Monday, January 27, 2014

Cheesymite Scrolls

Happy 'Straya Day! January 26 was Australia Day, and today we've had a national holiday to mark the occasion. It's a contested holiday in this country, but as a recent Aussie implant, I have found it an excellent time to unwind, break out the BBQ, and try my hand at Australia's culinary treats. Yesterday morning we made cheesymite scrolls to go with our fried eggs and smoothies. I adapted the same recipe that I mentioned in my last post from The Organised Housewife here, with my adjustments in the recipe below. This super easy, whole wheat version made 10 mini-rolls that could easily serve about 4 people, though I am embarrassed to admit the hubs and I polished them off pretty quickly between the two of us.
cheesymite scrolls for breakfast on Australia Day
Yesterday afternoon I also made lamingtons, a classic Aussie treat that seems to remind everyone of bake sales, lunch boxes, and after school trips to the local bakery. It's a light sponge cake covered in a thin chocolate sauce and rolled in shredded coconut, sometimes with a spread of jam in the middle of the sponge cake if you're being fancy. The first time I made them in London for Australia Day I hadn't ever visited the antipodes in person or eaten a lamington, and the hubs sweetly nodded and said they were pretty close to authentic.
Vegemite and cheese rolled into an easy to make wholewheat dough
Now that I've had the real deal, I realize I was totally off in that first attempt. I had made a cake with a pound cake type crumb, which makes the lamingtons dense and a little too rich. You want a light-as-can-be, pillowy soft sponge cake texture. The bakery down the road from serves the most tender lamingtons, and I'm aiming for a replica of their perfectly soft cake. This year I turned to the cake Australia Women's Weekly Sponge Cake Queen recipe by Australia Women's Weekly's Sponge Queen, which looks about as tall and light as you can get. I baked this in a 9-inch square pan, then rolled squares of cake in the chocolate sauce Dan Lepard's lamington recipe by noted Aussie baker Dan Lepard, dusting the chocolate covered cakes with organic shredded coconut. They were delicious, but the cake was still not quite right. I'll keep trying my hand at this one and will share when I've got it nailed.
bite-size cheesymite scrolls
Until then, enjoy these 2-bite cheesymite scrolls-- they pack a healthy dose of vitamin B alongside whole grains and a little cheese. If you can't access Vegemite, try to source Marmite instead (the British version... tastes similar, though the antipodeans will argue that Vegemite is the best). I've noticed Marmite in the British or international foods section at many grocery stores in the USA. Cheesymite scrolls a welcome change from sweet cinnamon rolls or muffins if you crave a little something savory in the mornings or for a quick snack. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do down under.

Cheesymite Scrolls
adapted from The Organised Housewife
makes 10 two-inch rolls

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (plus more for dusting the rolling surface)
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of freshly ground sea salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cups milk (I use skim)
1-2 tablespoons Vegemite
1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 425F/ 220C, and lightly grease a pie tin or a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the milk, and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined to form a soft dough. The dough will be very sticky at this stage.

Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour onto a flat, clean surface, and pat your hands with a little of the flour. Turn the dough out onto the flour and knead it about 10 times, adding up to two more tablespoons of flour if necessary to keep it from sticking.

Using a rolling pin or a tall, straight glass, roll the dough out into a rectangle that measures approximately 5 inches wide and 12 inches long, with the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Using the back of a spoon, spread the Vegemite thinly and evenly as possible over the entire surface of the dough (use more or less Vegemite according to taste-- it's delicious when baked with the cheese!). Sprinkle the cheese (reserving about 2 tablespoons) over the entire surface of the Vegemite-covered dough.

Starting from one of the long ends of the rectangle, roll the dough up. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the dough into about 10 sections (each section should be just over an inch long). Place the sections close together in the greased baking tin (you can use a small pie plate for this, or a flat cookie sheet). Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese over the tops of the rolls.

Bake at 425F/ 220C for 15-20 minutes, until rolls are cooked through and beginning to brown very slightly on top. Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature. Scrolls will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

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