. I am not usually a big fan of the spray with the flour in it, but I do find that it is reassuring to use for bundt pans because you know the cake will not stick.

  • The cake needs to be baked enough that it will not stick to the sides - make sure that a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean - I like to stick it in a few different spots just to check.

  • The final tip is turning out the cake while it is still warm. If you wait for it to cool, it will stick. 10 minutes is the sweet spot - I pull it out of the oven, then set a timer for 10 minutes and let it sit in the pan before turning out.

  • I used a Nordicware Crown Bundt pan, which has a 10 cup capacity. Ensure you double check the size of your pan.

 

 

Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake

- Makes one Bundt Cake, Serves about 14 -

Bundt Cake
360g all-purpose flour
110g almond meal
340g sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of 3 lemons
4 eggs, at room temperature
180g Filippo Berio 100% Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
180g Lemon Juice
200g Full-fat Greek Yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Lemon Syrup
50g sugar
60g Lemon Juice

 

- PROCESS -

OLIVE OIL, LEMON AND YOGHURT BUNDT CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease a 10-cup capacity bundt pan with baking spray with flour, or spray liberally with baking spray, then dust well with flour, tapping out the excess. Place on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Filippo Berio 100% Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil , lemon juice, yoghurt, and vanilla bean paste. Whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk well to combine, finishing mixing using a rubber spatula to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, and there are no dry ingredients left at the bottom of the bowl.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared bundt pan, and place the bundt pan, on the baking sheet, into the oven. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, checking for doneness at 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached.

Remove the cake from the oven, and allow to stand in the pan for 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire baking rack. Brush with the lemon syrup while still warm. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Leftovers are best stored tightly wrapped or in an airtight container.

LEMON SYRUP

Place the lemon juice and syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine, then heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then simmer for 2 minutes to allow it to reduce slightly. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes to cool slightly, then brush onto the cake liberally using a pastry brush.

Olive Oil, Lemon, and Yoghurt Bundt Cake - a simple cake which comes together in two bowls, no fancy equipment required. Perfectly dense, flavoured with tangy greek yoghurt and floral, fruity olive oil. the perfect cake for any occasion. #bundtcake #lemonbundt

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks


 
New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.
New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.
New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.
New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.
New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.
New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.
New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.

New Year, uhhh new macaron. There’s not much to say about these ones except they are a bit fancy and very delicious. We took our regular Vanilla Bean French Macaron shell, popped some New Years themed sprinkles on top, then filled it with cute wee blobs of Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and finished it off with a pop rock centre for a little post NYE fireworks.

This is Jase and I’s 11th Macaron recipe - we set out to share one a month for a year, and the other day we decided that we might as well keep this going until one of us leaves NYC. We aren’t planning to go for at least two years, so I’m excited to see how quickly we run out of ideas. Lolz. We were joking the other day that us making macarons was kind of like us dating to see if we could be friends - and damn I am happy we started dating. It’s so amazing having someone just around the corner (quite literally - it’s a 6 minute walk from my door to his), who loves to stay home just as much as I do, someone to bounce ideas off of and to work in coffee shops with. I am so, so lucky to have met so many amazing people through the internet - I didn’t know anyone except for Richard when I moved here, so it’s a great feeling to have carved out my own little space here in NYC.

A few wee tips:

  • Everything I know about macarons (all the tips and tricks we have learnt along the way) can be found in this post.

  • Be careful when you are choosing sprinkles to use - if they are solid sugar or chocolate balls, they may get hot and melt through the shells. Go for small balls and baubles in your sprinkles mix if you can!

  • We added pop rocks just to give a little fancy finish, but this step is totally optional!

 

 

New Years Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks

- Makes about 24 Macarons -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Sprinkles to finish (we used some from Fancy Sprinkles)

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1/2 cup (123g) egg whites, or 4 large egg whites
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
455g (16oz, or four sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Gel Food Colour as desired
Strawberry (Or your choice of flavour) pop rocks, optional

 

- PROCESS -

MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly.  Sprinkle the shells with sprinkles of your choice.

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth. 

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

 

VANILLA BEAN SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air.

Divide the buttercream into four, and colour three of the portions with your desired gel food colour (we used blue, pink and purple to match the sprinkles, and left one white). Transfer to piping bags fitted with small french star piping tips.

ASSEMBLY

Pair up each macaron shell with another of an equal size. Pipe small blobs of the coloured buttercream on one half of the shell, then sprinkle with some pop rocks. Place the second shell carefully on top. Repeat with the rest of the macarons. Macarons are best chilled overnight to allow the flavours to meld, but can also be eaten immediately. 

New Year's Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pop Rocks. Light, sparkly, and perfect for ringing in the new year.