- Tried & Tasted -

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Cinnamon Rolls filled with Gula Melaka (Coconut Palm Sugar), Pecan and Raisin

These smell so wonderful when they were baking in the oven! They are enjoyably messy to eat, as they are sticky and gooey, studded with pecans and raisins. I substituted the usual brown sugar in the recipe with gula melaka (coconut palm sugar) just to give the buns a South East Asian twist.

Gula melaka is made by extracting the sap from the budding flower of a date, coconut or sago palm. The sap is boiled until it thickens, leaving a sticky syrup that is whipped and dropped in lumps on cellophane, or poured into containers, traditionally bamboo tubes, where it solidifies. It is a form of unrefined sugar.

You may have noticed that I was very stingy sparing in glazing the tops of buns. Reason being, this was meant as a breakfast item and not a dessert. Please double the glaze recipe if you have a sweet tooth or you want to make this into a dessert.

Gula Melaka (Coconut Palm Sugar), Pecan and Raisin Cinnamon Buns
(Makes 12 pieces in a 33cm by 22cm pan)
For the Dough
426g organic unbleached flour (normal all purpose flour will work)
25g fine sugar
30g water, lukewarm
1 pack (11g) of quick-rise (instant) yeast
178g of milk heated to lukewarm, approx. 45 degrees Celsius
1 1/8 tsp salt
57g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, at room temperature, each egg weighs 55g
2 tsp homemade vanilla essence or store bought
For the Filling
100g gula melaka (coconut palm sugar), cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
40g pecan
30g raisin
1/4 tsp salt
40g unsalted butter at room temperature

Coconut cream for brushing on the rolls

For the Glaze
100g gula melaka
40g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp coconut milk

Steps to make dough:

  1. Place water in a small bowl; sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, butter, sugar, vanilla essence, salt, and 2 eggs. Whisk in yeast mixture.
  2. Place the flour into the bread maker and pour in the egg mixture over it and start the machine to knead the dough. 
    OR by hand:
    Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour ,4 tablespoons at a time, until you have a soft, shaggy dough. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. 

    Butter the inside of a large bowl; place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours.
 Steps to make the buns:
  1. Butter a 33cm by 22cm baking pan. In a food processor, combine gula melaka, pecan, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until coarsely ground and mix in the raisins by hand; set nut mixture aside. 
  2. Roll the dough out to a 40cm by 25cm rectangle on a lightly floured work surface. Spread butter over dough, leaving a 1 1/2cm border all around. Sprinkle the nut mixture over butter and lightly press the mixture into the dough. Leaving the border around the filling is to ensure that the filling doesn't seep.
  3. Starting at a long end, roll up dough like making a swiss roll; with a sharp knife, cut crosswise into 12 equal pieces.
  4. Place buns, cut side down, in the pan. Cover pan loosely with plastic; let stand in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours. (I speed up this step by creating a dough proofer environment using my microwave oven. I heated 100 ml of water in a microwave safe bowl, on high, for 2 min. Leaving the bowl of water in the microwave oven. I quickly placed the loosely covered pan of buns into the microwave oven. It took the dough 40 - 45 min to double in size)   
  5. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Bake buns until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
  6. Prepare glaze: When buns are baking, in a small saucepan, heat and stir gula melaka, butter, and coconut milk over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute to dissolve the sugar and to thicken the glaze. Then drizzle glaze over the buns once they are out of the oven. Let the glaze and buns cool completely before consumption.

When we had these for breakfast the next day, they were still soft and moist. They can be refrigerated up to 3 days, in an air tight container. Reheat them in the microwave oven for 30 seconds to enjoy the sweet, warm and gooey buns.

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  1. These look delectable! I love how you were stingy with the glaze, too. To me, too many cinnamon rolls have an avalanche of glaze, making them achingly sweet. I can only take one bite before it's too much. With these, I could enjoy an entire one quite happily. ;)

    1. Hi Food Gal, I like your use of the word 'avalanche' to describe the amount of glaze on some of the cinnamon rolls out there. You have a great blog and I have so much to learn for you. Thanks for stopping by.