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Friday, 8 January 2016

Nutella and Almond Bread Maker Rolls Recipe

2016 is set to see a huge strain on our finances as I have just started maternity leave!  In an effort to save money I am operating a zero waste policy in the kitchen.  After rummaging in cupboards the other day I realised I had not only an almost full jar of Nutella that was just sitting there, but also a small amount of powdered almonds left over from the Christmas baking.  Something had to be created from these two wonderful 'leftovers'.

I am a huge fan of cinnamon rolls and a bread maker version had been on my pinterest wishlist for ages!  I'm also quite in love with an amazing chocolate brioche that Aldi sells and was wondering if I could come up with something in the same family to squash my craving.  The lightbulb moment came when I decided to combine two recipes; the breadmaker cinnamon roll recipe and one I found for Nutella and almond rolls!

The process for this is super easy and only involves about 20 minutes of actual work, the bread maker does the rest!  If you don't have a bread maker you need to get one in your life!  Read about how much money you could save with one here.


Makes 12

For the Dough

250ml (8 fl oz) warm milk (45 C)
2 eggs, room temperature lightly beaten
75g (3 oz) butter, melted
600g (1 1/3 lb) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
100g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons quick yeast
2 teaspoons almond extract


For the Filling 

1 jar of Nutella
50g ground almonds


For the Icing

90g icing sugar
4 teaspoons whole milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 



Place the dough ingredients in the bread maker in the order specified in your manual (mine is always wet ingredients first, followed by dry and then yeast, sugar and salt on top). Don't worry too much about getting your milk to the perfect temperature.  I measure mine into a microwavable mug/jug and place it on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until it is warm but not hot.  Select the dough cycle and press start. 
After the bread maker has finished, the dough should be doubled in size.  If it isn't place on a floured surface and cover until doubled in size (about 10 minutes).

Roll the dough out on a well floured surface to measure 40cms x 50cms.  It will be very springy and pliable, so do not force the dough with the rolling pin, just roll gently.  Make sure that you measure the dough and that it is in a rough rectangular shape.
Using a large spoon and either a knife or spatula carefully cover the dough in the jar of Nutella.  Once you have an even layer, sprinkle on the ground almonds.

Starting with the longer end carefully roll the dough into a spiral shape.  Make sure that it is tight enough that the Nutella was stick the dough together and it won't loose it's shape once cut.  Then divide the long sausage into 12 pieces and arrange cut side up on a well oiled tin (or 2 tins if required).  The rolls should be touching.

Cover with a piece of clingfilm and place in a warm setting for 30 minutes, they will double in size.  Whilst you are waiting for this step pre-heat the oven to 200c / fan 180c / Gas mark 6.
Once the buns have risen remove the clingfilm and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on them after 12 minutes as they will quickly catch, they should be a light golden brown colour.
While the buns are cooking mix all the icing ingredients together in a bowl.  You may need to adjust the icing sugar and milk quantities to get a nice runny paste.  Once the buns have been cooked, remove from the oven and drizzle over the icing whilst still warm.

After 10 minutes, carefully transfer the buns to a wire rack to prevent soggy bottoms!
These are best eaten warm, but can be re-heated in a cold oven (not pre-heated) at 160c / fan 150c for 5 minutes.  These also freeze well to ensure you always have a batch on the go!  Just defrost by placing on a wire rack for a few hours and then re-heating as usual

Friday, 1 January 2016

Save £667.95 in a year, 1p at a time!

So it's January and a lot of us are feeling the burn from a big Christmas money splurge.  Every year we say that we will save throughout the year and every year some unexpected event or bill clears out any plans that we had to put money aside for Christmas.

What if I told you that you could pay for Christmas by putting aside a few pennies a day?  At first I thought that there is no way that you could save a reasonable amount in this way, but the figures don't lie.  The basics are on the 1st day of the year you save 1p, on the 2nd 2p, on the 3rd 3p, on the 4th 4p and so on.  The most you will ever put away is £3.65, and at the end of the year you will have earned a cool £667.95 (£671.61 in 2016 as it's a leap year!).  In fact it's only part way through April when you will need to start putting away more than £1 a day, plenty of time to recover from last years Christmas over-spend.

There are a few people out there that prefer to start the money challenge backwards and so put aside £3.65 on 1st January, £3.64 on 2nd January £3.63 on 3rd January, £3.62 on 4th January and so on.  It depends on whether you feel you will be able to put a little more aside in January or December.

There are two main ways in which to do the challenge;
  • A physical jar that you fill with change
  • If you have access to internet banking it is easy to transfer the required amount to an ISA or savings account.
Both have their positives!

A physical jar means you have the added motivation of seeing the coins rising, you could also add any spare change you may have to make your total even higher.  An ISA or savings account will also have an interest rate which means you should see a small return on all those pennies too.

If like me you have an appalling memory, the wonderful bloggers over at A Damn Good Life have created a printable sheet that you can tick off daily to ensure you don't lose track of where you are on your savings.

 Be sure to head directly over to them and download a high quality version, their blog is a great read too!

For those of you that are using a template on a leap year, remember to add in £3.66 at some point to cover the extra day!

Why not let me know how you get on in the comments?

Happy 2016!

Well 2015 is over and today we are enjoying the first day of 2016!

2015 was certainly eventful and although I lost my much beloved Nan, we have come through the year being thankful for all that happened too.  I am currently 8 and a bit months pregnant and we finally moved into our forever house a few weeks ago.

As we move into the new year I'm in a quandary about what to do with this blog.  Trying to conceive has been such a huge part of my life for over 5 years, but that chapter is about to come to an end.  My blogging and crafting hobbies helped enormously with regaining a sense of self that our miscarriages and struggles robbed me of, but at the same time I don't know where my new role as a Mother will leave these priorities.

Most importantly I am all too aware of the lovely people that read this blog that are still trying to achieve their dream of parenthood and I don't want them to have to read about the new baby and have it feel as if it's being rubbed in.  I have been there and I know that no-matter how happy you are for the new parents, there is always a bubble of resentment beneath the surface, the 'why not me?'

So as I move in to 2016 I am left with two options;
  • Call time on my beloved Ramblings of a Baby Making Addict blog and start anew
  • Update and re-name the blog to focus on our new chapter
Both have pros and cons and it is a decision that I have been pondering for some time.  I know however that with only 3 and a bit weeks to go until D-day I need to make it fast!

I wish all my readers a very happy and prosperous 2016!