This was my attempt to see if I could salvage anything from the disaster that was the rhubarb yeast cake I made on Sunday. I hated the thought of all my lovely rhubarb going to waste.
Rescue came from the cookbook The New Nordic, which I’ve mentioned before. Simon Bajada has a recipe for some yeasted buns I thought might be adaptable for my purposes. Their principal flavouring are cinnamon and cardamom, which is what caught my eye in the first place. I love cardamom. The buns are a crispy-edged, messy twist, which also appealed.
I scraped the filling out of what was left of Sunday’s cake (which was most of it. It was not a good cake). That was a mix of rhubarb, raisins, walnuts, sugar, a little cinnamon and a little cognac.
I made the pastry according to the recipe (sort of).
135g caster sugar (I included some coconut sugar) and 100g butter, creamed. Mix in one egg.
Add in 700g plain flour, sifted, 18g dried yeast, and a pinch of salt, alternating with 200m milk and 100ml cream (I substituted my home-made kefir, since I had no cream and the kefir was lovely and thick).
The recipe says to knead for 15 minutes, but I have used the no-knead method of bread-making for years and I don’t knead at all, except to mix it to a smooth ball. Leave it to rise to double, about an hour. Not-kneading works perfectly well. The worst thing is to do half the kneading and give up – that just makes everything leaden and heavy. All or nothing!
90g caster sugar and 150g butter, creamed.
Add 1 tbs cinnamon and 1tbs ground cardamom seeds (not the whole pods, just the seeds from inside). This can also be sprinkled over later instead of mixing in.
To this I added the rhubarb mix.
Shape the dough to a rectangle and roll to about 2cm thick. Spread the filling over, keeping back from the edges. Fold over once and roll out back to about 2cm thick, or as close as you can get. This is a big divergence. The original recipe wants a double fold and then rolled out to 1.5cm thick. That’s impossible with this thickness of filling with all that added rhubarb and raisins and nuts. It still makes a colossal mess, the filling goes everywhere. I just kept scraping it back inside, but it still ends up all over everything.
Cut it into strips and roll it up like a coffee scroll (the dough in the original recipe, which is much thinner and more manageable, you tie into a kind of knot). The original wants a glazing syrup of golden syrup and sugar, but I didn’t bother as they seems quite sweet enough. And with this extra filling, that was acting as a kind of glaze anyway.
Leave to rise again, 30-40 minutes.
Cook at 200C for 15 minutes (this is 5 minutes longer than the original recipe, but 10 minutes is just not enough, at least in my oven, even when I made them as per the original recipe).
A spectacular success. They aren’t pretty (not much of my baking is, and in this case the originals aren’t neat and pretty either), but they are utterly delicious. They came out of the oven at 7.15 last night, and by lunchtime today they were all gone, having been shared between my book club and Dave’s work.
Because the butter/sugar filling wasn’t as well incorporated into the dough as the original recipe, there was some buttery leakage, but that turned into little caramel crunchy bits that were lovely.