Rhubarb Sticky Buns with Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Frosting


 
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen
Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen

I spent a while to think about something fun or witty to say here, but all I can think of is how hot it is here, how I have a ridiculous amount of things to do (don't we all - I hate people who complain about how busy they are but just let me for one quick sec), and how i'm happy and also sad that bunny, our perfect wee foster cat has potentially found her forever home! I am so happy for her - the people adopting her couldn't be more perfect, but i'm also not so secretly gutted to be saying goodbye to her. She came to us as a scared little nugget who wouldn't leave her bed in her socialisation crate for two weeks, and over the last three months, with a load of hard work, has transformed into the most perfect little weirdo! I don't think saying goodbye will ever get easier, but i'm going to stop talking about it now because it's making the computer screen a bit blurry. 

Something that is fun and maybe witty though - these rhubarb sticky buns! Cinnamon buns / morning buns / sticky buns / scrolls / whatever you like to call them, are my favourite type of bread to make. I love how versatile the dough is (I use my fave brioche dough, which can be used for doughnuts, babka, burger buns etc), how you can fill them with anything you like, and also how it's totally acceptable to load them up with icing.  

I figured I might as well make the most of rhubarb season still being in full swing, so I made a batch of brioche dough, spiked with a little vanilla bean paste (more on that later), then filled it with a super simple rhubarb vanilla bean compote. Once they had rested for their second proof and been baked off, I finished them with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting, which I deliberately left on the slightly less sweet side to really let the rhubarb shine through.  These are probably some of the best buns i've made - they rival the chelsea buns which are possibly my forever faves. The rhubarb is tart, the brioche fluffy, and mascarpone should be put on / in everything forever and ever. 

These buns had a triple dose of vanilla bean paste in them - in the dough, the filling and the frosting. I used my very fave vanilla from an amazing New Zealand company called Heilala Vanilla. Not only are they a NZ company run by the most incredible people breaking into the international market, but they have a very special story, one which makes me very proud to use their product, and super excited to share with you guys! 

Tonga, which is a country in the South Pacific made up of a chain of small islands, was hit insanely hard by a cyclone in 2002, greatly damaging their economy and infrastructure. The Ross Family planted a small vanilla plantation as an aid project - a way to inject some money and employment back into the community. Since their first harvest, with the growth of the use of vanilla in commercial and home kitchens, they have gone on to partner with growers all over Tonga, injecting money back into the Tongan economy, specifically in relation to providing women with jobs, and providing kitchens all over the world with responsibly sourced, organically grown Vanilla. You can read more about their story here.

Their story is special, but the Vanilla is also INSANE. I use it in almost everything I make (it gets used a bit like salt - goes in everything), and I can't recommend it enough. If you would like to try it, you can purchase on Amazon, or we are giving away four sets of a year's supply of vanilla (12 jars) - two here on the blog, and two over on Instagram!

All you have to do is make sure you are subscribed to my mailing list (the wee box on the side!), and then leave a comment letting me know what your favourite thing to make with vanilla is! Competition is open until 8pm on the 29th July, 2018, and is open to US residents only. Oh, and make these buns. Because they are bomb. 

A few wee tips:

  • Prepare the rhubarb compote ahead of time, or before you start to make the dough, so that it has time to cool before you spread.

  • Want to make these for breakfast? The first proof can be done overnight in the fridge!

  • I deliberately left the frosting a little on the not so sweet side - feel free to adjust if you think it needs a little more icing sugar.

  • The brioche dough may feel hard to roll out at first. If you find it is springing back on you, give it 5 minutes to relax before rolling. The rolling and cutting process will feel sloppy and look messy, but once the buns are in their baking tray you can nudge them back into shape a little. They also look much better once they have risen / baked - promise!

  • These don't have to be made with rhubarb - any type of quick jam in the filling will work! You may just need to bear in mind that the sugar in the frosting may need adjusting.

  • The weight for the rhubarb is the weight of the chopped rhubarb - so you need 750g prepared.

 

 

Rhubarb Sticky Buns with Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Frosting

- Makes about 12 -

Rhubarb Quick Jam
750g Rhubarb (chopped weight), trimmed and chopped into approx 2" pieces
375g granulated sugar
Pinch Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
 

Brioche Dough
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup (240ml) whole milk, lukewarm
4 Tbsp sugar
3 3/4 cups (565g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Frosting
225g Mascarpone
225g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g Powdered sugar, sifted

 

- PROCESS -

RHUBARB QUICK JAM

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly, and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until thick and jammy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before stirring in the vanilla bean paste. Set aside to cool completely. Store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.

BRIOCHE DOUGH

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth. 

Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours. 

ASSEMBLY AND BAKING

Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking dish or pan. Turn the brioche dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and pat into a rectangle. Roll out to a 24" x 18" rectangle, using a bench scraper to help keep the edges square. 

Spread the rhubarb quick jam evenly over the surface of the dough, and, starting with a short end, roll the dough up into a tight sausage. Cut the sausage into 2" lengths (I find cutting the whole thing in half, then each half into two, and then each quarter section into 3 works best). If your sausage is not 24" long (lol), measure the length first before you cut, and divide the length by 12 so your pieces are even. 

Arrange each bun in your prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm spot for 45 min to an hour, or  until they have gone puffy, and when lightly poked, your finger leaves a slight indentation that bounces back. This second proving time will depend on the weather - it will go much quicker in warmer climates.

Toward the end of the second proof, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. 

Remove the plastic wrap, and bake the buns for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown (finished internal temp of 200˚f). If you think they are browning too quickly, tent with foil after 20 minutes. While the buns are baking, make the vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. 

Remove the buns from the oven, and allow to cool for 15 min before frosting generously with the frosting.

VANILLA BEAN MASCARPONE FROSTING

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until smooth and fluffy. Taste and adjust sugar content if necessary.

Spread generously over the buns. Serve immediately.

Store leftovers in an airtight container. Briefly rewarm before eating.

Rhubarb Sticky Buns - Brioche Spiked with vanilla, filled with rhubarb quick jam, and finished with a vanilla bean mascarpone frosting. #stickybuns #rhubarb #vanillabean #cloudykitchen

Thank you so much to Heilala Vanilla for providing me with the vanilla for this post and the giveaway! 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream, and a GIVEAWAY!


 
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.

So. This was meant to be a Macaron post. I was going to write all about how I got this amazing new counter top oven, and I perfected Macarons in it. Well guess what. Macarons continue to be my achilles heel. One day, people. ONE DAY I will nail them. But just not today. 

But what I did nail was this wee cake! I have been meaning to share this recipe with you for the longest time - it's my go to "oh shit someone needs a cake" combination. Three layers of chocolate mud cake, a smooth salted caramel filling, and a vanilla bean german buttercream. I used a gluten free flour in this particular one, just to test if it worked, and you honestly can't tell the difference. I also popped a little mascarpone in the buttercream at the end of the mixing process, and now i'm not sure if I can ever go back to the regular recipe. The mascarpone balances out some of the sweetness, and gives it a lovely tang. This recipe scales amazingly, stacks well (it has made its way into a few wedding cakes in my time!), and keeps perfectly. It is super versatile, and my absolute go to. I made this one a little valentines themed number, but you can finish it off any way you like!

The lovely folks at Wolf Gourmet reached out a while back and very kindly offered to send me this amazing countertop oven. I had seen it around the internet for a while, and was very keen to try it out. I have put it through its paces over the last month, making everything from sweet potato fries to macarons (lol.) to banana bread. And let me tell you now - I am seriously impressed. I am so, so happy that I have been reunited with my one true love, FAN BAKE. I can never decide whether I miss fan bake (convection) or burger fuel aioli the most. And now I guess I can just focus on missing aioli. I can finally get vegetables properly crispy, and things evenly cooked. There's also a proof setting on it, which I can't wait to try! I am always running out of oven space (our current oven is a POS and can only take one thing at a time), so it's going to be insanely handy to have this little pocket rocket as my back up / second oven / probably my first choice around home now too! 

AND! It fits three six inch cake tins. Not only does it fit three six inch cake tins, but the cakes come out baked just as evenly (if not more) than if I were to use a regular oven. So I thought it would only be fair and reasonable if I proved it! 

Also. GUESS WHAT! The team at Wolf Gourmet Have also offered to give away one of these counter top convection ovens! All you have to do is sign up for my updates (theres a little box on the left, or right at the bottom if you're on your phone, that says Subscribe!), and then leave me a comment telling me what your favourite type of cake is! The competition is open until Friday the 16th at 8pm EST, and is open to residents of the 50 states. Good luck!! The winner will be contacted via email.

A few wee tips:

  • If you can, make the salted caramel and the pastry cream for the german buttercream the night before or a few hours before you plan to assemble, to give them time to cool. If you're in a pinch, spread the pastry cream into a shallow tray, place plastic wrap directly on the surface, and pop into the freezer, stirring occasionally. 
  • The cakes benefit with some time to cool too if possible. I like to make them the night before if I can, and then wrap tightly in plastic and place in the fridge or freezer until I am ready to use them.
  • I made this cake with a gluten free flour mix, but it works just the same if you use the same amount of regular flour.
  • The buttercream works the same if you want to omit the mascarpone. 
  • I used a bunch of Ateco french star tips to pipe the blobs on. I have a load of them, and they are super handy! I also use disposable piping bags which makes clean up easy.
  • I added a little transfer gold leaf once the crumb coat had chilled. Again, totally optional :) 
 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream

- Makes one six inch, three layer cake -

Cake Recipe slightly adapted from Chelsea Sugar

Chocolate Mud Cake
1 1/2 Tbsp (23ml) lemon juice
1 1/2 cups (360ml) whole milk
375g good quality dark chocolate
3/4 cup (160ml) neutral oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups strong, hot coffee (can be instant)
3 cups (450g) all-purpose flour, or 1 to 1 gluten free flour substitute
3 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa
3 eggs

Salted Caramel Filling
1 cup (200g) sugar
6 tbsp (90g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 Tbsp flaky sea salt

Mascarpone German Buttercream
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
1 Tbsp Vanilla bean paste, extract, or the scrapings of one vanilla bean
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp (225g) sugar
3 Tbsp (24g) corn starch
1 egg
2 egg yolks
Pinch of Salt
3 cups (675g, or 6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature. 
225g (8 oz) mascarpone (optional)

Gel food colouring in your choice of colours
Gold Leaf, optional

 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE MUD CAKE
 

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Grease and line three six inch cake tins.

Mix the milk and lemon juice together, and set aside. 

In a medium pot, combine the chocolate, oil, vanilla and coffee. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder. 

Add the milk mixture to the cooled chocolate mixture along with the eggs, and mix well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until well incorporated. 

Divide the mixture between the three prepared tins. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cake comes out with a few crumbs attached. 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from tins and cool completely on a wire rack. Level the cakes off, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.

Salted Caramel
 

Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely.

mascarpone german buttercream
 

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan. 

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the Mascarpone and mix to incorporate. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat for a few minutes until smooth and silky. 

assembly


Place the first levelled layer on a cake stand or turntable. Top with a generous amount of the german buttercream, and smooth out with an offset spatula, building more buttercream around the sides than in the centre of the cake. Fill the centre with about 1/3 of the cooled salted caramel (this amount may vary depending on preference), and top with the second layer. Repeat the buttercream and caramel process, then top with the third layer. 

Smooth an rough layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake using an offset spatula, and smooth using an icing smoother. You can go for a fully covered effect, or leave it semi naked as I did. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. While the cake is chilling, divide the remaining buttercream between four bowls, and colour each various shades of pink using gel food colouring. Transfer each colour to a piping bag fitted with a french star tip. 

Remove the cake from the fridge. Apply gold leaf if desired. Pipe blobs of buttercream randomly all over the cake, arranging as desired. 

Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Store Leftovers in the fridge.

 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Mascarpone German Buttercream. The perfect go-to cake: layers of rich mud cake, smooth salted caramel, and silky german buttercream with a hint of mascarpone.

Thank you so much to Wolf Gourmet for supplying me with this amazing oven, plus another to give away! All opinions are my own.