Pastry magician Dominique Ansel (of Cronut fame) is a master of reinvention. For his latest trick, he reimagines the perfect cinnamon roll. Though you can't exactly make Ansel's Cinnamon Spun Rolls — available now at Dominique Ansel Kitchen — in a home kitchen, Ansel and his team have adapted a version of this recipe for the home baker. Watch as he describes the process, from kneading the rich brioche dough to forming the cinnamon butter-filled layers, to a batter and Applejack icing that take this pastry to the next level. Find the recipe below:
Cinnamon Rolls from Dominique Ansel KitchenMakes 9 rolls
For the dough:3¼ cups all purpose flour
3 tsp salt
4½ tbsp sugar
2½ tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp milk
2 sticks plus 1 tbsp softened unsalted butter, cubed
For the cinnamon filling:2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2¾ sticks of butter
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 lemon
For the Applejack icing:3¾ cups (1 standard 1-pound box) confectioner’s sugar
2 large egg whites
1.5 tbsp Applejack brandy
½ tbsp lemon juice
For the base of the baking dish:¾ cup brown sugar
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix at medium speed until combined. Gradually stream in milk, and then the eggs. Mix for 6–7 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Continue to mix on medium speed and gradually add in cubed butter. Mix until butter is fully incorporated and the dough looks smooth and shiny.
Remove the dough from the mixer and form into a ball. Let the dough sit in a bowl, covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for 1 hour. (The dough will expand to approximately 1.5 times in size.)
Punch down the dough, re-cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for 3–4 hours (the dough can also be stored in the fridge overnight).
For the cinnamon filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in the dark brown sugar, molasses, lemon zest and cinnamon until smooth. Let cool and set aside.
To assemble the rolls, lightly grease a 9X9" baking dish or cake pan with cooking spray, then sprinkle generously with dark brown sugar and tiny (1cm) cubes of unsalted butter.
Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about ¼” thick, with the longer sides on the top and bottom. (TIP: If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle!)
Spread the cinnamon filling evenly across the dough, leaving a 1” border along the top edge.
Roll the dough from the bottom up into a long horizontal log. Slice into 2.5 slices (this recipe makes 9 individual rolls)
Place the rolls into the cake pan cut-side up, cover gently with plastic wrap and let stand for 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight).
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.
Bake for 25–30 minutes until the tops are golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through (to check for doneness, the center of the rolls should spring back when pressed gently).
Remove from oven. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter.
Combine all icing ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Drizzle the icing onto the rolls or spread on with a spatula and serve.