Friday, November 05, 2021


There is something so incredibly special in working with dough. The overwhelming beauty of simplicity in the best way possible.
One of the earliest memories I have is watching my grandmother as she kneaded bread dough, explaining how you have to work quickly so it does not stick to your hands. That alone is the reason I love working with dough so much, it has the power to bring me back to my very roots. To that precise moment in time when I knew that that is what I will forever hold dear. To create the dough, to knead it, to shape it, patiently wait for it to bake, lovingly sprinkle it with cold water, and serve it with love. One of the greatest things in life.
Dates, soft and sweet, are the base of this delicious caramel treat. Blended with vegan butter and vanilla, they almost melt into the dough as it bakes, blurring the line between it and the filling. I love to leave tiny pieces of dates throughout the filling, both as delicious little surprises, and for some added texture. Feel free to add a tiny sprinkle of orange zest, too; I find that it pairs perfectly with the date caramel.
Serve these rolls hot from the oven, with a mug of tea, and enjoy.

For the soft dough
200 millilitres water
1 heaping teaspoon loose-leaf black tea
30 millilitres vegetable oil
30 grams brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
25 grams fresh yeast
350 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the cream caramel filling
50 grams vegan block butter, softened
150 grams soft dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
30 millilitres warm water
For the cheesecake filling
100 grams vegan cream cheese
30 grams brown sugar, optional
2 teaspoons cornflour
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For brushing
50 grams melted vegan block butter, optional

Start by brewing the tea. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat, remove it from the stove, and add in the loose-leaf tea. Cover, and let it steep for about 3-4 minutes. Strain the tea well, and let it cool down slightly. Once cool, pour it into a large bowl, crumble in the fresh yeast, and add in the sugar and the oil. Mix well so the yeast dissolves, and then let it stand until bubbly and fragrant, about 10 minutes. When the yeast is ready, add in the vanilla, and mix well. Sift in half of the flour and the salt, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Sift in the rest of the flour, and proceed to knead with your hands, either in the bowl or on the work surface, for 3-5 minutes more, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest and rise for about an hour.
Meanwhile, make the cream caramel filling. Place the soft dates into a blender, add in the water, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla, and blend very well. Scrape down the sides, and blend again. For the cheesecake portion, blend together the vegan cream cheese, sugar, cornflour, and the vanilla, and reserve.
Once the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to about 5 millimetres in thickness. Generously spread the soft date caramel, making sure one edge is left free, so the roll can seal. Spread the cream cheese over the caramel, and roll the dough towards the free edge. Pinch the seam well, and slice the roll into 8 equal pieces. Arrange them in a baking pan (20x30 cm or similar) lined with baking parchment. Cover, and let them rise for a second time, for about 30 minutes. As soon as the oven is ready, brush the rolls generously with melted butter, and bake immediately, in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 12-15 minutes. If desired, brush them with some melted vegan butter, and serve them right from the baking pan. Yields 8 rich servings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be visible after the author's approval.