Six Of The Best Alternative Christmas Films

Festive cheer, minus the actual Christmas film status

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We adore Christmas films, but there’s only so many times you can watch the same five classics without hankering for something a little different. Drunk santas, hyperactive elves and surly scrooges are all well and good, but sometimes you just want the festive feels, sans sleigh bells.
Because different is something we’re big fans of here at Ableforth’s, we’ve broken free from tradition and put together a list of films that are Christmassy without necessarily being actual Christmas films.*

*Except maybe Die Hard - who really knows?

  1. Bridget Jones’s Diary

Often shown at Christmas but not technically a Christmas film, Bridget Jones’s Diary has become a festive favourite, in part down to the ‘ugly jumper scene’. In the 2001 film we see Bridget and Mark Darcy’s first interaction making awkward small talk at a family gathering, each sporting some pretty special knitwear.

In fact, that scene is thought to have sparked the novelty knitwear trend we know and love today.

Jumpers aside, the film also has plenty of other festive cheer - who could forget their *spoiler alert* wintry kiss at the end of the film when they finally get together?


2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

There are few things better than settling down with a mince pie or five and binge-watching the Harry Potter films. Over recent years they’ve become staple Christmas TV listings and even though there’s no FC or reindeer in the mix, there’s still elves, magic and the odd invisibility cloak (aka the best gift ever).

Christmas pops up in every film, but if we had to pick one, it’d be Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. As the very first film it’s the first time we (and H-Potz himself) get a glimpse of Hogwarts looking mega-magical.

There’s the Christmas at Hogwarts Carol, the tree Hagrid lovingly drags through the snowy ground and of course, Ron’s knitted treat from his mum.

3. The Great Escape

Officially one of the most shown films at Christmas time, The Great Escape might not be the obvious choice for festive cheer - after all, it’s set at a Prisoner of War camp, some people die and there’s not a hint of tinsel or turkey in sight.

That said, just the fact that it’s a Christmas staple gives us the warm and fuzzies when we watch it - sitting around with the family on boxing day and watching a classic while pondering alternative ending ideas - what’s not to love?

4. Die Hard

The debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas film rumbles on, and on, and on - but whether it is, or isn’t, there’s no denying it’s a much-revered classic set at Christmas time.

Sure, there’s more hostages than there is holiday cheer, but regardless of where it sits in the Christmas film status stakes, every year it finds its way onto our screens, and every year the debate continues...

5. Gremlins

Gremlins is a classic tale of when Christmas purchasing goes wrong - only in this case instead of buying the wrong size slippers, a mogwai is bought, given to a child, gets wet and then produces terrifying baby gremlins that wreak havoc across the town.
Like many popular Christmas films, this does indeed have carolling, tinsel and santa hats, but unlike those charming films where cute puppies are unwrapped , this will definitely make you think twice about buying a pet for Christmas (or ever).

6. The Wizard of Oz

There’s no place like home at Christmas, or for Dorothy actually who finds herself in a strange land with some interesting characters, wishing she could be in her own bed...which thinking about it, pretty much sums many a family Christmas.

There’s not a hint of Christmas in The Wizard of Oz, but it’s a popular family favourite around this time, and also good reason to wear ruby slippers - as if we ever needed one.

Mini Cherry Tartlets With Cherry Brandy Creme Patissiere

This boozy bake deserves a (creme) pat on the back…

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So it’s the penultimate week of The Great British Bake Off and only a week left until it’s off our screens and we have to go back to resuming our normal Tuesday lives. Mostly we’re upset because we like to have an excuse to eat cake once a week, and somehow tuning in to the evening news while munching on a slice of gateaux doesn’t have the same effect. Anyway, we digress…

This week’s challenge for the bakers is Patisserie Week, which means they’ll be making an array of fancy French delights.

Our skills by this point in the competition are pretty limited. Turns out we’re better at the booze stuff than the baking, so this week’s recipe is nowhere near as fancy as those creations in the tent. But, if you want a fairly simple office/party pleaser with delicious Cherry Brandy in then you have come to the right place. Here’s how to create 16 mini cherry tarts with a Cherry Brandy creme patissiere.

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 600g pre-made shortcrust pastry

For the creme patissiere

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 60g caster sugar

  • 25g plain flour

  • 2 tsp cornflour

  • 280ml milk

  • 3 tbsp Ableforths Cherry Brandy

For the topping

  • Cherries

Method

First, make your pastry cases. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Divide the pastry into 16 equal pieces.

Roll out each one to line a 7-8cm deep fluted tartlet tin and trim, leaving a little pastry sticking up above the tin. Line each one with a paper cake case and add a layer of baking beans.

Put on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is golden.

While the pastry is cooling, make your creme patissiere.

First, beat the egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until pale and the consistency has slightly thickened.

Next, whisk in the flours until fully mixed with the eggs and sugar.

In a saucepan, heat the milk until it starts to boil. Take it off the heat and pour into the flour and egg mix and whisk together.

Put the whole mixture back into the saucepan and heat, constantly stirring. Only remove when it’s thick and boiling, but smooth.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.

Once it’s cooled, transfer into a bowl and add in your Cherry Brandy. Stir in.

Use a teaspoon or piping bag to put the cream in the tartlet cases. Top with a cherry on each, and enjoy!

Danish Cinnamon Swirls With A Rumbullion! Glaze

Sugar, spice, all things nice…and delicious rum, obviously.

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The Danes are supposedly the happiest people on the planet, and we’re pretty sure it’s something to do with all the delicious pastries they lay claim to. So, as this week is Danish week on The Great British Bake Off, it only seemed right to spice up a Danish delicacy with a splash of Rumbullion!

These pastries are super simple to make (especially if you cheat with the pastry like we did - but in our eyes, less time rolling, more time eating) and they’re tasty too.

Check out the recipe below - we kept it simple with cinnamon but you could add in all manner of additional ingredients - try raisins too for a rum and raisin sensation…

Ingredients

  • 320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet

  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 50g icing sugar

  • 25ml Rumbullion!

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Place the pastry sheet on parchment paper

Mix the demerara sugar and cinnamon together, and spread evenly over the pastry sheet.

Roll the pastry up, then cut in to 6 even slices.

Put in the oven, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.

Once baked, remove and place on a cooling rack until mostly cooled.

Mix the icing sugar and Rumbullion! together to make the glaze, ensuring there are no lumps.

Pour over the pastries and leave to set.

Add a dusting of icing sugar for decoration.

Enjoy!


Bathtub Gin Vegan Sponge Cake

Tasty cake with not an alfalfa sprout in sight

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In case you missed the memo, veganism is big right now. So big we’re constantly being warned about avocado shortages. And, so big that it got its own week dedicated to it on The Great British Bake Off.

This week, the bakers will be trying their hands at creating egg and dairy free treats in the hopes of winning the coveted Star Baker title, so we thought we’d also have a go at baking a vegan cake - starring Bathtub Gin, of course.

Not only is this cake vegan and gin-infused, it’s also got orange in the buttercream to really bring out the flavours of the gin botanicals. And, it’s surprisingly easy to make and tasty to boot.

Check out the recipe below…

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 400g self-raising flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 250g caster sugar

  • 115ml sunflower oil

  • 400ml dairy-free milk, such as almond or soya

  • 1 tbsp black treacle

  • 2 tbsp agave nectar

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 tbsp Bathtub Gin

For the vegan buttercream

  • 300g dairy-free spread

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted

  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp Bathtub Gin

  • Zest and juice of 1 orange

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°c/ gas mark 4/ fan 160°c. Grease two 9 inch loose bottomed tins and set aside.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a mixing bowl, and mix together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sunflower oil, milk substitute, vanilla, treacle, agave nectar and gin. Once mixed, add to the dry ingredients, then whisk together until thick and creamy.

Spoon the mix into the cake tins, and put in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until firm to touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream. First, zest and juice an orange and a lemon.

Next, beat together the spread, icing sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, orange juice, gin and a pinch of the zest, then leave to firm in the fridge.

Once the sponge has cooled and the buttercream has hardened slightly, spread the buttercream evenly over one half of the cake and place the other sponge on top. Then, cover the top of the cake with more buttercream and sprinkle over the remaining zest to decorate.


Ableforth's Sloe Gin Pie Recipe

You are the apple of my pie

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Any excuse for a pie and we’re there. Meat, cream, fruit…you name it, we’re interested. Which is why, for this week’s The Great British Bake Off’s Pastry Week challenge, we’ve created this autumnal treat - a pie filled with all things delicious, including our Sloe Gin.

We opted to use ready-made pastry because…well, less time making = an earlier time to eat and enjoy. But of course, if you’re looking for a Paul Hollywood handshake you might want to attempt your own. Either way, it’s what’s inside that really counts, which in this instance is fresh apples, juicy plums and some of our super Sloe Gin. Yum.

Read on for how to make this tasty treat - we recommend serving on a crisp sunny Sunday afternoon after a roast and before board games.

Equipment

  • Wide frying pan

  • Pie dish

  • Rolling pin

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Large bramley apples (peeled and diced)

  • 8 plums (sliced)

  • 120g caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp flour (sifted)

  • 125ml Ableforth’s Bathtub Sloe Gin

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 350g puff pastry

  • 1 egg white, beaten with a fork until frothy

  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Method

Add diced apples and plums, cinnamon, flour and caster sugar to a wide frying pan. Soften the fruit on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the fruit juices have released and started to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in sloe gin - delish.

Preheat oven to 200’C (180’C fan oven). Add the fruit filling into a deep pie dish and brush the edges with egg white.

Lightly flour a surface and roll out pastry to desired fit, around 1/2cm thick. Lift pastry and rest over the fruit filling, sealing the edges and trimming the excess. Make yourself a pretty decoration using any spare pastry bits.

Brush the whole pie with frothy egg white. Scatter a teaspoon of granulated sugar and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden.

Then lay on the custard and enjoy!


Rumbullion! Navy Strength Chilli Brownie Recipe

Spice up your life….and your mouth, with this brownie recipe

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It’s week six of The Great British Bake Off (how?! Where is this time going?) and this week’s theme is Spice Week. Which, just so happens to be perfect for us because our Rumbullion! is full of delicious spices, and tastes great in baked goods.

This week the bakers are taking on a ginger cake challenge, but because we already treated you to this rum and ginger traybake a few weeks ago, this week we’re using a Rumbullion! and chilli combination for another tasty treat.

These brownies are every bit as chocolatey, fudgy and gooey as you’d expect, but they have two (not so) secret weapons...they get their spicy kick from our very flavoursome Rumbullion! Navy Strength and the addition of a good old chilli gives them a spicy little kick at the end.

Each batch makes roughly 16 squares and can last in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but we’d recommend maybe making a few because apparently people really, really like brownies and they go quite quickly.

Add more or less rum as required, ditto the chilli powder. And if you want to add extra chocolate chunks too, we doubt anyone would complain...

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Rumbullion! Navy Strength

  • 3 tsp chilli powder

  • 185g dark chocolate

  • 90g plain flour

  • 50g cocoa powder

  • 50g white chocolate

  • 50g milk chocolate

  • 3 large eggs

  • 275g golden caster sugar


Method

Slowly melt the dark chocolate and butter together in a bowl (you can do this in the microwave but be careful not to overcook).

Once melted, add 2 tbsp of rum to the mixture and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Turn the oven on to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4.

While the chocolate is cooling, whisk your eggs and sugar together, ideally with an electric mixer. This can take around 5 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.

While it’s mixing, add in your final tbsp of rum.

You’ll know the mixture is ready when it’s light and airy and has increased in size - you’re looking for the consistency of a milkshake.

In a separate bowl, use a sieve to sift the flour, cocoa and chilli powder together and ensure there’s no lumps.

Now add your cooled chocolate to your egg and sugar mix. You want to fold this together slowly to avoid knocking out the air, working in a figure of 8 motion, so use a spatula to do this.

When the colour is a mottled brown, it’s time to add your flour and cocoa mix. Use the sieve again to sift this in to your mixing bowl, and then slowly mix this in, again being careful not to knock out the air.

Break your white and milk chocolate into small chunks, and mix in.

Pour the mixture into a 20 cm square tin lined with parchment paper, and level out. Then place into the oven. Set the timer for 25 minutes and then check - if the centre is still wobbly then put back in the oven for another few minutes until the top is firm with a cracked, papery finish.

Leave in the tin to cool. Then remove, cut into squares and serve!




Ableforth's Summer Fruit Cup Roulade

Summer Fruit Cup in a dessert? That’s how we roll…

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Even though summer is swiftly departing us and making way for some much less sunbathing appropriate weather, there is a way to keep that summer feeling going. Okay, there are several ways, but if a trip to the Maldives is a stretch too far, then might we suggest our Summer Fruit Cup, all rolled up in a delicious dessert?

This week it’s Dessert Week on The Great British Bake Off, and the bakers will be taking on a meringue challenge. So we thought it was the perfect opportunity to crack open a bottle of Summer Fruit Cup and create a creamy, fruity and decadent dessert. Even the coulis on top features our SFC.

If you fancy serving up your own slice of summer, you could win a Summer Fruit Cup hamper to help you do just that. Head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages to see how. (T&C’s below).

In the mood to get baking? Here’s the tasty recipe in all its glory…

Ingredients

Filling

Infused fruit

  • 250g (10oz) strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • 75g blueberries

  • 30g raspberries

  • 50ml (2fl oz) Summer Fruit Cup

  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar

Strawberry coulis

  • 50g strawberries

  • 1 tbs sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbs Summer Fruit Cup (or to taste)

Cream filling

  • 300ml (1/2pt) double cream

Roulade

  • 4 x large egg whites

  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling

  • 1tsp cornflour

  • Icing sugar to dust

  • Flaked almonds

Method

First, slice three quarters of a punnet worth of strawberries and 30g of raspberries in to quarters. Place the strawberries, raspberries and 75g of blueberries in a bowl with the demerara sugar and marinate in 50ml of Summer Fruit Cup for at least 60 minutes.

Preheat oven at 200°C (180°C fan, Gas 6)

Lightly oil the Swiss roll tin (we used 23 x 33 cm/ 9 x 13in) and line with a sheet of non-stick baking paper.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until you form stiff peaks, then start to add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time until you have a glossy mixture. Just before you are done whisking, add the cornflour until completely mixed in. (If you’re brave, tip the bowl over your head, just to make sure the mixture is stiff enough!)

Spoon your meringue into the tin and gently smooth to ensure an even layer.

Sprinkle the almonds over your mixture.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes until the top has a light golden colour.

Reduce the heat to 160°C (140°C fan, Gas 3), and continue baking for around 10 minutes or until the meringue is firm to touch.

Put a tea cloth on to the work surface and cover with a sheet of nonstick baking paper then you can turn out your meringue.

Remove the baking paper from the bottom of the meringue and let it cool for 15 minutes or so.

Whip your cream while the meringue cools.

Spread your cream evenly over the meringue and scatter over your deliciously soaked strawberries.

Blend the fruit together for your sauce, then lightly pour over your meringue.

Using the lining paper to help, gently roll your meringue (length ways) until you have a beautiful rolled roulade.

Pop in the fridge for 20 minutes just to set the cream a little before eating.

Before serving lightly dust with icing sugar and pour over more sauce to taste.


Ableforth’s GBBO 2018

COMPETITION TERMS

THE PROMOTER

The Promoter is Ableforth’s. Just so you know, our legal name is Atom Supplies Limited. We are a company registered and incorporated in England and Wales with the company register number 03193057 and having its registered office at Unit 1 Ton Business Park, 2-8 Morley Road, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1RA, United Kingdom.


ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?

  1. The Ableforth’s GBBO 2018 competition (the Competition) is only open to private individuals who are 18 years old or older and residents in the United Kingdom (each being an Entrant). Ineligible entries (howsoever received) will be discarded.

  2. The Competition is not open to any employees of Atom Supplies Limited or any of its associated companies (including Ableforth’s), their families or friends.


HOW TO ENTER

  1. The Competition Period shall commence at 20:15:00 pm on 18 September 2018 and end at 23:59:59 pm on 27 September 2018.

  2. Entrants will be automatically entered into the Competition if they comment on the designated Ableforth’s Facebook and Instagram posts (Ableforth’s Facebook or Ableforth’s Instagram) about “who they would like to share the hamper with” within the Competition Period (each a Qualifying Entry).

  3. By submitting a Qualifying Entry, you are agreeing to be bound by these terms and conditions.

  4. Only one entry per person is allowed in the Competition.

  5. No purchase is necessary, and no payment is required to participate in the Competition.


HOW TO WIN

  1. Winners (each a Winner) will be selected at random from all Qualifying Entries by Ableforth's in Ableforth’s absolute discretion. The selection made will be final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.


WHAT IS THE PRIZE?

  1. Each Winner will win a Summer Fruit Cup Hamper consisting of the following goodies (the Prize):

    • bottle of 50cl Summer Fruit Cup;

    • bottle of 200ml Prosecco;

    • bottle of 200ml Soda;

    • bottle of 200ml Lemonade; and

    • bottle of 200ml Ginger Ale.

  2. There are 10 prizes available in total and 10 winners (5 winners chosen from Qualifying Entries submitted via Facebook and 5 winners chosen from Qualifying Entries submitted via Instagram). All prizes include packaging and carriage to any address within the United Kingdom.

  3. The Prize is provided by Ableforth’s, and cannot be exchanged for any equivalent cash value or for other items. The Prize is not negotiable or transferable.

  4. The Prize is strictly non-transferable, not negotiable and no cash alternative shall be available.


WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT AND HOW TO CLAIM THE PRIZE

  1. The names of the Winners will be announced on Instagram and Facebook as soon as practicable after the end of the Competition Period.

  2. Ableforth’s will make reasonable efforts to contact the Winners on the date of the announcement by replying to the relevant Qualifying Entry on social media and in any event no later than 5 October 2018. Upon receiving a reply from the Promoter, the Winners must respond to the Promoter by sending their contact details (name and email address), to the Promoter via private message on the relevant social media channel. If such response by a Winner is not received by the Promoter within 7 days of the Promoter replying to the relevant Qualifying Entry, Ableforth's reserves the right to offer the Prize to another eligible Entrant. Ableforth’s cannot accept any responsibility if a Winner is unable to take up the Prize or respond within the time limit as set out above for any reason.

  3. In order to redeem the Prize, the Winners acknowledge and agree that they will be required to provide further details in order for Ableforth’s to fulfil the Prize, these will include but are not limited to proof of legal drinking age and the Winner’s delivery address.

  4. In order to accept the Prize, the Winners shall be required to agree that we can use his or her name and county, state or region of residence (as applicable) when announcing the Winners of the competition and for other reasonable and related promotional purposes (nothing sinister, and we won’t sell the Winners’ or any other entrants’ details to anybody else – we promise). Ableforth's may contact the Winners for feedback in respect of the Competition and/or Prize and may use any feedback provided when announcing the results and promoting the Competition or subsequent competitions.

  5. Ableforth's will send the name and county of the Winners to anyone who writes within one month after the end of the Competition Period requesting details of the Winners and who encloses a self-addressed envelope to the address set out above or sends an email to hi@ableforths.com.


LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

  1. We shall not be responsible for any entries which are incorrectly submitted or which are not publicly visible or are removed from Instagram or Facebook for any reasons before the end of the Competition.

  2. Insofar as is permitted by law, the Promoter, its agents, employees, and/or representatives shall in no circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the Winners or any Entrant for any loss, damage, personal injury or death whatsoever and howsoever caused, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any direct, indirect or consequential losses arising out of or in connection with or as a result of the Winners taking up the Prize or any failure or delays in taking up the Prize, except where it is caused by the negligence of the Promoter, its agents, employees, and/or authorised representatives. Entrants' statutory rights are not affected.


ENTRY CONTENT, OWNERSHIP AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

  1. Let’s be sensible, people. By commenting on our website and/or on social channels which we are running the Competition on, you agree to only post comments that comply with our Acceptable Use Policy. Any post which depicts, describes, encourages, endorses or normalises the excessive consumption of alcohol, the consumption of alcohol by those under the age of 25, anti-social behaviour (including any criminal activity) or irresponsible drinking (including rapid drinking), which links the consumption of alcohol with popularity or other social success, bravado, technical skill, good fortune, the operation of vehicles or other machinery or therapeutic benefits, or which depicts the consumption of alcohol whilst potentially dangerous activities are being undertaken will be disqualified.

  2. Entrants warrant and undertake that they own all rights (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights) in any image and/or text post with which they enter the Competition. As between each Entrant and Ableforth's, Ableforth's shall own all rights (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights) in any image and/or text post which is entered into the Competition. Entrants waive all moral rights in the image, video or text to which they are or become entitled under Chapter IV of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (or any similar right or entitlement anywhere in the world).


DATA PROTECTION

  1. Ableforth’s is committed to protecting your privacy, in particular in compliance with the GDPR. Ableforth’s will only process your personal information as set out in Ableforth’s Privacy Policy (as amended from time to time), a current copy of which is available at: https://www.ableforths.com/privacy-policy.

  2. By entering into the Competition and claiming the Prize, the Entrants and Winners are accepting and consenting to the terms of Ableforth’s Privacy Policy and to the way Ableforth’s processes their personal information.

GENERAL

  1. Ableforth’s reserves the right to hold void, suspend, cancel or amend the Competition where it becomes necessary to do so. If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these terms or any attempt to circumvent or to frustrate them, Ableforth’s may, in our sole discretion, exclude any person from participating in the Competition.

  2. These terms shall be governed by English law, and the parties submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

Copyright in these terms belongs exclusively to Atom Supplies Limited.

All rights (including moral rights) are asserted and reserved.













Ableforth's Cherry Brandy Buns

Bread week and Cherry Brandy…what’s not to love?

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Now that we’re in week three of The Great British Bake Off, it probably comes as no surprise that we enjoy sweet treats, especially when they’re infused with our range of spirits. And this week is no exception - for Bread Week we’ve baked a batch of Belgian buns…but with a Cherry Brandy shaped twist.

Adding Cherry Brandy really is the um, cherry on top of the cake (or bun, if you will). Sure, you could have regular icing, but would it be as flavoursome? Probably not. Adding the Cherry Brandy makes the classic Belgian bun the grown-up iced treat you probably didn’t know you needed or wanted…until now.

In the spirit of sharing, we baked these and brought them in to Ableforth’s HQ, and they were wolfed down so quickly there was barely time to boil the kettle to make a nice ol’ cup of tea to accompany.

So, without further ado we present to you our Cherry Brandy Bun recipe. We’d recommend making at least three batches of these, because you will have to share. (And eat some for yourself to “test” them…)

Ingredients

Buns

  • 90ml whole fat milk

  • 1tsp of dry active yeast

  • 225g strong white flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 25g unsalted butter

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 1 medium egg

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons of cherry jam

  • 1 large handful of raisins

  • 1 large handful of dried cherries

  • 4 tsp of Ableforth’s Cherry Brandy

Icing

  • 3/4 tablespoons of icing sugar

  • Cherry Brandy to taste

  • 1 glacé cherry per bun

Method

Warm the milk to hand hot in the microwave (around 20 seconds).

Add a pinch of sugar and the fast acting yeast.

Leave this for around 20 minutes you will see the yeast working.

In a bowl mix the flour and salt.

Cube up the butter and then rub in using your fingers to make a breadcrumb consistency.

Stir the sugar into the dry ingredients.

In the centre of the bowl make a depression and add the egg and the yeast/milk mix.

Gradually mix in the flour from around the edge to make a soft dough - if it's too dry then add some more milk to the mix but make sure it is at least room temperature.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead for around 5 minutes until it's smooth and elastic.

Put it in a clean bowl and cover with a dish towel for around 2 hours - make sure it's in a warm location otherwise the dough will take much longer to double in size.

While you wait, mix 4 teaspoons of your Ableforth’s Cherry Brandy in to your jam.

Once the dough has doubled in size knead again for approximately 2 minutes and then roll out.

Spread with the Cherry Brandy jam and then sprinkle on the handfuls of raisins.

Roll up the dough to along the thick end similar to how you would roll a Swiss roll.

Cut into pieces about 3cm thick (this can get a bit messy!)

Place on a greased baking tray and leave for the second rise for around 30 minutes again make sure it's in a warm place.

Pre-heat the oven at 200C (180c in a fan oven) and bake the buns until golden brown. (about 15 minutes - N.B the time between perfect and burnt is very small)

Mix the icing sugar with enough cherry brandy to make a smooth paste which can be spooned onto the buns.

Remove the buns once cooked and place on a wire rack to cool down.

Once they have cooled add the icing and place a cherry on the top.