Coffee-Hazelnut rolls with Orange icing...

I'm not usually the most social kind of person. That's not because I don't like people, I'm totally fine with friends and at small parties or dinners with people I know, but because I feel easily overwhelmed when in large groups. Despite my appearance and occasionally loud-mouthed front, I'm relatively shy and it's not often that I will agree to take part in what I call "organised fun" - i.e. clubs, members only meet-ups, paid for gatherings and the such - though I have been making more of an effort lately, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and attending a few events where I didn't know a single person. This "anti-social" behaviour can occasionally also extend into my online life. There are days when I feel incapable of answering emails not only because there are so many, but because I know that my answering will trigger a conversation and this in turn means I have to hold several conversations at the same time. Sometimes just the thought is enough for me to put off answering in the first place for way longer than polite. 

So, when it then comes to "blog parties", you can imagine my reservations and I have so far never taken part in one. Until now. When Kimberly from The Little Plantation contacted me with her idea for a blog party, I didn't need much time (or convincing) to agree. The idea and aim is to support Malawi Coffee growers and that's a good enough argument for me to take part. Having seen with my own eyes some of the poverty in Africa - admittedly not Malawi (southeast Africa), but Mali (northwest Africa) - I feel strongly about doing my tiny bit to help where I can. Why Malawi? Malawi is amongst the poorest and least developed countries in the world and relies heavily on its agriculture. Whilst coffee is big business around the world, sadly coffee from Malawi gets regularly overlooked in favour of the more prominent roasts from Kenya, Columbia or Brazil. It doesn't get the same exposure that comes with big marketing budgets and the growers along with their families are the ones suffering. Many consumers don't even know that this coffee exists, so how are they supposed to make the decision to buy it? By taking part in this blog party I'm hoping to spread the word just a little bit and maybe, just maybe, it will help some of the farmers growing the beans. This is not about charity, it is about some of the poorest people wanting to earn fair a living for their work to support their families. We, in return, get a lovely tasting cup of coffee (or gallon in my case) which is in most cases even fair-trade. If you ask me, that's a win-win situation. 

So, with all that in mind, 12 bloggers have created a recipe each using Malawi coffee. I had been toying with several ideas, but then decided on these hazelnut and coffee rolls with an orange (ok, boozy orange) icing. It's comfort baking which just seemed so fitting for this time of the year. Here then my recipe, I hope it'll inspire you to give it a try. If you can resist eating the rolls straight away, then it's best to make this recipe the day before serving so that the flavours have time to develop. 

You will need the following ingredients:

For the rolls:

  • 375g plain flour
  • 180ml milk at room temperature
  • 80g golden caster sugar
  • 2.5tsp (7g) dry active yeast
  • 120g butter + some for greasing the form
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 200g chopped hazelnuts
  • 50g cacao nibs
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 60g dark Muscovado sugar
  • 4tbsp freshly brewed espresso
  • 100g mascarpone

For the icing:

  • 200g mascarpone
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)

Here's how it's done:

  • take 60ml from the milk and warm it to 46C
  • pour the warm milk into your mixing bowl, add 1/2tsp sugar and the yeast
  • now leave standing for 10 minutes until you can see it bubbling/foaming
  • put the dough hook onto your mixer
  • add the remaining milk and sugar, the egg and egg yolk and mix on a medium speed until all ingredients are well combined which will only take 1-2 minutes
  • turn the mixer off to pour the flour through a sieve into the mix and add the salt
  • mix on a medium speed for around 5 minutes until the dough is coming togehter
  • turn up the speed and kneed for another 5 minutes
  • now add the butter and kneed on a high speed for another 6-8 minutes until the dough is completely smooth
  • grease a glass bowl with some butter, add the dough, cover with cling film and leave to proof in a warm place for 2 hours - the dough should reach double its size by that time
  • to make your filling you will first need to brew some very strong coffee or - if you have the equipment - some espresso and leave to cool
  • put the chopped hazelnuts, cacao nibs, Muscovado sugar, caster sugar and brewed coffee into a food processor and whizz until all ingredients are combined and you have a rough paste - you still want some crunch from the nuts. Set aside for later
  • after the dough has proofed, tip it out of the bowl onto a well floured surface
  • kneed the dough thoroughly and add a little flour at a time until the dough retains only a slight stickiness
  • roll the dough into a rectangle of roughly 45 x 30cm
  • spread the mascarpone onto the dough leaving a couple of cm on the edges uncovered
  • now spread the nut mix on top of the mascarpone
  • carefully lift one end of the long (around 45cm) side of the dough and roll it into a roll as you would with a swiss roll
  • cut a length of sewing yarn, pass it under the long roll, cross at the top and pull the ends together to cut through the dough (nylon works best, it's an old trick my mum showed me to cut sponge cakes into even parts)
  • cut off the ends first, then 7 or 8 equal pieces - depending on the size of your mould
  • grease your baking mould and place the pieces with the cut side up into it in a fairly evenly spread way
  • now cover the mould with some cling film and leave to proof for another hour
  • once the hour is up, preheat your oven to 190C
  • place the mould into the oven and bake for 30 minutes
  • to make the icing, first beat the mascarpone with the orange liqueur until smooth
  • sift the icing sugar into the mix and beat until even
  • leave the rolls to cool before spreading the icing on top
  • serve with a freshly brewed cup of Malawi coffee

If you're looking for more coffee-inspired recipes, then check out the following blogs which are all taking part in this fab little party:

If you're looking to support Malawi coffee growers whilst sipping a cup of the fragrant stuff, then why not order some? I found mine at York Coffee Emporium but you can also get it from Coffee Direct who - if you live in Europe - are offering you 20% off your Malawi coffee orders between 7th and 31st December, all you need to do is quote #loveMALAWIcoffee to claim the discount.

For US readers, there are two sources where you can buy Malawi coffee: Toms and igourmet - though sadly they don't offer any discounts. 

Until next time, find me on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.