When it comes to British baking traditions, Chelsea buns hold a special place in the hearts of many. These sweet, spiraled pastries filled with dried fruit and spices have been enjoyed for centuries. But what if we could add a delightful twist to this beloved classic? Enter Bakewell Chelsea Buns, a fusion of two iconic British treats: Chelsea buns and Bakewell tarts.
The British Classics
Chelsea buns, believed to originate from the Bun House in Chelsea, London, are known for their soft, sweet dough rolled up with a mixture of currants, brown sugar, and spices. They are typically baked close together, creating a delightful, gooey consistency when pulled apart.
Bakewell tarts, on the other hand, come from the picturesque town of Bakewell in Derbyshire. These almond-infused delights consist of a flaky pastry shell filled with raspberry jam and a frangipane topping, crowned with a layer of icing and a cherry.
The Fusion: Bakewell Chelsea Buns
Bakewell Chelsea Buns combine the best of both worlds – the sweet, fruity allure of Chelsea buns and the nutty, fruity flavors of Bakewell tarts. Here’s how it’s done:
The foundation of Bakewell Chelsea Buns is a soft, sweet dough that remains true to the Chelsea bun tradition. It’s the perfect canvas for the delightful flavors that will be layered within.
Instead of the traditional currants, Bakewell Chelsea Buns are generously spread with raspberry jam, paying homage to the Bakewell tart’s fruity heart. This jam adds a sweet and slightly tangy note to each bite.
The Almond Frangipane
The real Bakewell twist comes with the almond frangipane. A generous layer of this nutty delight is spread over the raspberry jam, infusing the buns with the rich, aromatic flavors of almonds. It’s a nod to the frangipane topping of Bakewell tarts.
Once rolled and sliced, these buns are baked until they turn a beautiful golden brown, and the aroma of toasted almonds fills the kitchen. It’s a moment of anticipation, knowing that you’re about to indulge in something truly special.
A final touch of sweetness comes in the form of a simple icing glaze. Drizzled over the freshly baked Bakewell Chelsea Buns, it adds that classic Bakewell tart finish, complete with a glace cherry on top.
A Fusion of Flavors
The moment you take your first bite of a Bakewell Chelsea Bun, you’ll experience a fusion of flavors and textures. The soft, sweet dough meets the fruity jam and the nutty frangipane in perfect harmony. It’s a delightful surprise for the taste buds and a true celebration of British baking heritage.
Bakewell Chelsea Buns are a testament to the creative spirit of baking enthusiasts. They remind us that tradition and innovation can coexist in the world of baking, resulting in delightful surprises that honor the past while embracing the future.
So, the next time you’re in the mood for a British classic with a twist, consider baking a batch of Bakewell Chelsea Buns. They’re the perfect fusion of two beloved treats, and they’re sure to leave you and your loved ones craving more.
Bakewell Chelsea Buns
500g strong white bread flour
40g caster sugar
10g dried active yeast (Dove’s farm)
250 ml milk at hand heat temperature
60g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
Filling (this makes extra- it is not easy to reduce quantities)
125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
25g plain flour
2 tbsps amaretto
1 tsp almond extract
200g sour cherries chopped
2 tablespoons raspberry liquer (Chambord I use)
egg beaten with salt for eggwash
250g fondant icing sugar, sieved and mixed with 2-4 tbsps water
6-7 unglazed glace cherries, halved
- Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl.
- Rub in the butter, then add the eggs and milk to make a sticky dough
- Knead on the unfloured counter for 10 minutes until smooth and transparent when pulled and held to the light. Then lightly flour surface and form the dough into a ball. Alternatively use a food processor with a dough hook for about 5 minutes of mixing at medium speed.
- Return the ball to the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave until doubled in size (at least 1 hour)
- Make the almond paste by beating the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Then stir in the almonds and flour. Add the eggs one at a time then the almond extract and Amaretto. Chill until ready to use if not using immediately.
- Chop the sour cherries and leave to absorb the raspberry liquer.
- When the dough has risen, turn it out and then roll out to a rectangle 30 x 40cm on a lightly floured surface. Spread half to three quarters of the almond paste thinly over the dough to the edges and then scatter the cherries over the top right to the edges but leaving one long edge clear for 2cm. Roll up the dough from the long edge opposite to this one so that it looks like a Swiss roll and using a pastry brush dipped in water, moisten the opposite edge and press to seal.
- Cut off the ends each side to neaten and then cut the roll into 12 equal pieces each around 2-3cm thick.
- Turn each piece on its end, flatten slightly until no more than 3cm high and then arrange on a baking tray.
- Glaze with eggwash
- Set oven to 180 degrees C fan and leave to prove covered lightly with a towel in a warm place for 30 minutes by which time they should have roughly doubled in size.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown (if browning too quickly then cover with foil/parchment).
- The buns should be firm underneath.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Mix the fondant icing sugar with the water and then pipe over the cooled buns in irregular zigzag strokes. Decorate with a halved glade cherry.