Boy, do I have a story for you. In August 2010, my husband was in China Town in Queens and he picked up a very special present for me. We love to watch Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel as he tries the most unique foods around the world and one of his least favorite things to try is a stinky fruit called durian. While this fruit is considered “the king of fruits” in Southeast Asia, Andrew Zimmern (and many others) would strongly disagree. So when my husband came home with this large spiky fruit, I was over the moon with excitement to try it for myself. As we cut into the sharp outer layer to reveal a custard-like center, I started taking pictures of the process. I basically held my breath while I tasted the fruit but the smell had practically permeated the kitchen walls at that point! Let’s just say that Andrew Zimmern is totally justified in hating durian. I tasted the fruit, I hated the fruit and I swore I would never try it again. I posted the durian pictures in an album on Facebook and called it “My ‘Test Kitchen’ Projects.” And that is where Kitchen Tested began! In fact, you can see that post right here on my blog. Enjoy :)

Great story, right?!? Okay, now let’s fast forward a couple of years to June 2013. My sister-in-law called me a few days ago and told me that she was buying me durian. I just couldn’t refuse! Hey, maybe my taste buds had changed in three years. Maybe my palate was now advanced enough to handle that stinky fruit! So I opened the fruit again, endured the nasty smell and dug right in…then spit it right out! But I was determined to turn durian into a recipe that people would actually want to eat and that’s how these durian brown sugar buns came to life. I made a sweet durian filling, a simple and delicious dough from Busy in Brooklyn and a durian cream cheese icing to top the buns. If you are afraid of durian, you can actually make these brown sugar buns without the filling and just leave the durian out of the icing. My sister-in-law actually liked the taste of durian and she approved of these buns. I, on the other hand, had some trouble with the durian flavor. I am so glad I tried durian for a second time but now I think I’m done. So get to it and try something new!

Durian Brown Sugar Buns

Brown Sugar Bun Dough
recipe from Busy in Brooklyn 

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1 packet quick rise yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp butter
1 egg

Durian Filling

1/2 cup durian flesh
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
3 Tbsp coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar

Durian Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup durian flesh
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

I made the dough first to give it some time to rise. I added 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl and whisked to combine. I stirred in the warm water, butter and egg. I combined in my stand mixer until smooth. I gradually added in remaining flour until a soft dough formed. I covered with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, around 1 hour.

While the dough was rising, I made the filling for the buns. In a food processor, I combined the durian flesh, vanilla sugar, coconut milk and salt and blended until smooth and thick. Once the dough was ready, I lightly floured a flat surface, rolled out the dough into a 12×15 inch rectangle and spread on the butter. I sprinkled the brown sugar all over the surface then spread on the filling. Starting with the 12 inch side, I rolled up the dough tightly. This process is a bit messy with the filling so you can wear gloves if you want!

I cut the roll into 12 slices and placed them close together in a round 9 inch pan prepared with cooking spray. I covered the buns and set them aside to rise for 45 minutes.

I baked the buns at 375 degrees F until golden brown, around 25-30 minutes. While the buns were baking, I made the durian cream cheese icing. In a food processor, I combined the whipping cream, durian flesh, powdered sugar, sugar, vanilla extract and cream cheese and blended until smooth and thick.

Once the durian brown sugar buns had cooled, I spread on the creamy and luscious icing. You can definitely leave the durian out of this recipe if you don’t like the taste or can’t get durian in your neighborhood. Good luck and have fun trying new foods!

Durian Brown Sugar Buns
 
Author:

Ingredients
Brown Sugar Bun Dough
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 packet quick rise yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
Durian Filling
  • ½ cup durian flesh
  • ½ cup vanilla sugar
  • 3 Tbsp coconut milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
Durian Cream Cheese Icing
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup durian flesh
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Instructions
Brown Sugar Bun Dough
  1. Add 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Stir in the warm water, butter and egg. Combined in stand mixer until smooth.
  3. Gradually add in the remaining flour until a soft dough formed.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, around 1 hour.
Durian Filling
  1. n a food processor, combine the durian flesh, vanilla sugar, coconut milk and salt and blend until smooth and thick.
Prepare the Buns
  1. Lightly flour a flat surface, roll out the dough into a 12×15 inch rectangle and spread on the butter.
  2. Sprinkle the brown sugar all over the surface then spread on the filling.
  3. Starting with the 12 inch side, roll up the dough tightly.
  4. Cut the roll into 12 slices and place them close together in a round 9 inch pan prepared with cooking spray.
  5. Cover the buns and set them aside to rise for 45 minutes.
  6. Bake the buns at 375 degrees F until golden brown, around 25-30 minutes.
Durian Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a food processor, combine the whipping cream, durian flesh, powdered sugar, sugar, vanilla extract and cream cheese and blend until smooth and thick.
  2. Once the durian brown sugar buns are cool, spread on the icing.