Chai spiced cinnamon rolls – because ‘beautiful and terrible things happen’

I’ve just been reading Shira’s latest post on her blog ‘in pursuit of more’. I love the way she sprinkles her blog posts with a dusting of beautiful, inspiring quotes. One of today’s quotes is from Frederick Beuchner: ‘Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things happen. Don’t be afraid.’  It felt particularly apt for me today.

Because today is full of two terrible things. Ok, maybe ‘terrible’ is a bit severe, but two fairly depressing things none the less.

‘Terrible’ thing number one is that diggers have moved in to turn the field directly adjoining our house  into a netball court. It may always have been a primary school playing field, but it was still a beautiful, green field all the same. And now it’s about to become tarmac. Even the word’s ugly.

I don’t consider myself an innately angry person, but watching those diggers churn up all the grass into mud made me mad, absolutely fuming inside. And this little, inner, angry Fleur, residing somewhere in my stomach, wanted to shout and throw things and complain about how horrible the whole thing is. And then just cry about it.

I’m surprised at how much the whole thing is getting to me really.

‘Terrible’ thing number two for today can’t really be classed as a terrible thing at all, although it’s a little dispiriting all the same. Today I’ve been job hunting all day to absolutely no avail, not even the merest, ‘well, that could be a possibility’. Absolutely nothing, not even close. Unless, of course, I’m happy to consider becoming a Christmas grotto elf, which is near enough the only thing the many, many job search sites I looked on could offer me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting to find jobs to apply for after just one day of looking, I know it’s far, far harder than that, but I suppose I’d been hoping for at least something resembling a possibility.

But it appears I have none of the ‘experience essential’.

Dear Mr Employer, I’m afraid I can’t pull a pint and  no, I don’t have much experience with filling cabinets either. However, I can write you a pretty decent first class dissertation on women’s writing. You’re just not really interested in that though are you?

I guess this is what comes from graduating with a humanities degree and having no real idea what you want to do with the rest of your life.

Just as I guess overlooking black asphalt, as opposed to a field, is what comes from living next to a primary school!

But I think that’s definitely more than enough terrible for today. What you really want is the beautiful, right? And wow, trust me, yesterday I found beautiful. Yesterday I found beautiful in the form of chai spiced cinnamon rolls. They were incredible. They filled me with such silly-childish happiness and despite the fact I currently have no employment prospects higher than ‘Christmas grotto elf’, I felt, for an hour or so, pretty awesome to have baked such wonderful things.

I’ve been meaning to make something along the lines of cinnamon rolls for a long time but have been put off on the basis that they take so much longer to make than cakes and that, once they’ve past their fresh-from-the-oven best, they’re just nowhere near as good any more. Joy from Joy the Baker – the genius behind these chai spiced cinnamon rolls (Joy, I am entirely indebted to you for the happy and beautiful of yesterday morning) – describes making these rolls as an ‘ordeal’. That, they pretty much are; hours in the making and mere minutes in the eating. But seriously, those few blissful minutes and the feeling of satisfaction you’ll get make all the hours worth it. Absolutely so. Promise.

I made the rolls the night before (the photos give it away don’t they!) allowing the dough to prove once at room temperature, then rolling it out, generously coating with melted butter, chai spices, brown sugar, maple syrup and crystallised ginger (told you these were good) and then rolling the dough up and slicing into rounds.

ready for the fridgeI left the rolls to slowly rise in the fridge overnight, followed by about fifteen minutes snuggled on top of the boiler in the morning to get the chill off them and get them rising some more. They hadn’t inflated all that much in the fridge and I wanted to make sure they turned out super fluffy, so I gave them a good burst of boiler warmth to get them suitably puffed up.

ready for the oven

As I had these rolls scheduled for brunch, it definitely helped being able to get the larger part of the ‘ordeal’ over the night before as I absolutely cannot cope with any form of ordeal before food in the morning. Taking something out of the fridge and placing it in the oven via a little detour to the top of the boiler is pretty much all I’m capable of.

one chai spiced roll

And did I mention how totally amazing and happiness inducing these rolls are? These soft, fluffy, sweet buns; a bit buttery, a fair bit brown-sugary and totally, deliciously chai spicy. And they smell unbelievably good, they make the kitchen smell unbelievably good too, and I am craving one of these rolls so badly right now writing this.

Go make cinnamon rolls and make a beautiful thing happen.

half eaten chai spiced cinnamon roll

The recipe for Joy’s chai spiced cinnamon rolls can be found here.

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7 thoughts on “Chai spiced cinnamon rolls – because ‘beautiful and terrible things happen’

  1. hang in there! and i’m sure lots of people will want to employ someone with a first class hons degree and soon to have contributed to a published cookbook from a vert respectable source!

  2. These look amazing, Délice! I’m sorry to hear about that tarmac crud. Right before I moved from my apartment in China, the school decided to take out this huge expanse of palm and banana trees to put up another building. I understand the need to develop, but at the same time, it was sad to see all the birds that had been roosting there lose their lush neighborhood.

    I’m sending lots of positive energy on the job search. Finding meaningful work is not usually easy for humanities majors (I know. I was one of them, too!), but cast that job search net wide and take stock of the kinds of skills you have that might be translatable to jobs, even if on first glance, those skills might not seem to match up. You’re a good writer and obviously a talented cook and baker. How can you leverage that talent into a paying gig? Just a few thoughts from a gal who did a long and tough job search not so long ago.

    • Thanks for such a lovely comment and the words of encouragement over the job hunt. Writing and food are definitely the two things I’d most like to base my career on…it’s just finding a way in to make money out of those passions!

  3. I can see how these managed to brighten up your day, they look delicious and I’ll definitely be using this recipe when I finally get around to making cinnamon rolls as I’ve been promising for a few months! All the best with the job hunt.

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