These Chocolate Swirl Buns will find a way to your heart. Through your mouth!!! 😛 Because they are irresistible! ❤
The world over, March 8th is celebrated as International Women’s Day. (Yeah, I’m late; humour me, please.) Women’s Day is always so important to me. Because I want the one day to mark how far women have come; how strong they’ve fought and how hard we work every day to make our space in this world; something we really shouldn’t ‘have’ to do, considering we are all created/born equal!
This International Women’s Day was a special, for I surpassed my expectations of myself. I had a challenging baking experiment and photo shoot lined up for the day and I was excited (my idea of treating myself!). I woke up bright and early and got the dough ready for these Chocolate Swirl Buns. I left it to rise, sat down with my coffee; and things began spiraling south, soon after. Disconcerting harsh words came my way from fellow women (the OPPOSITE of what should happen on Women’s Day, in my opinion.)
On any given day, if something such had happened, I would’ve been the first to abandon a project and settle with Netflix-ing instead. At one point, I thought, ‘Forget it; I’m just going to dump the dough!’ But then I thought, ‘Sure, someone has gotten to me and I’m hurt. But it’s up to me to do that little something for myself that brings me joy.‘ (I credit such grown up, sorted thoughts to reading ‘How to be a Bawse’ by Lilly Singh.) So I went ahead and baked these glorious buns and created food photography that I consider to be some of my best work. 🙂
Moral of the story? Persevere. Because the only one who benefits from perseverance is YOU! Had I not persevered that day, I wouldn’t have gotten to savour these AH-MAZING Chocolate Swirl Buns. In turn I wouldn’t have been able to share this recipe with you. We’d all be missing out!
I think I’ve blabbered enough. I’ll let these Chocolate Swirl Buns do the talking!
This recipe makes 12 buns. Here’s what you need:
For the Dough:
- All Purpose Flour – 2 3/4 cups
- Milk Powder – 1/4 cup
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 4 tbsp
- Instant Yeast – 1 tbsp
- Milk – 1/4 cup, lukewarm
- Eggs – 3, lightly beaten + 1, for the egg wash
- Unsalted Butter – 90 g, cubed, room temperature
For the Chocolate Filling:
- Dark Chocolate – 130 g
- Unsalted Butter – 120 g
- Granulated Sugar – 50 g
- Cocoa Powder – 2 tbsp
- Ground Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
Here’s how you make these Chocolate Swirl Buns:
- Make the dough: 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. Using the dough hook of your stand/hand mixer, 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. (You can also knead this dough by hand; however it will require more time and elbow-grease to achieve a smooth dough.) 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.
- Make the filling: Melt the butter and the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, until completely melted and glossy. Add in the cocoa, sugar and ground cinnamon and give it a good mix. Leave to cool.
- Divide the dough: 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.
- Fill & roll: On a floured surface, roll each portion out into a 4 inch by 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.
- Twist: 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 lose rope braid.
- Shape: 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.
- Bake: 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!
As a kid I was so grateful for all the puff pastries, croissants and buns my parents would pick up from the local bakery. It made me feel like I was living the good life, eating elaborately crafted confections for tea (very a la Enid Blyton). Now, I’m so grateful that I can bake such beautiful, delicate buns in my own kitchen, and eat them warm and fresh, at any time, without having to leave the house. Definitely living the good life! 😛
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 role; while also lending a certain oomph to the flavour profile. And that granulated sugar in the filling is all the crackle and crunch you need to fall deeply in love with these baked masterpieces!
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! 😉
Recipe adapted from Adrianna Adarme’s recipe for Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns on ‘A Cozy Kitchen’ and Deb Perelman’s recipe for Better Chocolate Babka on ‘Smitten Kitchen’. These women are so inspiring! ❤
For regular updates on what’s happening in The Foodscape kitchen, follow me on Instagram at @thefoodscape! You’ll love all the deliciousness there, I promise! ❤