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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February ABC challenge: Custard Rum-raisin Cinnamon Rolls

I'm always up for a good cinnamon roll.  This recipe sounded interesting because they're filled with a custard instead of a butter/sugar mixture.  (Although you do sprinkle the filling with brown sugar.  Why not just mix that into the custard???)  I thought they might be something like pain aux raisin, but no, not nearly that rich and sweet and buttery.

I reduced the recipe to a quarter the quantity (yield 4), rum soaked the raisins, and made a few other minor tweaks, mostly to accommodate the reduced recipe.  My changes are noted in strikeout and italics.  Here's what I used:

Crème Pâtissière
64g (2.25 oz) full fat milk
2.5g sugar
quarter piece vanilla pod
5g (scant 2 teaspoons) cornstarch
12g (1 tablespoon) sugar
13g egg yolk (close to one whole)
5g (1 teaspoon) butter
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk gently in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, sugar and the egg yolk until well blended. Slowly whisk 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, then add the mixture back to the milk in the saucepan and whisk again. Whisk slowly while bringing the milk mixture to a boil, picking up speed as the mixture thickens. Boil and whisk the mixture for one minute. Remove from the heat, add the butter, cinnamon, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Place the saucepan on a cool surface and leave it to stand for a minute, then transfer the crème to a bowl and cover with clingfilm. When cool, refrigerate until needed. 

225g (1.8 cup) AP flour (or pastry flour)
4g (¾ teaspoon) salt
3g (1 teaspoon) instant yeast (or 1.4 teaspoon active dry)
75g (2.6 oz) milk at room temperature
57g (2 oz) water
13g (2¾ teaspoon) salted butter, softened
12g (1 tablespoon) sugar
ground seeds from 2 cardamom pods (scant 1/8 teaspoon of seeds)
25g (2 tablespoons) golden raisins, macerated in dark rum until plump
12g (1 tablespoon) soft brown sugar
25g (3 teaspoons) icing sugar plus water for glaze (and salt)

In a bowl, combine the dough ingredients and knead for about 15 minutes, until the dough is silky and bouncy. Cover and leave for 1 hour at room temperature. 

Roll the dough into a long rope about 18 inches, then roll out the rope into a thin rectangle about 6 x 20 inches. Loosen the prepared cinnamon pastry cream by whisking briefly. Spread an even layer onto the dough rectangle, then sprinkle the brown sugar and raisins on top. Roll up the dough starting at the short end. Cut into 4 equal slices (about 1.5 inches thick) and place the slices, cut side up, in a nonstick or greased baking pan. Leave to proof for 60 to 75 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 392ºF. Bake the proofed buns in the oven for 22 to 25 minutes. Leave to cool slightly. Prepare the glaze by mixing icing sugar and water to form a smooth paste and brush on top of the buns.

My dough seemed a bit stiff right off, so I added about another 0.5 ounce of water.  Perhaps it was supposed to be stiff, as the dough became difficult to manage once it was rolled up.  The log was soft and flattened out, then squished terribly when I cut the slices.  Raisins and custard were popping out everywhere, but I just reformed the rolls.

Conclusion:  These were nice, but nothing special.  The custard disappeared into the bread and wasn't noticeable other than adding a taste of vanilla, and it did add a nice moistness.  (I would double the custard.  Since I used a different method of adding vanilla, I don't know how strong the original recipe would have been.)  They were only mildly sweet (which tends to make you eat more!), the cinnamon was barely detectable, and the cardamom not at all.  In fact, they were a little bland and uninteresting.

Recipe:  Sunday morning cinnamon buns… deluxe via Weekend Bakery


  1. Beautiful! They look delicious.

  2. They look really good and pretty! Interesting that the filling blended with the bread. Good to know about the sweetness, or lack thereof. It's fine with me but hubby likes some sweetness in his dessert.

    1. In that case, you might want to sprinkle on more brown sugar and/or use more glaze. (I had just enough to lightly brush over the rolls -- seriously only GLAZED them.) The good thing about more sweetness is that it gives you an automatic stop (because you can eat only so much sugar in one sitting), but when they're only mildly sweet it's really easy to chow down on more than one!

  3. These look super impressive, even if you didn't find them so.... Beautiful rolls!