Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A failure and a success

Yesterday I made green rice with leeks and roasted chiles. It sounds really good, and it was, but it came out looking dreadful! I was imaging a place of creamy green rice. What I got was beige mush. Yes, mush. The recipe called for at least 1/2 cup too much cooking water for the rice, and it was so mushy I didn't even dare stir in the parsley/cilantro water to make it look green. Fortunately it still tasted good, but this was really a disappointment because it wasn't a quick recipe. I didn't even bother taking a photo. Maybe someday I'll try it again because rice with roasted chiles, leeks, and herbs is really a good combination.

But on to better things.

Fortunately, what were, hands down, the best cinnamon rolls I've ever made helped erase the sting of the rice disaster. The recipe is adapted from a recipe on Cloudberry Quark's blog. Cloudberry Quark blogs all the way from Finland, and has lots and lots of yummy ideas...have a look at her blog! Plus, her pictures of the cinnamon rolls are lots better than mind. The recipe calls for lingonberries, but unfortunately I couldn't find any, so I substituted cranberries. But by all means use lingonberries if you can find them. And don't skimp on the cardamom-- that's what gives the rolls an authentic Scandanavian flavor. The recipe was written in metric measurments, and I didn't change them. Just look at the metric side of your measuring cup. (Yes, even the flour gets measured in a pyrex measuring cup!)

Spiced Rolls with Cardamom, Apple, and Cranberries (makes 10 large rolls)

For the dough:
300 ml milk (I used vanilla soy)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
approx. 800 ml flour
100 ml sugar
2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup butter at room temperature

For the filling:
1/3 cup butter at room temperature
150 ml dark brown sugar (I didn't really pack it in)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
2 tart apples, grated, excess liquid pressed out
200 ml frozen cranberries, red currants, or lingonberries

Milk for brushing on top

For the dough: Heat the milk to lukewarm, add the yeast and a pinch of the sugar, and let sit for a few minutes. Mix half the flour, the remaining sugar, and the cardamom in a large bowl. Stir in the milk mixture. Work in the softened butter (I used a wooden spoon), and then slowly add the rest of the flour until a soft dough forms. Because of the butter, the dough should be very soft-- not like bread dough. It will stick a bit to your hands, but lift cleanly off the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes. Let rise until doubled in size, about at hour.

Meanwhile, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and spices for the filling. Prepare the apple. Butter and flour two 9in cake pans or pie plates.

Gently press the dough down, and place in on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out until it measures approximately 20in x 11in. Spread the brown sugar mixtures over the surface, and then sprinkle with the grated apple and frozen cranberries.

Tightly roll the dough up from the long side. (I.e. you will have a 20in long log). Cut it into 10 2in slices. Carefully place the slices in the prepared dishes, leaving space between for them to rise. Cover with a tea towl, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, the remove and quickly brush with the milk. Put back in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until golden on the top.



Connie said...

oh wow, those look just amazing. and where was the green rice recipe from? what kind of rice did it call for?

Celine said...

found it! I'm bookmarking it for soon. :)