Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Heat the butter and milk in a small pan over a low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is just warm – cool for a few minutes if it’s too hot. Put the flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and ½ tsp of fine salt in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk mixture. Knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and elastic – you can so this by hand, too. Cover and leave to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
For the custard, heat the milk, cream and vanilla in a small pan over a low heat until steaming. Whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a heatproof bowl until combined, then slowly pour over the hot milk mixture in a steady stream, whisking. Return to the pan and cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes or until the custard thickens and can generously coat the back of a spoon – it will thicken more as it cools. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with a circle of baking paper. Once cool, chill until needed.
Knock back the dough and divide into 12 balls, weighing for accuracy if you like (around 75g each). Pinch together the dough at the base to shape into a smooth round and arrange on a lined baking tray, well spaced apart. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Press your index finger into the middle of each bun (the indent should be large enough to fit an egg yolk). Spoon the custard into a piping bag, snip off the end and pipe the custard into the indents – or use a spoon.
Brush the exposed dough around the custard with the beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes until golden and well risen. Put on a wire rack to cool completely.
Mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp of water to make a smooth icing and brush this over the sides of the buns. Put the coconut on a small plate and roll the buns into it before the icing sets.
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