Chocolate Swirl Buns

My recipe for this weekend was meant to be something else. It sucks when recipes fail.

It totally sucks when your brown butter brown sugar cookies all merge into one in the oven.

But, it's ok when you end up getting to make chocolate swirl buns.

Making these made me realise how badly I need a coffee machine. Coffee, and chocolate, and cinnamon. I don't even care that it's the end of June and we're getting a month of rain overnight. 

Our morning could have failed miserably. We got up at 8am on a Sunday to investigate the car boot sale in Leek. I've come over all thrifty and wanted to hunt for tea cups. There were 3 cars there and 2 of them were selling plants so we wrote off that one and headed back to the Hanley car boot. I happily left with 2 mugs, the beautiful blue and white plate above and a glass jar/vase type ornament. 

Next week is the Sutton Vintage and Arts Fair, I've been once before and it was a great event so I'll be teacup hunting there as well. 

These buns were so much fun to make. They need to be made on a lazy afternoon because of the time needed to let them rise. I even managed a 30 minute nap whilst making them. If that's not productive I don't know what is. 

Chocolate Swirl Buns
(Taken from Smitten Kitchen)

Makes 12-16 buns

120 ml milk, preferably whole
50g plus a pinch of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) active dry yeast
1 large egg, brought to room temperature
250g all-purpose plain flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon table salt
45g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for bowl and muffin tins

45g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g granulated sugar
225g semisweet chocolate
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

  1. To prepare the dough, warm milk and a pinch of sugar until it is warm but not hot to the touch; best to err on the cool side. Sprinkle yeast over milk and let stand until foamy for about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then slowly whisk in yeast mixture.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Run mixer on low and add egg mixture, mixing until combined. Add butter and mix until incorporated. 
  3. Switch mixer to dough hook and let it knead the dough for 10 minutes on low speed. At 10 minutes, it should be sticky and stringy and but don't worry, it will firm up a bit after it rises. Butter a large bowl and place dough in it. Cover loosely with cling film or a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare filling: Finely chop your chocolate and then stir in the sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter until it makes a chunky, paste. You can also throw roughly chopped chocolate and the sugar etc into a food processor until it makes the paste. Set mixture aside.
  5. Generously butter a standard 12-muffin tin; set aside.
  6. Once dough is doubled, turn it out onto a well-floured surface and gently deflate it with floured hands. Let it rest for another 5 minutes. 
  7. Once rested, roll dough into a large, large rectangle. The short sides should be about 11 to 12 inches. The other side can be as long as you can roll it. The longer the dough, the more swirled it will be. I got to about 19 inches before I ran out of worktop.
  8. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough’s surface. Tightly roll the dough back over the filling from one short end to the other, forming a 12 to 13-inch log. (Yes, it always magically grows because the dough is soft.) With a sharp serrated knife, gently saw 1-inch segments off the log and place each in a prepared muffin cup. Loosely cover buns with cling film or a tea towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed and brown. 
  10. Set buns on cooling rack. You can let them cool or you can eat them when they are amazing and full of melty chocolate and cinnamon. 

Do ahead: These buns can be formed, placed in the muffin cups and refrigerated (loosely covered with plastic, which you might want to oil to keep it from sticking) the night before, to bake in the morning. You can bake them directly from the fridge. They can be baked and frozen until needed, up to 1 month.