It never fails to surprise me when I see people having leisurely breakfasts in cafes on weekday mornings. Do they not have jobs to get to? Or children to wrangle? Leisurely breakfasts are a thing of the distant past in our house, so I try to make up for it by occasionally having two breakfasts on weekend mornings. These chocolate and hazelnut-filled sticky buns, which I made last Sunday with this month’s Fresh From The Oven challenge in mind, would be just the ticket.
Claire’s original recipe uses a rich mixture of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins in the filling, but I had some incredible hazelnut spread (made in Blenheim, by Uncle Joe’s Nuts) lurking in the cupboard that I’d been dying to use. Mixing it with some smashed dark chocolate turned it into a kind of extra posh Nutella. You may think the icing is over-egging the pudding, to mix food metaphors, but it makes it even more luxurious. If you can’t find this spread, try the best hazelnut butter you can buy. Or, use more butter and sprinkle it with ground hazelnuts. Or just use Nutella, I guess. I invited a friend around to share these with us and was actually glad when they couldn’t make it, they’re that good.
250ml lukewarm milk (around 40C)
2tsp dried yeast
1Tbsp brown sugar
2 egg yolks
50g butter, melted
600g strong white flour
50g very soft butter
100g hazelnut butter
100g dark chocolate, smashed into little bits
1Tbsp melted butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups icing sugar
Hot water – from a kettle – to mix
Put the warm milk into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your freestanding mixer) and whisk in the sugar and yeast. Leave to activate (froth) for 5-10 minutes, then add the melted butter and egg yolks. Stir in the flour and salt to form a dough, then either knead by hand for about 10 minutes, or in the mixer with the dough hook for about five minutes, until you have a smooth, springy dough.
Return to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then leave in a warm place until doubled (about an hour).
Knock down and press out with your fingers until you have a large sheet of dough. Mix the butters together and slather on top, then sprinkle with the smashed chocolate. Roll up tightly, as if making a swiss roll, then cut into 3cm slices. Place into a large, well-greased roasting dish or cake tin, allowing about 2cm between them. Cover with plastic and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C. When the buns have risen, bake for 10 minutes, then cover loosely with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until they are well-risen and golden.
While they are cooking, mix the icing ingredients together, adding hot water until you get a reasonably runny consistency. When the buns are done, slide them onto a rack and liberally drizzle with icing. Makes about a dozen. If you can resist eating them all in one go, they can be frozen.
Have a sweet, sweet Friday and a great weekend everyone x