Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chocolate Swirl Buns

Wow, September has gone by in a flash! I can't believe that it's already the end of the month and yet it feels like it's still summer. Part of the reason is because we have been blessed with great weather that has lasted all month long. In fact I heard on the radio that apparently we broke the record for the longest streak of dry days. According to reports the streak went on for 51 days...not bad for a city known around the world for its rainy weather. This great weather coupled with my extensive summer wardrobe made me a very happy camper all month long, despite having to return to school.

I have to admit that another reason the month seemed to fly by is because my schedule was packed with activities. As a result I didn't actually spend too much time in the kitchen because I was simply too busy, though I'm sure others would still consider it a lot by their standards. Still, when some classmates called upon me to help them with their bake sale I immediately agreed to contribute.

I decided to make these chocolate swirl buns that I saw not to long ago on my favorite food blog Annie's Eats. They are basically like a cinnamon bun, though with a chocolate filling, and by baking them in a muffin tin they are extremely easy to pop out and serve. Once again my family was disappointed that I was baking for someone else, though I did leave two for my mom and brother to try. They both enjoyed the little buns and I decided that I should make them again sometime soon, this time for the family, because they looked delicious but I didn't have a chance to try one.

Chocolate Swirl Buns
Note: The original recipe calls for making 12 rolls in a regular muffin tin. I made 24 in a mini muffin tin and the rolls were a great size. I also prepared the rolls a day ahead and kept them in the fridge then let them sit on the counter for a few hours the next day before baking them.

For the dough:
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp rapid rise (instant) yeast
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter cut into pieces, room temperature 
For the filling:
  • 8 oz (225 grams) dark chocolate, roughly chopped 
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water
  1. Using an electric mixer, combine the milk, sugar, and yeast. Add the egg, flour, and salt and mix until a sticky dough starts to form.
  2. Mix in the butter until incorporated. If using a stand mixer switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 10 minutes, otherwise just use your hands. The dough will still be extremely sticky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a well-greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Keep in a warm place until doubled in bulk, approximately 1-2 hours.
  4. While waiting, prepare the filling by combining the chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until the chocolate is finely chopped and even somewhat powdery. Add the butter and continue pulsing until incorporated.
  5. Once the dough has risen place it on a well floured surface and punch it a little to deflate it. Let it rest for five minutes then split in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 12" long. 
  6. Sprinkle half of the chocolate filling over the rolled out dough then, working from the long end, roll it into a log. Cut the log into 12 individual pieces and place each into a well-greased mini muffin tin. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  7. Cover the muffin tins loosely with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise for at least 30 minutes. If not planning on baking right away simply cover and put them in the fridge, then allow them to proof twice as long before baking them later.
  8. Once ready to bake, brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until puffed and golden brown. If baking those that were refrigerated the bake time may be slightly longer.

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