Mini Pastry Cream Filled Brioche Doughnuts


 
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut
Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut

Hi hi and happy Saturday! I am just popping in here to share this wee recipe with you! I got a deep fryer maybe a few months ago and went on a quest to fry literally everything in sight. It’s great for making all kinds of things, but especially great for mini doughnuts. I made these brioche cinnamon ones a while back and they seemed to be a huge hit, so I figured it was time to try my hand at mini filled doughnuts!

I took my go to brioche dough, and turned it into these super cute wee doughnuts, which I rolled in a bunch of different flavoured sugars. I filled these guys with a vanilla bean pastry cream, which I made a big batch of and split into four, and flavoured it with something a wee bit new and exciting - Heilala Vanilla’s new infused Vanilla extracts! If you’ve been round here for a while you know what a massive massive fan I am of Heilala and their products - not only is it the most amazing vanilla in which they control production from growth to product, but it is run by the most amazing people who are making such a huge effort to give back to the kingdom of Tonga where their first vanilla orchids were planted. Heilala started a kickstarter to fund their new line of extracts a few weeks back, and there is just one week to go, so if you can, pop on over and pledge - you are going to want to get your hands on some of this amazing extract, as it is a total game changer. I’m so excited to play around with it a little more!

For these dougnuts, I divided the filling once it was made, and stirred through some of Heilala’s infused extracts. I ended up going with four flavours - the cocoa extract, the coffee extract, the oak aged vanilla extract, and the pumpkin spice extract. I also made up some flavoured sugars to correspond with the filling flavour. I had a little of the oak aged vanilla extract left over so also had a little play with making a strawberry sugar using some freeze dried strawberry powder, and it was so, so so good with the vanilla filling! I finished each off with a tiny garnish - a sprinkle of the flavour of the sugar, just to help tell which was which. The flavoured pastry cream was so unique and delicious, I honestly don’t think that I can decide which one was my favourite. The infused extracts are such an easy way to add a huge depth of flavour to whatever you are making.

These doughnuts would be so perfect for something like a children’s party or event - because they are mini it gives everyone the opportunity to try all of the different flavours. They would also make amazing larger doughnuts - to do this I would follow these shaping and frying instructions.

A few wee tips:

  • Chilled dough is easiest to work with and cut out, so I recommend giving these an overnight rise in the fridge if you can. Alternatively you could roll it out, place it on a sheet pan (you may need to divide it in two), cover with plastic wrap, and pop in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to help firm up

  • I like to make both the brioche dough and the pastry cream the night before to give them time to cool.

  • I divided up the pastry cream after making it and then flavoured it individually. You can definitely only do one type if you want - I would go with the oak aged vanilla, as it pairs perfectly with literally anything.

  • I also made a whole bunch of different flavoured sugars to roll the doughnuts in! You can make these any flavour that you like - basically you just add flavour powder in whatever form (coffee, spices, freeze dried fruit powder etc) to sugar and then use that to roll the doughnuts in.

 

 

Mini Pastry Cream Filled Brioche Doughnuts

- Makes about 45 doughnuts -

Pastry cream adapted from Bouchon bakery

Doughnut dough
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
250g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
4 Tbsp (50g) sugar
565g (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Neutral oil for frying

Vanilla Pastry Cream
132g egg yolks (about 8 yolks)
110g sugar
37g corn starch
1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
550g whole milk
27g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Oak Aged Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Coffee Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp Heilala Vanilla Cocoa Vanilla Extract

To Finish
500g Sugar, divided into 100g portions
For Vanilla Sugar: add 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder to 100g sugar
For Coffee Sugar: add 1/2 tsp espresso powder to 100g sugar
For Strawberry Sugar: add 1/2 tsp Freeze Dried strawberry powder to 100g sugar
For Pumpkin Spice Sugar: add 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice to 100g sugar
For Cocoa sugar: add 1/2 tsp cocoa to 100g sugar

 

- PROCESS -

DOUGHNUTS

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 overnight in the fridge to rise (see notes).

 

PASTRY CREAM

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. 

In a medium pot, warm the milk and vanilla paste until there is movement just around the edges of the milk - do not bring it to the boil. 

Remove the milk from the heat, and, whisking constantly, add half of the milk mixture into the egg and cornflour mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk-yolk mixture back to the pot, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until very thick. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing well until totally combined. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. 

Weigh the pastry cream and divide into four if flavouring. Add 3/4 tsp each flavour of Heilala infused vanilla extract to each portion of pastry cream. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of each portion of pastry cream and place in the fridge to cool completely.


FRYING AND ASSEMBLY

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Roll until it is 1/2” thickness.

Using a 1 3/4” round cutter, cut out circles of dough. Repeat until you have cut out all of the dough - scraps can be pressed together and re-rolled. I like to use the scrap ones for the first test fry, as they sometimes turn out a little wonky.

Lightly cover the cut-out doughnuts with plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 45-50 minutes, until puffy. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back.

In the last 15-20 minutes of the doughnuts proofing, heat neutral oil to 350°f / 180°c in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Place a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix up the flavoured sugars, if using.

Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough, or your doughnuts you cut from the re-rolled dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, up to six at a time (depending on the size of your pot), into the hot oil. Cook , flipping every 30 seconds, for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 seconds before tossing in the sugar. Repeat the process with the rest of the doughnuts.

Allow the doughnuts to cool completely, then, using a chopstick or paring knife, cut a hole in each doughnut. Transfer the pastry cream to piping bags either with the end snipped off or fitted with a round piping tip.

Fill each doughnut with pastry cream (correspond the pastry cream flavour to the tossed sugar flavour if you are using different flavours of pastry cream), piping a small blob on the top of each. Sprinkle with a corresponding garnish (I used valrhona crispy pearls, pumpkin spice, espresso powder, a little piece of vanilla bean, and a sprinkle of freeze-dried strawberry powder on the strawberry vanilla ones.

Best eaten on the day that they are made.

Perfectly fluffy mini brioche doughnuts are fried to perfection, rolled in sugar, and filled with flavoured pastry cream. A whole tray of mini doughnuts would be perfect for a special occasion or gathering, as they are a hit with all ages! #doughnut #briochedoughnut

Thank you so much to Heilala Vanilla for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream


 
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream

Can we take a quick wee sec to talk about how AMAZING sheet cakes are?! Nothing on regular layer cakes, I love them too, but sheet cakes are the perfect combo of fancy and laid back (I like to think of myself as that, dreams are free right?!). There’s no stacking required, but you can still use a fancy buttercream, and you get the best buttercream to cake ratio, in my opinion anyway. You can also frost them directly in the pan, which makes them the best for transporting. When I offer to take cake places, I often will make a sheet cake if it’s a bit more of a casual situation. I’ve had my fair share of cake disasters in an uber in the NYC summer, so a stress free transport is a huge bonus for me too. Plus, you get to live your best buttercream swooping life, which is one of my favourite things to do.

Today’s recipe is one that I am so excited to share with you - it’s a brown butter carrot sheet cake, with a vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. I’ve teamed up with my faves at Heilala Vanilla to bring it to you - their amazing vanilla bean paste is in both the cake, and in the dreamy frosting. Not only is their product great, but they are run by the most amazing people, who are doing all kinds of incredible things by injecting money into the economy and providing jobs in the Kingdom of Tonga - you can read a little more about what they do here. They control the whole process from the growing to the processing of the beans, which results in an extremely ethical, high quality, organic product. I am super proud to be partnering with them again.

I started with a pretty simple cake - a fairly standard carrot cake, but upped my game a little by replacing some of the oil with brown butter, and adding some cardamom in along with the other spices. Cakes with both butter and oil are my new fave. You get the moistness from the oil, in this case a neutral oil, but you also get the richness and flavour from the butter, giving you a total win win situation. In this case I browned the butter, which gives it the most incredible depth of flavour to the cake, and plays perfectly with the spices.

And now let’s talk about the buttercream. Ohhhh my, this buttercream. Another thing that I love about sheet cakes is that you can load them up with buttercream that might typically be too unstable to stack a cake with - like soft peaks of whipped cream, or in this case, a German buttercream with a whole load of cream cheese whipped into it. I love cream cheese frosting, but I am not a huge fan of how sweet and gritty it can be from the powdered sugar, so instead I whipped cream cheese into a vanilla bean German buttercream. If you’re new round here, German buttercream is my absolute fave. It is custard or pastry cream (same thing) based, rather than the meringue base of an Italian or Swiss, or powdered sugar base of an American buttercream. This gives it a whole dimension of flavour that the others lack - a beautiful richness, with the pastry cream cutting the butter just perfectly.

Because this cake didn’t have to stack, the buttercream was able to tolerate much more cream cheese than it usually would. The cream cheese gives it a beautiful tang, and sits so nicely with the vanilla, and against the subtle spice of the cake. It is also pillowy soft, and impossibly smooth, making it the perfect pair for the slightly denser nature of a carrot cake. I know I say this a lot about a lot of things, but this buttercream might be my favourite so far. It’s just perfect.

This cake would make the most perfect Easter baking project - I can’t wait to see you enjoy it. Happy Sheet Caking! x

A few wee tips:

  • Heilala have given me a discount code for you to use on vanilla! You can purchase it here, and the code CLOUDY20 will get you 20% off any of their products! I love the paste, the extract, and also the beans (Affiliate link).

  • Both the cake and the pastry cream need time to cool, so I like to make the pastry cream either the day before, or just before I start the cake, to give it plenty of time to cool. Putting it in a shallow dish to cool in the fridge helps too by increasing the surface area, meaning it cools a bit faster. Make sure your cream cheese and butter is also at room temp.

  • If you don’t like nuts in carrot cake, you can just leave them out!

  • If you haven’t made brown butter before, here is a great tutorial. Make sure that you allow it to cool a little before using in your recipe. I like pouring it into my stand mixer then leaving it to cool, swirling occasionally to help distribute some of the heat.

  • I took the cake out of the pan to add the buttercream, but you can absolutely frost it in the pan if you like. Frosting it in the pan is perfect for if you are transporting it, as it makes it super, super easy to carry, because the pan protects it.

 

 

Carrot Sheet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream

- Makes one 9” x 13” sheet cake -

Carrot Sheet Cake
450g raw Sugar
160g neutral oil
115g butter, browned and cooled
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
150g all-purpose flour
150g whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda.
360g carrot, grated
100g walnuts, coarsely chopped

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream
110g sugar
12g corn starch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
190g whole milk
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g cream cheese, at room temperature

 

- PROCESS -

CARROT SHEET CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease a 9”x13” (22x33cm) baking pan, and line with parchment paper (I like to cut a piece slightly bigger than my pan, then cut a slit in each corner which form ‘tabs’ and allow you to fold the parchment into the corners nicely).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the raw sugar, neutral oil, cooled brown butter, and eggs, and mix on medium speed until well combined and slightly lightened in colour, 2-3 minutes. Add the Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste and mix until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and baking soda. Add to the mixer and mix until just combined. Add the carrots and walnuts and mix on low until just combined.

Transfer to the pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. 

VANILLA BEAN CREAM CHEESE GERMAN BUTTERCREAM

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then add the egg, egg yolk and salt, and whisk together well. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste 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 in the cream cheese, and whip until smooth, then whip for a further 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on low for 3-4 minutes to help remove any big air bubbles.


ASSEMBLY

Carefully remove the cooled cake from the pan - I do this by turning it onto a wire rack, then using another wire rack with parchment paper on top to flip it up the right way - alternatively you can also put the buttercream on while it is still in the pan, which makes it super easy to transport.

Scrape the buttercream onto the cake, and spread using an offset spatula - swoop it on as desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or the fridge.

Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream

Thank you so much to Heilala Vanilla for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own,.

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!