Gajar (Carrot) Halwa Brioche Buns
In my childhood days, my mother always gave us wholesome meals. Sweets like chocolates, were a treat reserved for the weekend (in measured quantities). Nevertheless, mom used to make us some yummy desserts such as fruit chaats drizzled with honey that we could have during the weekdays too. As I grew up and the love of cooking started, one of the first things I learnt was Gajar (carrot) Halwa. I remember making this on Friday nights for my mother and sisters...they all loved it and, it was healthier way of satisfying all our sweet tooth.
When mama last visited me in Toronto, I made Gajar Halwa Brioche Buns. I wanted to try a new presentation of the two classics and thought the fusion would be an awesome thing to try. It was also a great way of combining some left over Gajar halwa with left over brioche dough. It turned out great and my mom loved it, so did Z. I still make it from time to time and it has become one of those tried and tested home favourites.
Currently, due to the stay-at-home mantra being promulgated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding things to keep occupied becomes tricky. The good news for me is that Z is also keen on dabbling in the kitchen. We love cooking together from time to time...it is cathartic and a pleasant way to spend time together. Among our favourite cooking escapades is baking bread. So, last weekend, we decided to bake the gajar halwa brioche buns. While, brioche is a super easy bread to make, I find the waiting time to be a killer. This is probably because I am a quick zip-zap kitchen person…let’s say I’m very impatient. Nevertheless, Z has more of a methodical and slow-but-sure approach...I guess we complement each other that way :)
So, let’s break down this recipe and make it easy to follow: The first part is the whole wheat brioche dough which should be made a night before (so that it’s nice and fluffy having had ample time to rest overnight). The second part is the making of an easy peasy gajar halwa (which is going to be spread over the rolled out brioche dough).
As a final note, if you make this recipe, please do leave a comment and/or like and please please please, don’t forget to tag me on instagram! I really love to hear from you guys and it gives me a lot of satisfaction when my recipe can bring a smile on someone's face :)
Gajar Halwa Brioche Buns
delicious, beautiful and so darn good!
Serves: 8 portions | Calories*: 277 kcal
Step 1: Brioche buns prep
25 g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
120 ml whole milk/coconut milk
5 g instant yeast
85 g melted butter
300 g whole wheat bread flour
In a mixing bowl, add the instant yeast, lukewarm milk and sugar. Set it aside for 10 mins or until you start seeing your mixture rising and forming lots of bubbles.
Once the mixture has risen, add the dry ingredients (salt and flour), egg, melted butter and mix on a low speed. As soon as it starts coming together, increase the speed to medium and mix until it forms a uniform dough (5 mins).
Take the dough out from the mixing bowl and continue to knead for 2 mins using your palms.
Oil a bowl (make sure it is deep and large as the dough will rise and double in size when kept for resting). Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and gently cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to proof for at-least 5 hours (or overnight).
Step 2: Gajar Halwa Prep
2 cups shredded carrots
1 tsp clarified butter/unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp cardamom
In a shallow non-stick pan, add the clarified butter (ghee) and turn on the heat to medium-high.
Once the ghee has melted, add the shredded carrots and keep stirring until they turn a slightly darker shade of orange (about 2 mins).
Now, add the milk and cardamom, keep stirring until the milk decreases to half the volume. This is the stage when you want to add the sugar and stir continuously until it forms a uniform mixture and is drying up (it has to be dry as we are going to spread it on to our brioche).
Keep it aside and let it cool down.
Step 3: Finishing & Assembly
Take the brioche dough out of the fridge and rest it for 30 minutes before you start rolling it out.
Prepare a baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or simply buttering the dish using a pastry brush.
Once the dough has rested for the specified 30 minutes, lightly flour the surface and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough making sure it is 1/2 inch thick. Spread the gajar halwa mixture over the dough. Sprinkle walnuts or any nuts if you want to, this step is totally optional. Carefully roll the dough along the longer edge (so it would form kind of a long log shape), making sure it is tight as you roll over. Once rolled , using a sharp knife cut into 8 small rolls.
Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and rest for 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 350 F while resting the rolls.
Bake the rolls for 30 - 35 mins or until golden brown.
Once the rolls are out of the oven, let them cool slightly and then sprinkle them with some walnuts (optional) and enjoy them warm :)
While frosting is not required, if you want, you can add a dollop of ready made custard or a scoop of greek yogurt. The gajar halwa brioche buns can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week in a refrigerator. Oh and don't forget to warm them each time in the microwave for 20 seconds before indulging. Enjoy!
*Please note that the nutritional information on this site is only an approximate.