It’s another We Should Cocoa challenge courtesy of Chocolate Teapot and Chocolate Log Blog! This month’s theme (hosted by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen) is chocolate and bread, and it’s one of those combos that makes me go “erm”. The first thing that came to my mind is chocolate cinnamon rolls, and I don’t care for chocolate cinnamon rolls. It’s like chocolate and ice cream: love chocolate, love ice cream, really don’t care for chocolate ice cream. The same goes for idea #2, bread pudding: I will certainly eat chocolate bread pudding (let’s not kid ourselves here: I will eat most anything with sugar in it), but it’s not a favourite. So, what else is there?
At this point, I found myself deep in semantics. What is bread, anyway? Muffins are often filed under “quick bread” and many a cake gets called a loaf or a bread (“banana bread”. I mean really.) but I suspected that these clever cop-outs wouldn’t fly. So, how about doughnuts? Yeast dough, but deep-fried: bread or not? A thorough Googling session on the question “are doughnuts bread?” gave me the following answer: “not really”. Well, shoot.
So, I was back at the basic idea of the cinnamon roll, and decided to try and make a roll that would be very little like a cinnamon roll. Like so:
Chocolate Rolls with Almond Paste (24 rolls)
60 g butter
250 ml milk
25 g fresh yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
120 ml sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
75 ml cocoa powder
700-750 ml all-purpose flour
50 g butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
100 g almond paste, chopped
100 g chocolate, chopped (I used milk chocolate with fudge bits)
Crumble yeast into a bowl.
Melt butter, add milk and gently heat the mixture to 37°C (if you add cold milk to the melted butter, the mixture is usually pretty close to 37 C as is).
Pour over yeast and whisk until yeast has dissolved.
Add salt and sugar and stir; add about 200 ml of the flour, the cocoa powder and stir.
Add most of the remaining flour and knead dough by hand, adding flour if needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic. The cocoa powder makes the dough a bit less sticky so you can work with a slightly wetter dough.
Sprinkle some flour on top and cover: let rise for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
Lightly flour the baking board (use cocoa powder if you want to make sure not to end up with white floury blotches on the rolls) and turn the dough on it.
Roll dough out to a ~20 x 50 cm rectangle.
Spread the softened butter on the dough, and sprinkle sugar, vanilla sugar and the chopped almond paste & chocolate over the butter.
Roll the dough up tightly and cut into 24 slices. Place rolls in the muffin tins, cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cover the rolls while cooling.
A chocolate glaze wouldn’t go amiss on these, I’m sure. I didn’t make a glaze as I ate the milk chocolate I had bought for the purpose. What can I say, I can’t resist chocolate sitting in my cupboard for longer than a day.