A few days ago I was drawn into a topic which struck a cord for me. I did not read it in the newspaper, but listened to it on a FM talk back radio show. How many people still listen to radio now? Not just as background noise to drown out uncomfortable silence at home. The only time I really listen to the radio is in the afternoon when I am driving home from University or navigating the hectic streets of Sydney to run a few errands.
In Australia, FM is considered the young people’s radio frequency while AM, well I actually do not know what is on AM these days but it is classed as old people’s radio. Old or new does not matter to me as long as they play good tunes. I am good.
Back to the original topic. Recently an ex-government official made a comment about Australian parents and how they raise their children. In his article he stated that we are on the fast track to becoming “white trash” of the pacific region due to the Australian way of parenting. He recommends that we start parenting like Asian parents in Japan or China who push and dictate their child’s lives in order for them to excel in education. This article was in response to the lack of control younger generations and falling social standard in schools often portrayed by current affair type programs.
Now, being a member of the first generation Asian population ( first set of children in my family to be born in Australia), I was brought up in a household that was modelled on the traditional Asian way of raising children. I have been to numerous extracurricular activities, some of them I resented with a deep passion. I was pushed constantly to achieve a high standard, compared to other children who were better than me and was ALWAYS told the truth, even if it was negative.
You may think I absolutely hate my parents for being so had on me. Especially when I was surrounded by free caring friends and peers who could go out whenever and were always praised.
Well surprise, surprise you are wrong. Of course during my childhood I hated the way they parented and could not understand the logic behind keeping me lock up and miserable; sometimes I use to think they did it on purpose because they disliked me.
I honestly love my parents for raising me the way they did and would not have it any other way. It has made me the person who I am today, instilled ethics of working hard, respect and given me the skills to make educated choices. My parents gave up a lot to give my sister’s and I a better life for when we were older. Now that I am a legal adult, I believe they have achieved what they set out to do. At least I hope they think I turned out OK; I was quite the problem child.
At least during those years I was fed well. I think almost every country has a childhood bread treat. In America you have your Hostess ding dongs and R.I.P Twinkies, in Great Britain you have the Raisin custard bun and China; well the choice is endless. In Australia we have the finger bun. Traditionally, sweet white based bread dotted with sultanas and covered in a pink frosting with sprinkles for that special touch. I have been in a chocolate mood lately; maybe Easter does that to you; but I thought twist of chocolate and chocolate cover sultanas could liven up this classic. I forgot the icing but I think it works better with a thin drizzle of dark chocolate because the bun is very sweet and so are the fruits. Of course I could not forget the sprinkles! Never too many sprinkles here.
Give a bread a shot this Easter, it is not as scary as you think!
Double chocolate Finger buns
Adapted from Taste.com.au
Makes 24 mini buns.
7g (2 tsp) sachet dry yeast
100g (7/8 cup) caster sugar
140ml (5/8 cup) milk, warmed
450g (4 1/8 cup) plain flour
10g ( 1/8 cup) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50g ( 1/4 cup) butter, chilled, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
70g (1/2 cup ) chocolate covered sultanas, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
milk, for brushing
honey for glaze
hundreds and thousands (sprinkles to finish)
Line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper. Place yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until foamy.
Sift flour, mixed spice, cocoa and cinnamon in a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in centre. Add yeast mixture, 65ml warm water, egg, chocolate sultanas and vanilla. Mix well to combine. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200°C Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead for 20 minutes or until smooth.
Divide dough into 24 portions. Shape each portion into an oval first. After roll the oval lengthwise to form a sausage. Place logs on prepared trays, 5cm apart. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes.
Brush buns with a little milk. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through (buns will sound hollow when tapped). Transfer to cooling rack. Brush with honey.
Once cool to touch. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Stir gently until fully melted. Allow to cool before piping onto the buns. After sprinkle your sprinkles on the top. Serve right away as they are best on the day made.