Today my FIL jazzed over to our place to help saw down a ficus tree. The tree was planted too close to the low wall separating our garden from that of the neighbour, and it has slowly grown into it, pushing the bricks apart and basically ruining its structural integrity. I’m not a fan of chopping down trees but alas this was one of those situations where there aren’t any alternatives. To feed the troops I decided to go wild and make some cinnamon rolls with a twist.
For the holidays I got a jar of awesome homemade chutney from my SIL which just blew my socks off, so ever since I’ve been keen to try my own chutney, because it really is very, very straight-forward. I’ve modified the recipe to include less fruit, since the pepper and beetroot can be replaced with a can of tinned apples if you choose. Green peppers and beetroot are rather sweet to my taste so it didn’t bother me much. You can also add mangoes or anything, really! I also decided that it simply must find its hope snuggled betwixt the warm folds of a cinnamon roll. How can such a combination be wrong?
It can’t! 😀
Spicy beet chutney (yields 2.25 cups)
- 125g dried apricots
- 75g mixed dried fruit (just check if there are prunes as most mixed packet prunes still have their pits which is bad for your blender!)
- 75g dried dates/prunes
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped and diced finely
- 1 cup finely diced beetroot (peeled) – approximately 3 small beetroot
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp finely chopped/grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup light brown sugar/raw sugar (next time I’ll leave this out altogether)
- 175ml apple cider vinegar
- 60ml red wine vinegar (OR 250ml brown vinegar in total of the two, whichever)
- 250ml water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP mustard seeds
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- paprika, cayenne, nutmeg and ginger, sprinkled to your pleasure
- In a food processor blend the mixed fruit together til fine. This essentially becomes a sticky mess. YUM!
- Add the fruit to a big pot with the onion, green pepper, beetroot and ginger.
- Add in the sugar, water, vinegar and salt and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
- Once it has reached boiling point, turn the heat down to simmer and let it relax at that level for 40-45 minutes, until the excess liquid is gone and the chutney has thickened.
- Towards the end, place your glass jars in a big bowl of salted boiling water and let them slosh around for 10 minutes.
- Rinse them out, wipe down and out, and then let them stand upright in warm water (don’t let water get back into the jars- rather pour out excess water so that they remain upright and stable).
- Once your chutney is done, let it cool for 5 minutes and then spoon the chutney into the warm flasks. Press down if you like with the back of a spoon and then seal very well!
This stuff is DELICIOUS! I went out last night to a friend’s house and made a wrap with roasted eggplant strips, bean sprouts, red cabbage and then a tablespoon of this. Nom!! It’s vibrant, amazing and tart. My FIL seemed to love it as well, but we both agree that it can do completely without *any* sugar because the dried fruit is enough by itself, but again he’s diabetic and I’m rather skittish of too much sugar (dry mouth, low-energy consequences).
I turned this into the filling for some delightful cinnamon buns based on Foodie Fiasco’s recipe that I’ve used before. I made some modifications, but overall not much, because it’s an awesome base for noms!
Chutney stuffed cinnamon rolls: makes 12
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1.5 – 2 cups wholewheat flour
- 2 1/5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 5 TBSP pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 1 TBSP melted vegan butter
- lots and lots of cinnamon!
- 1/2 cup of the homemade chutney (or else use jam or some such)
- 1 TBSP cornstarch
- Just jazz over to Foodie Fiasco’s website for the step-by-step business, BUT: If you use pumpkin puree be warned that your dough will be more squishy, so you will have to add more flour than specified. I initially added up to 1/2 a cup of extra flour, and then put it back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. In the end I used 1 cup extra than specified in Foodie’s recipe, but again that’s due to the freshly pureed pumpkin. Next time I’ll pat my steamed pumpkin a bit drier and then also refrigerate it for an hour at least so that I don’t have to use so much “extra’ flour.
- Preheat the oven to 200C and spray a round pie pan. I try not to preheat too long before the time because I always know that something could go wrong or just that it takes me ages to get anything done.
- I split the dough in two, because of my small rolling space, and actually flattened it by hand, since the rolling pin is a bit of a pain. I painted on melted butter and then splashed the tons of cinnamon everywhere.
- Blend together 1/2 a cup of chutney with the 1 TBSP cornstarch and spoon it out down the middle of your roll, then spread it out all edges from there. Splash more cinnamon if you like – I did! 😀
- Roll the dough into a log – start at the end closest to you and roll away along the length of it. Be sure to roll rather tightly if possible. Cut the whole log (whether you’ve split it into two or not) into 12 pieces.
- Place the rolls into the pan and just squish them down a little bit so they don’t fall over – I usually also give them a little “breathing room”.
- Brush a bit of soy milk on top of each roll and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. With rye and wholewheat it gets “brown” rather quickly but this doesn’t mean it’s actually cooked, so take it out and poke a bit if you have to.
- Ta da!
This is seriously THE most delicious thing I’ve made yet this year, methinks. Soft and tasty, slightly spicy but sweet from the dried fruit…HOMG so good!! In fact, I usually give away all my rolls after tasting one, but this time I actually kept one for tomorrow, just because I couldn’t see a future without at least one more of these divine treats! I sent my FIL home with the other leftover rolls and a jar of chutney, and he was rather chuffed! Man-thing, who at first said he was terribly confused because he expected sweetness in a cinnamon roll ended up eating FOUR nevertheless, so I don’t think he can complain too much. It’s not traditional, no, but it’s wonderful nonetheless. Perfect as a sturdy snack all my itself or as a side to a big salad-y or veggie lunch!
Anyway, It seems I’ll be making dark chocolate and poppy pumpkin rolls for me and choc chipped caramel cinnamon buns sometime soon for Man-thing, but that’s just because he’s spoilt :p Still, I love making food and goodies for people I love (in whichever way) – it’s a way to show that they mean something more than words to me. That’s why when Man-thing brings me a cup of early morning coffee in the morning I want to puddle into tears of joy because then he’s speaking ‘my language’. ❤