I made these rolls when I went home just after my exams. Every time I'm home I usually head to mum's copy of Green & Black's Ultimate cookbook first. I should probably buy my own. I was craving something sweet but also yeasty and so this recipe jumped out as I flicked through.
I love recipes with a history. The recipe writer writes that her Norwegian mother taught her how to make these rolls by sight, just as her mother had taught her. The recipe was this 'amazing family secret'. She goes on to say that the day her mother admitted that her daughter's rolls were better than hers was one of the proudest moments of her life as a pastry chef.
These rolls have some serious stuff going on. The vanilla-flecked dough is silky to work with and then beautifully fluffy when baked. There is a lot of butter involved. And a lot of brown sugar. And a good sprinkling of dark chocolate. My kind of indulgence.
Super Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
(adapted from Green and Black's Ultimate)
For the dough:
225ml whole milk
40g unsalted butter
25g fresh yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp dried)
500g strong bread flour
120g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 vanilla pod
Heat the milk and butter over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until you can comfortably keep your finger in it. Crumble the fresh yeast into the milk mix, stir and leave for 10 minutes. (If you want to use dried yeast do not add it into the milk, but into the dry ingredients). Sift the flour into a mixing bowl then stir in the caster sugar and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk/yeast mixture, the egg and half the flour mixture with the beater. Slowly add the rest of the flour mixture. If it is still very sticky, add a tbsp more flour (I didn't need to). Swap the beater for the dough hook and knead for 4 minutes (or 6 minutes by hand). Wipe out the flour bowl, grease, and place the dough into the bottom. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to double in a warm place - about 2 hours.
For the sauce:
25g unsalted butter
50g light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
When the dough is nearly doubled, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until the butter has melted and it's all combined. Grease the bottom of your tray (about 35 x 45 cm) and then spread the sauce over the bottom.
For the filling:
150g light brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
115g unsalted butter at room temperature - soft enough to be spread
150g dark chocolate (70%)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and chop the chocolate finely. Take the doubled dough and punch it down. On a well floured surface roll it out into a rectangle of about 35 x 45 cm. Spread the soft butter over the surface, leaving a border around the edge. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the butter, followed by the chocolate bits. Start with the long edge and roll the dough up, tucking it in as you roll. Use a bread knife or other serrated knife to cut the roll into 2, then 4, then 8, then 16. Place the rolls onto the sauced tray with about a 1cm gap. Leave to rise again with a damp tea towel draped over the tray for about 45 minutes until they're puffy. Bake in the oven until the rolls are risen and golden brown - about 25 minutes for me. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a big plate.
(Makes 16 rolls)
Three more enriched bread recipes:
Hot Cross Buns
Cinnamon Cardamon Kringel Bread