Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chocolate Swirl Buns

My parental units came out for a visit last weekend. When they were out here in March, I catered more to my mom's tastebuds, making lemon blueberry scones. Quick, easy, light, elegant, delicious.

My dad, on the other hand, prefers things a little more decadent. Danishes. Sweet rolls. 

And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Every holiday season, we head out to California, where my dad visits his best friend in L.A. He always buys and stashes around 2 dozen chocolate chip danishes from a Jewish deli/bakery in the freezer. To me, they taste like home, in a way. They have potential to be a major food group.

Unfortunately, we have been hard-pressed to find them anywhere in the midwest. I'd describe them as chocolate rugelach meets babka. We've never been able to determine the exact name, so we just call them delicious.

I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that seemed promising, so I took a crack at it. Since the recipe is pretty labor-intensive and lengthy, I'll simply redirect you to Deb's site and share my minor modifications with you.

It takes a good afternoon (a rainy one is ideal) to make these, but they are worth it. They also freeze beautifully, so you can (and should!) double the batch and make like my dad-- keep an extra couple dozen in the freezer.

Chocolate Swirl Buns

I chose to follow Smitten Kitchen's directions to a T (I've linked to the recipe, since Deb's directions were so thorough and perfect!), with the following minor alterations:
  • I doubled the chocolate in the filling, used a mixture of semisweet and bittersweet, and added a bit more butter.
  • Also, to the filling, I added 1 tsp of espresso powder, to really deepen the chocolate flavor.
  • In the dough, I used a whole packet of yeast and allowed to bloom a bit longer.
  • I omitted the egg wash (mostly out of laziness).

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