This sweet bun is a modern twist on classic Cantonese bread, combining the elements of a Chinese bun with the Western strawberry cheesecake. The enriched soft Chinese bread is wrapped around a sharp cheesecake filling and finished with desiccated coconut and strawberry jam.
This is the second of my bakes for my Chinese bread series. You can see the recipe for my Cocktail Buns by clicking here.
Like for my Cocktail Buns, I use plain flour for the dough. I much prefer the texture of the crumb of my bread using plain flour and I personally don’t see much difference in my bakes using plain flour. If you want to change up the flavours, you can switch out the strawberry extract and jam for any other berries; blueberry and raspberry would work brilliantly however I would also add some lemon zest into the dough for extra flavour.
I was inspired to try making these buns by Becky from biscuitbases.wordpress.com. Check out all of her brilliant cheesecake recipes, it really is cheesecake porn!
For the bread dough
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
180ml whole milk
2 x 7g sachets of fast-action dried yeast
½ tsp natural strawberry extract
For the cheesecake filling
200g cream cheese
4 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
80g desiccated coconut, placed into a deep bowl
200g strawberry jam, mixed up to loosen
Heat up the milk and margarine in the microwave until the fat has melted. Allow to cool to body temperature and add the 2 sachets of yeast. Stir and allow the yeast to bubble up for about 10 minutes.
For the bread dough, pour the flour into a large bowl and add the sugar and salt to one side of the bowl. Use your finger to stir through and make a well in the centre. Add in the egg with all of the liquid and use your hands to bring the mix into a ball of dough – it shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry.
Once the dough has combined nicely, transfer to a floured work surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes. The dough should not be sticking to the surface neither should it be crumbly. Test whether the dough is kneaded enough by pressing a finger into the dough and it should spring back fully.
Place into the bowl and cover with clingfilm and prove until doubled in size.
Meanwhile make the cheesecake filling. Mix together the cream cheese with the icing sugar and lemon juice until it is combined. Cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
When the dough has proved, knock back the air and divide the dough into 50g portions (you should get 18). Roll out each of the dough balls into a circle about 8cm wide. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the cheesecake filling into the centre and wrap the dough around the filling, squeezing the dough together to prevent any leaking out. Roll in your hand to shape slightly into a ball shape , and coat the bun in desiccated coconut and place onto a parchment lined baking tray.
Repeat with all the buns and then use a rolling pin to push the centre of the buns down to create a hollow. Fill with 1 ½ teaspoons of strawberry jam and finish with more desiccated coconut. Cover with clingfilm and prove for a further hour or so until doubled in size.
When you are ready to bake, place the buns into the oven as it is preheating to 170°C. Bake for 18 minutes until the bottoms are browned well. Cool on a wire rack for an hour before eating.