- Yield: 12 buns
- 1 recipe Brioche Dough
- All-purpose flour, for rolling
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups (472 ml) plus 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons Swedish pearl sugar or coarse sanding sugar
- 1 pound (453 g) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
How to Make It
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. After the overnight rest in the fridge, turn the brioche dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and dust the top of each piece with a little flour. Pick up a piece of dough and use your thumbs to stretch and pull the surface of the dough downward. Tuck the dough underneath to create a smooth, taut surface. Rotate the piece of dough a quarter turn and repeat the tucking motion, then turn the piece over into the palm of your hand and pinch the bottom of the ball closed, so that you have created a smooth-shaped ball of dough. Place the dough ball on one of the prepared baking sheets and press down with your hand to flatten it a bit. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls, 6 buns per baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Dust the tops of the buns with a little bit of flour and cover the baking sheets loosely with plastic wrap. Let the buns rest in a warm area (about 75°F) until they have risen and increased in size by half.
- Position two racks in the center zone of your oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of the cream to make an egg wash. Remove the plastic wrap from the buns and gently brush the top and sides of the dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle the buns with the pearl sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back and continue to bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, until the buns are golden brown. Let the buns cool completely on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack.
- Cut a 2-inch-wide, 1½-inch-deep crater into each bun with a paring knife. Reserve the bun tops and set aside. Place a strawberry half, cut-side up, into each crater and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the remaining 2 cups heavy cream, the 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar, the vanilla, and cardamom. Whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl and whisk attachment from the machine and whisk the cream by hand two or three times, until almost-stiff peaks form. The cream should be smooth but hold shape. Over-whipped cream will break down and end up clumpy; perfectly whipped cream will remain billowy and retain a smooth, tight texture even after being refrigerated.
- Place the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch star tip. Pipe the cream into the buns, starting in the centers and working out and up to create a little height. Arrange the strawberry halves in a ring around the cream, cut sides facing in, to form a crown. If there is any space at the tops of the strawberry crowns, pipe a tiny bit of cream inside it. Place the cut-out bun pieces on top and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
- Serve immediately. Cream buns will keep well in the fridge for 1 day but are best eaten fresh.