Move over cinnamon roll a new kid, I mean new rolls are in town. This recipe is inspired from the famous masala chai from India. Masala means spices and chai means tea. I am using spices used in making this masala. It includes cardamom, ginger powder, cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg. Every household has their favorite mix, either homemade or store-bought. I am making the spice mix myself from whole spices but you can use the store-bought mix readily available in Indian grocery store.
Combination of dates and walnuts is like nostalgia for me, reminiscing childhood days of eating an old-fashioned date walnut cake my mom used to make quite often. Ever since my recent trip to Dubai and drinking the Arabic coffee full of cardamom, served with dates, this combination blew my mind.
I have used my brioche dough here but you can totally use your own brioche dough or this no knead brioche. A very straight forward recipe, take refrigerated dough, roll it, spread some of my spiced almond cream, sprinkle some nuts and dried fruit if you like, let it rise and bake. All the parts can be prepared the day before making it best for Sunday breakfast/ brunch, family get together or holidays.
Makes: 14 rolls
- 3 cardamom, remove green cover
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 peppercorns
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- Or 2 teaspoon chai masala (store-bought/ homemade)
- 96 grams/ 1 cup skinless almond flour
- 110 grams/ 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cake flour or all-purpose flour
- 113 grams/ 8 tablespoons/ 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 large egg, whisked with fork for 30 seconds
- 1 tablespoon rum/ vodka, optional
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 75 grams/ 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 450 grams/ 1/2 recipe brioche dough
- 10 medjool dates, seeded and chopped into ¼ inch pieces
- 75 grams/ 3/4 cup walnut, chopped
Make spiced almond cream
- Grind all the spices together to a fine powder using mortar pestle, set aside.
- Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch and cake flour in a bowl and keep aside.
- In a mixing bowl add butter and mix using a wire whisk or hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour mix, spice mix and salt. Mix until just combined. Add egg and rum. Whisk until mixed. Use or refrigerate for about 3 days.
Make sugar icing
- Combine sugar, water and lemon juice with whisk, set aside.
- Grease 2 8 or 9 inch pan with butter and set aside.
- Roll cold brioche dough into 10 inch by 16 inch rectangle, make sure the longer side is horizontal. Spread the prepared spiced almond cream, leaving 1 inch space along the borders.
- Sprinkle walnuts and dates evenly. Brush the top horizontal surface with water. Form a tight roll, keep the sealed edge at bottom.
- Cut into 14 equal parts, about 1 ¼ inch long. Place 1 in center of prepared cake pan and 6 around it. Let it rise at room temperature, until double in size about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake in middle rack for 30 to 35 minutes, tops will be golden brown. If after 20 minutes of baking rolls are getting too dark, cover them with foil.
- Remove from oven and glaze immediately with sugar icing. Wait for 10 minutes before serving.
- Leftovers can be eaten at room temperature or rewarm at 400°F for 2 minutes.