Carrot cake monkey bread
Better known in the United States of America, monkey bread is a delicious sharing loaf, made up of individual sweet and spiced dough balls, stacked into a tin. A drizzle of icing finishes the loaf and, once placed in the middle of the brunch table, everyone can tear off a piece and devour. Our version is inspired by warming carrot cake spices, orange zest, walnuts, and cream cheese icing.
Place the milk and 100g butter in a medium saucepan, stir and allow the butter to melt and the milk to lightly steam.
Turn off the heat and pour the milk into a measuring jug. Once the milk has cooled slightly, and is warm to touch, stir in the yeast, allowing it to froth and bubble a little. Meanwhile, place the flour, mixed spice and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir well.
Stir in the caster sugar and 25g of the light brown sugar, plus half of the orange zest, and make a well in the centre of the flour. Whisk the eggs into the milk, then gradually stir the milk and egg mix into the well, using a fork.
Gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid, until soft dough forms, then use your hands to mix.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour, then turn the dough out onto the surface. Knead for around 5 minutes until springy and soft, then sprinkle the dried fruit over the dough and fold in, then continue to knead for 2 more minutes.
Wipe out the large mixing bowl and lightly grease the mixing bowl. Add the dough to the bowl and cover with cling film, place in a warm place for around 40 minutes-1 hour, until it has doubled in size. Meanwhile, melt the butter and generously grease a 23cm Bundt tin.
To make the spiced sugar, add the spices, remaining light soft brown sugar and a pinch of salt to a small mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the spiced sugar mix and 2 tablespoons of walnuts into the Bundt tin.
Once risen, knock the air from the dough, lightly knead a little and divide into small walnut-sized pieces.
Dip the balls of dough into the softened butter, then roll them in the spiced sugar and pack into the Bundt tin, sprinkling over walnuts as you build. When finished, if you have any spiced sugar and butter left, pour it over the top. Cover the Bundt with oiled clingfilm and allow to rise in a warm place again for around an hour, until a firm dough is formed
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (fan) and remove the clingfilm. Place the Bundt in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until risen and beautifully golden. Allow the monkey bread to cool in the tin and turn out when ready.
To make the icing, add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl. Sift over the icing sugar and mix until incorporated and smooth. When ready to serve, drizzle the icing over the top of the monkey bread. Scatter over the orange zest and more chopped walnuts and enjoy.
85g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fast action yeast (or a 7g sachet)
600g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2½ teaspoons mixed spice
Large pinch salt
25g caster sugar
225g light soft brown sugar
Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated
2 large Old Cotswold Legbar eggs
70g mixed fruit (such as sultanas, raisins, currants and cranberries)
Light oil, for greasing
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
120g walnuts, chopped
100g cream cheese
25g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar