For this year Christmas, we decided to challenge us in making something new. We woke up bright and early and got the dough ready for these Chocolate Swirl Buns. We left it to rise, sat down with my coffee; and things began spiraling south, soon after.
On any given day, if something such had happened, I would’ve been the first to abandon a project and settle with chilling instead. At one point, we thought, ‘Forget it; we’re just going to dump the dough!’ But then we thought, ‘Sure, someone has gotten to us and we’re hurt.
But it’s up to me to do that little something for myself that brings me joy. So we went ahead and baked these glorious buns and created food photography that we consider to be some of our best work.
For the chocolate filling, we combine 130g of dark chocolate, 120g of unsalted butter, 50g of caster sugar, 2 tbsp of cocoa powder and lastly 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon in a bowl. Using the double boiler method, we melted it and leave it aside to cool.
These Chocolate Swirl Buns are a treat, both for the eyes and the palate! With a glossy, crackling ‘crust’ which leads into a soft, cloud-like interior and ribbons of dark, lush chocolate oozing, they are everything you want in a baked goody!
The notes of cinnamon are reminiscent of the much-loved classic, the cinnamon
- 2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of milk powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- 4 tbsp of caster sugar
- 1 tbsp of instant yeast
- 1/4 cup of milk, lukewarm
- Eggs – 3, lightly beaten + 1, for the egg wash
- 90g of unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
In a bowl, mix the sugar, lukewarm milk and instant yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk flour, milk powder and salt. Add in the yeast mixture and three lightly beaten eggs. Knead the dough until well incorporated.
Add in the butter and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth, leaves the sides and comes together. The dough will be a bit sticky. Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil/non-stick spray and place the dough in it. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for 2 hours.
Punch down the dough lightly and turn it out onto a generously floured surface. Roll it out into a 9-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 12 equal portions.
On a floured surface, roll each portion out into a 4-inch by the 7-inch rectangle or until the dough is 1/2 cm thick, with the shorter edge facing you. Add about a little over a tablespoon of filling and spread it towards the sides, leaving about a centimeter around the edge. Begin rolling the dough from the side closest to you. Make sure the dough is tucked in a tight roll. Chill the rolled pastries for 10 minutes in the freezer.
Remove the rolled logs from the freezer and leave them out on the counter for 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut along the middle of the log, lengthwise, to get a cross-section that reveals the ribbons of chocolate. Pinch together both the sides at one end and twist them carefully to achieve a loose rope braid.
Starting with the right edge of the rope braid, roll inwards and tuck the left edge tightly under the bun. You can use a little water as ‘glue’ to secure the roll. Place the buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let them rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 °C/ 375 °F. Beat an egg and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the buns with egg wash. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the buns are fluffy and the tops are nice and golden. Remove immediately once done, and place on a wire rack to cool. When they are cool enough to bite into, dig in!
They are worth the work and the wait, I promise you. They are also super addictive. And perfect to have at your weekend brunches and afternoon teas! So, this coming weekend, clear your schedules and get baking; your tummy, and those of your loved ones, will thank you!
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