Vanilla Butter Knots

Vanilla Butter KnotsI love dough wrapped around in coils, or tied up in knots. I like it when it’s all soft, filled with cinnamon, or cardamom and eaten with a strong cup of coffee on a winter’s day. I also love the basic flavour of vanilla. Not that cheap vanilla you find in awful buttercream, but proper vanilla, not from an ‘essence’ but from actual vanilla pods. Combine these two basic concepts and you’ve got something special; a Vanilla Butter Knot. It’s not quite as heavy as a cardamom knot or a cinnamon role, but it’s soft and not overpoweringly sweet. It still goes great with a flat white, or alongside a cup of earl grey in the morning.
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Cardamom & Chocolate Braid

Chocolate & Cardamom LoafI’ve just returned from a week up in Scotland at my parent’s on Mull. I’ll be writing up a travel diary of the week soon, after part 2 of my New York trip, but while I was away I baked a number of things. Rainy days on the Isle of Mull are ideal for baking. You’re not going to get much else done, apart from a quick walk of the dog around the loch all wrapped up in waterproofs, so what better way to spend a day than in the kitchen baking? I made a number of things on this trip, but with the Great British Bake off well underway (and the possibility that it could all go to shit with a move to Channel 4) and bread week featuring a challenge for baking chocolate bread, I thought I’d start with the Cardamom & Chocolate loaf we made on the first day.
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