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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grape Molasses and Tahini Rolls


I so wish I had remembered to take a photo of these before I baked them.  It was a sorry sight, and I was sure they were going to bake up into runny hockey pucks.

I thought I had worked with puff pastry before, but nothing about it seemed familiar.  The (purchased) dough was very soft and unforgiving, and one of the first things I noticed was that the sheet was much smaller than expected, about 12x12".  I knew 1.5 cups of filling was going to be too much, so I reduced it to half.  (I think that was still too much.)

It rolled up fine, but as soon as I started to cut the slices it squished into a sticky, messy glob.  I suddenly found myself wondering what were the cautions I'd read about with puff pastry -- something about the edges that would cause them not to rise.  I couldn't remember, but whatever it was I was sure I was violating every rule.

So I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. As the recipe warns, these are not very sweet, but sweet enough, especially since they are very rich.  In fact, while I love the flavor combination (a sort of Middle Eastern take on peanut butter and jelly), I would like to pair it with a less rich dough, since tahini is already very high in oil.  (But the crispness of the puff pastry is so nice!)

I did not bake on parchment paper -- with all the released oil, these slid around loosely on the pan.  I baked them 4 minutes longer; at 15 minutes they were just golden, but I was concerned the centers might be squishy.  The sugar was just starting to burn on the bottoms at 19 minutes, but the centers were still too soft for my taste.  I think reduced filling would help with that.  (I would spread it very thinly next time, and consequently add sugar.)  Also perhaps using an air-bake pan.

Conclusion:  Delicious, a different flavor from the usual, and easy to make.  But I'll be making some adjustments next time.

Recipe:  Grape Molasses and Tahini Rolls via Taste of Beirut

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