Communities are a funny thing. They spring up in all sorts of places. No two communities ever look the same. And I think we can all agree that generally a community is a positive thing. I don’t think anyone is out there trying to break up communities.
I like communities because we accept them all, regardless of what they look like. We dig them no matter where they crop up. That’s why I like blogging so much. The community.
I have found that each and every blogger I have spoken to in my internet travels has been a uniquely kind and giving member of the human race. It’s no surprise given that almost all of us do this for the sheer joy of it.
If we can turn a buck, and get a real readership going, then that’s a bonus. But we do it because we love it, and because it brings us joy, and we want to share that.
I’ve been thinking personally about why I do this whole crazy ritual of baking, styling, shooting, editing, writing, editing, agonising and posting a lot recently. Sometimes I think I’m crazy to put this much into something which may not end up being so important.
It feels important. But in the grand scheme of my life, I really don’t know. No-one knows. Which makes it that much more important to do what you love. And I love this. So I do this. And then I’m back to the start.
Why do I do this, really? I ask myself. And I think it boils down to the following:
I love to eat
I love to cook
I love to talk about eating and cooking
I think what we eat has a huge impact on how we feel and who we are
I’m fascinated by why we eat what we eat, and what our relationship to that food is
I can’t stop thinking about all of the above
So that’s why I do this. Why am I eating this today, you ask? Because of the food blogging community! Because the wonderful Ms Elizabeth LaBau of Sugar Hero (hear more from her here), read this post where I mention a salted caramel and macadamia nut cinnamon roll, and left a comment saying ‘DO IT, DO IT NOW’ (I’m paraphrasing). So it’s not a sticky bun/cinnamon roll. It might be even better though.
Why do you do what you do? Are you as fascinated with your work as I am? Do you have a passion? Do you want me to bake you something? Tell me, I love to hear from you.
- 3 cups (450g) plain flour
- 2 tsps dried yeast
- ¼ cup (50g) caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 oz (50g) butter, melted
- ⅔ cup whole milk, slightly warmed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (225g) caster sugar
- 2 oz (50g) butter
- ½ cup (125ml) cream
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- ¾ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- To make the dough, place all of the ingredients for the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed for about 5-10 minutes or until the dough comes together and is smooth and elastic.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for an hour. The dough will not double in size, but will increase by about a third.
- Meanwhile, make the salted caramel for the filling. Place the sugar with a splash of water into a deep saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until the sugar melts, begins to bubble, and then caramelises.
- Once the sugar reaches an amber colour, remove it from the heat and carefully add the butter, cream and salt. Stir them in gently (the pan will bubble up), and then place the pan back on the heat for another 30 seconds or so, till the sauce thickens slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down and place it on a well-floured surface. Roll the dough out to a 20x12inch (50x35cm) rectangle, and spread ¾ of the cooled salted caramel over the dough. Sprinkle almost all of the nuts over the caramel, reserving a few for the top. Now, slice the dough into six 12inch (35cm) strips. Stack the strips on top of each other, and cut them down into 5 stacks of squares. Place the squares vertically into a greased and lined loaf tin. Cover the tin loosely and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/170C and then bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes or until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when carefully tapped on the top.
- Leave to cool, drizzle with the remaining salted caramel and chopped nuts, and then serve!