Two weeks ago I had the joy of working on not one, but TWO collaborations with some of the best food bloggers I know. First, at the start of the week I invited Aimee R. from Wallflower Kitchen into my home and together we made these fluffy vegan pancakes. (Sooooo yummy!) Then, later that same week Silvia from Salvia+Limone and Aimee T. from Twigg Studios popped by to bake today's insanely yummy vegan apple cinnamon buns.
Those of you who read the blog regularly or follow me on instagram will know that Silvia, Aimee T. and I baked together once before earlier this year when we created this vegan matcha pistachio tres leches cake. So gorgeous, right?! We promised one another that very day we'd meet and bake together again and true to our word, we did!
Now, I can be wrong and you all often surprise me BUT, if I were a betting lady, I'd say today's post will not create the same insanely positive response we got after we made the vegan matcha pistachio tres leches cake. I had this feeling even before we started baking the cinnamon rolls, but nonetheless I really wanted to press ahead with the recipe and the styling as we'd discussed and agreed between us over numerous e-mails and direct messages.
That's because I felt the need to create something that was totally different from what we did the first time we all hung out. Something that would challenge us stylistically and photographically in all sorts of new forms. And rather than repeating a formula that had worked, we wanted to be creative and put ourselves out there artistically, pushing our own boundaries in a mega exciting way. And so what if we risked making something that wouldn't have as wide an appeal as out first joint effort? I feel that as long as the making of this blog post fufilled us and satisfied our sense of aesthetic then that's all that mattered. Plus working on the edge of our on capabilities meant we all had the opportunity to discover different ways of using our camera, to work with the light and - most importantly - to experience sheer joy in the process of doing so. (BTW I also had a mini temper tantrum on the day cuz the lighting conditions REALLY took me beyond my comfort zone, but hey, let's not go there, shall we ;)?). In short I'm immensely proud of today's blog post especially because I got to create it with two AWESOME and inspiring women :).
I'd love to know, how you feel about 'creativity'? What does the word 'creativity' mean to you? And as a (food) blogger what's more important to you - shooting and sharing an image that appeals to your followers or creating one that appeals to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please do share them in the comment section below :). I can't wait to read them :).
Anyway, I hope you take the time to have a peek at Silvia and also Aimee's vision and interpretation of the day. Their blog posts are GORGEOUS; I just love how they captured the same day completely differently through their lens. It's crazy cool really how that works. Ok, gotta run now but thank you sooooo much for reading everyone and see you in a few weeks.
P.S. If you'd like to spend a weekend with me and Aimee, practicing yoga, making vegan food, learning about food photography and food styling, then why not join us in 2017 for a 3-day creative gathering retreat? You e-mail me at kimberly(at)thelittleplantation(dot)co(dot)uk for further details if.
P.P.S. Like what you see here? Then please do help spread the word by pinning today's recipe, following along on instagram or liking my facebook page. It would make my day.
VEGAN CINNAMON AND APPLE ROLLS WITH SALVIA+LIMONE AND TWIGG STUDIOS (V+, ChF)
These cinnamon rolls are THE BOMB! Honestly so, so good. They aren't too sweet and the centre came out nice and gooey with the apples beautifully caramelised. Just a word of caution though - the spelt flour will make the cinnamon buns look slightly dry when they come out of the oven. But just let them cool, give them a further 5-10 minutes and they should be completely perfect ;).
Preparation Time: 25minutes
Proving Time: 1-2 hours + 45 minutes-1 hour
Baking Time: about 30 minutes
Makes: 10-12 rolls
Ingredients for the rolls:
200g spelt flour
250g plain flour
4 tbs cane sugar
1 heaped tsp salt
1 sachet/7g fast acting yeast
250ml of almond milk + 3tbs of almond milk
1-2tbs of olive oil to grease your proving bowl
Ingredients for the apple cinnamon filling:
2 crisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced (ideally with a mandolin like this one)
7 tbs cane sugar
2-3 tbs cinnamon
Ingredients for the vegan cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
4tbsp coconut oil, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
4 ounces/110g softened, dairy-free plain cream cheese (we used this one)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla powder or extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
To make the dough, mix together all the ingredients for the rolls (except the olive oil!) until just combined. If the mixture looks too dry, add a tiny bit more milk (you'd rather have it be a speckle too wet than too dry). Then knead the dough on a dry surface with a sprinkle of flour to avoid the dough from sticking. Knead for about 7-10 minutes. (We kneaded by hand.) Then grab a large bowl, cover lightly with the olive oil, place the kneaded dough inside, cover with cling film and leave to rest in a dry, warm place for about 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. (The length of time you allow the dough to rise depends very much on how warm it is in your home!).
As the dough is rising, start preparing the filling by peeling, removing the core and slicing the apples. We used seasonal pink pearl apples because they are quite crisp, tart and sweet. But it's really up to you. You can sprinkle some lemon juice on the apple slices to stop them from browning, though this isn't essential.
When the dough is ready, remove it from the bowl and roll it out with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape. Then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the dough and then neatly place the apple slices on top of the dough so it is completely covered. There may be some apple slices left. Next roll the dough as shown above. Cut the dough into 10-12 discs/rolls and place these in a baking tin. We used a round copper one, but a rectangular one should do the trick too.
Next allow the rolls to prove in a warm, dry place for another 45minutes to an hour. Then pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180C/355F or until they are starting to brown.
As the rolls are baking, prepare the vegan cinnamon cream cheese frosting by sieving the powdered sugar to remove any lumps and combining it with all the other ingredients to create the frosting. If you're still finding that the frosting is a bit lumpy, then you can mix it whilst placing the bowl in a bain marie, which is what we did.
When the rolls are ready, remove them from the oven, let them cool and then smother them in the frosting. YUM! Enjoy!
Tip 1: You can replaced the sugar with a sweetener of your choice. This includes the powdered sugar - for example you can use powdered xylitol if you want to stay away from conventional sugar.
Tip 2: We proved our dough in the oven with the oven light on to create the right amount of heat so the dough could rise. Even so, it took quite a while.
Tip 3: Proving time will very much depend on how warm/cold your kitchen is! Don't leave it to prove for too short.
Looking for more vegan baking ideas? Then why not try fig and kale pesto pizza or the gluten-free cardamom and pistachio cookies?
Or want to see what became of my other collaborations? Then just head here.