This Rhubarb and Raspberry Roly-Poly is one of my favourite winter weekend or dinner party desserts. I love the combination of raspberries and fresh rhubarb rolled in a soft pie-like dough. Serve with double cream or coconut yoghurt (my preference), though the rest of my family say vanilla bean ice-cream is ‘a must.’
This is a healthier version of the sugar and jam drenched traditional roly-poly in one of my nana’s old cookbooks (actually, it is a book filled with cuttings from magazines and lots of handwritten recipes that no doubt a neighbour or friend had shared). It’s still certainly not an everyday food, rather seriously good comfort food for those times when a little deliciousness in life is called for.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit your specific dietary requirements.
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One of my most favourite desserts, I think these Rhubarb and Raspberry Roly-Poly are just delicious. A healthy take on the classic jam filled, high sugar dessert.
- 480 gram wholemeal spelt flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 180 gram butter, chilled and cubed
- 250 ml (1 cup) full-fat milk
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 bunch rhubarb, 1cm dice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or rapadura
- 170 g (½ cup) sweetener (rice malt syrup, maple syrup or honey)
- 250 ml boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
To make the dough: combine the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Add the butter and either rub into the flour by hand or process until well combined with the flour (to form a crumb). Add the milk and mix until a firm, slightly sticky dough is formed. If it is too sticky, add more flour or to dry, add a little more milk.
Roll out between two pieces of baking paper into a 1cm thick (roughly) rectangle.
Remove the top piece of baking paper and scatter the filling evenly over the dough then roll it up into a cylinder. Trim the outer doughy edges and cut into approx. 2cm wide slices, carefully placing each slice onto a baking tray, leaving a little room between each one (they will expand).
For the syrup: combine the sweetener and hot water and mix until the sweetener has dissolved. Drizzle over each roly-poly.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the dough has risen and browned slightly (and most of the syrup has reduced).
Hot out of the oven with double cream, coconut cream or dare I say it (my kids and hubby are cheering me on)…a good quality vanilla ice-cream.
Making a good dough, especially gluten free requires TLC and a keen eye to achieve the right consistency in the dough. Once you've got the knack, you'll not look back.
Dairy-free and vegan
Replace the butter with 100ml of macadamia nut oil and milk with the approx. the same quantity of coconut milk. (Sorry I have run out of time and I have not recipe tested this yet). I'd recommend adding the coconut milk gradually to form the right consistency in the dough.
Replace the spelt flour with a good quality gluten-free bread flour.
Replace the coconut sugar with a pinch of stevia powder and chose the rice malt syrup as your sweetener for the syrup (and definitely skip the ice-cream)!
A different filling
Absolutely possible, the limit is your imagination. I love playing with various spices in the syrup too like ginger, cardamom, cloves etc; Pear and ginger are divine and in season now.
You can substitute white spelt or half/half for a lighter consistency.