I love to connect with other food bloggers and have made some wonderful new foodie friends since I began Cupcakes and Couscous. I am super excited about today’s post which not only has a deee-licious recipe for you to try but also my first international interview! Today I am chatting to baking extraordinaire and Nutella lover, Jessica Creed who is based in the U.K. and blogs over at What Jessica Baked Next.
I first came across Jess and her delectable creations on Instagram where she regularly posts gorgeous photos that are guaranteed to get your tummy grumbling. Her blog is full of delicious recipes that readers with a sweet tooth will find particularly enticing.
I tried out Jess’ recipe for triple lemon iced sticky buns and it was a hit! The dough was very easy to make and work with, and now that I have made them I would also love to try out a few variations like chocolate, orange or cinnamon – yum! I have shared her recipe below, you can also click onto the original recipe post here. Let’s find out more about the lady behind the scenes…
Your blog is simply gorgeous! What made you decide to take the plunge and start writing in the first place?
I started blogging because I love to get into my kitchen and bake at the weekends after a long week of hard work. I’ve loved baking since I was really young and enjoyed making cakes with my Mum. It was actually my big Sister Becky who encouraged me to start documenting my favourite recipes for people to try.
You often mention your family in your posts, and I can imagine you all tucking into your latest creation. Do you come from a family of foodies, or are you the cook in the house?
My family are a massive part of my food blogging, they’re the people who eat and taste my food and give me feedback. My Mum taught me how to cook and is probably my main foodie inspiration. I have many great memories baking sponge cakes together when I was little. I’ve taken recipes from my childhood and recreated them for my blog now I’m older.
“What Jessica Baked Next” is full of fantastic ideas- where do you find inspiration when you are creating in the kitchen?
I find a lot of my inspiration from reading food magazines, such as BBC GOOD FOOD, which I was lucky enough to have one of my recipes featured twice in last year. I love reading cookery books, my favourites are written by Rachel Khoo and Nigella Lawson. I also read other food blogs and am inspired too. I like to use the inspiration and put a twist on well known classics.
Tell us about a typical day in the life of Jess.
Well by day I’m a trainee Chef on a professional cookery course at my local college and by night (and at the weekend) a food blogger. During the day I can be in the kitchen, waitressing or working in the bar.
I spend most days off in the kitchen baking, then photographing and writing up recipes for the blog.
What are the top 5 “must have” ingredients in your pantry?
- Sugar- it’s in the majority of my recipes and a sugar coated life is always better!
- Nutella- I have a serious addiction and it features in a lot of my recipes.
- Butter- it’s the basis to any good cake and the best comfort food spread onto some freshly baked crusty bread.
- Chocolate- I’m a self-confessed chocoholic!
- Pasta- I cook it most nights for dinner. Quick and tasty with a lovely, homemade tomato sauce or perfect transformed into my go-to dish with chilli garlic oil and a little sprinkle of parmesan.
Being based in the UK and with Europe on your doorstep you certainly do not have to go far to experience some amazing cuisine. What is your current favourite food destination?
I’m very lucky to be so close to many great countries. I have always loved travelling to Italy. Tuscany in particular is my go-to destination. The local food is amazing and I’ve enjoyed many trips there. My dream is to live in Italy one day. It is great to enjoy a pizza in a buzzing city centre during the day and relax with a bowl of pasta al-fresco wherever you are staying. I also love Bruges, Belgium- another place I’ve written a travel article about on my blog. The chocolate is amazing.
Food blogging takes a lot of (cupcake fueled?) energy and time! What motivates you to keep blogging?
The lovely comments from my readers who have tried my recipes are what puts a big smile on my face and keeps me motivated! I also love the feeling of satisfaction when people eat my food, it’s the best feeling in the world. Food has become my life and it makes me extremely happy.
What can fans expect from “What Jessica Baked Next” in 2015?
This year I’m focusing on creating my first recipe Ebook. I’ve already started testing recipes for the book and I’m slowly getting there.I hope for another great year, my readers to expand and more people to enjoy my blog!
You can follow Jess on Twitter: @Jess_Creed
TRIPLE LEMON ICED STICKY BUNS
550g white bread flour
14g instant yeast
55g castor sugar
zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
85g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (250ml) low fat milk
1 large egg
For the lemon filling:
25g unsalted butter, softened
75g castor sugar
zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
For the lemon glaze:
250g icing sugar
juice of 1 lemon
extra lemon zest for decorating
Step 1.) Place the flour, yeast, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a freestanding mixer and mix gently to combine. Add the butter and rub in until it has all been incorporated.
Step 2.) Place the milk in a small saucepan and warm gently, (you should still be able to put your finger in the milk without burning it). Add the warm milk and the egg to the dry ingredients and mix gently until you have a soft dough.
Step 3.) Knead the dough in your mixer for 5-7 minutes until it is smooth and stretches easily without breaking. (If you are kneading by hand it will take slightly longer.) Gently knead the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (1-2 hours).
Step 4.) Make the lemon filling by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir in the lemon zest.
Step 5.) Dust your work surface with flour and roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 50cm x 20cm. Spread the lemon filling over the pastry. Starting at one of the long edges roll the dough up into a large sausage. Slice the dough into 12 equal pieces and arrange in a large greased baking tin / tray, allowing room for spreading. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until the buns have doubled in size and have joined together.
Step 6.) Preheat your oven to 180°C. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Step 7.) To prepare the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in enough lemon juice to give you a drizzling consistency. Drizzle the icing over the buns, then sprinkle with some additional lemon zest before serving.