It all happened randomly. I found beautiful, red, fragrant raspberries at the market that day. It had just rained, everything smelled freshly washed, a light premonition of spring floating above freshly-cut tulips and roses, arranged next to the piles of fruits. The clouds still hanging above us gray, mooving lazily some meters, then coming back to place. Not a ray of sun touched us that morning.
I had a craving for vanilla-bean pastry cream, again. Home made, the patient way, the rewarding way.
Raspberries and vanilla cream. Trapped in buttery, fluffy, not too sweet dough. Smelling rasberry, vanilla, butter. I could almost see it, I could almost smell it.
And then I made them. And they turned out better than I hopped they would.
The raspberries didn’t melt in the cream, they even held their shape. Some of their juices came out, paired with the vanilla cream, and then oozed out of the roll. No glaze needed, the berries did all the work. It was pink and perfect.
I know, I know. They look a little “rustic”. But what’s the point of perfect looking, flawless pastries? Beauty and character lie in imperfection. Right?
You have to smell this smell, you have to taste these rolls. Because they taste so much better than they look. And because spring is coming, days are getting longer and berries are getting tastier. It’s almost here, don’t you feel it too?
Raspberry Vanilla Cream Rolls
(makes 15 rolls)
Make the dough!
- 180 ml lukewarm milk
- 7 grams dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour (+1-2 tablespoons to add if dough still sticky)
- 1/2 cup powder sugar
- 80 grams butter (cold)
- In a bowl, beat lightly the egg. Add milk, then the yeast and stir together. Let proof for 10′ or until foamy.
- In another bigger bowl, shift together flour, sugar, salt. Cut the cold butter in cubes and rub with the flour mixture, until it looks like breadcrumps.
- Add yeast mixture and knead for about 10′, until the dough is not sticky but smooth. If the dough is still sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour and knead some more.
- Cover bowl with damp towel and let proof in a warm place, for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Fill the rolls & bake!
- 1.5 cups of vanilla bean pastry cream*
- 1.5 cups of raspberries (around 200 grams)
*if you don’t know how to make vanilla bean cream, here is my version! You ‘ll need about 1/3 of this recipe.
- Dust lightly the working surface with flour. Roll out the dough in a rectangle, around 30×45.
- Spread the pastry cream with a spatoula, leaving a frame of around 2 cm empty at the rectangle’s edges.
- Scatter your raspberries on the cream – or range them tidily 😉
- Roll this baby up – be tender, or the cream will come out. Press the ends together, so that it closes properly.
- Cut it in round rolls, around 1.5-2 cm wide. Put rolls in lined baking sheet, leaving at least 2 cm in between them.
- Bake the rolls in 180 ºC/ 356 ºF, for around 20′-25′ or until golden. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
Admire the rolls. Smell the raspberries and the vanilla bean cream. Take some pictures of them, call your mum to talk about them (hmmm, is this going too far?) .Enjoy them with a book on a rainy day. Or without a book. In the sun 🙂
Notes: The rolls will keep well for 2-3 days, covered losely with a towel. They taste their best the first day, but they get more fragnant the second. These are not too sweet, so if you need your pastries to be sweet, go ahead and spring some brown sugar over them before baking.