I had bookmarked these gorgeous Black Forest Buns that Chuck made, quite a while back and had been promising myself I would bake them soon. Since we all know what happens to bookmarked recipes, let me just say I finally made them this week!
The Black Forest cake is a favourite in my home, and it is now official here that my home-made version (even if not so pretty) puts the store bought one to shame. So it was but natural I should give the buns a try even though mine were "almost" Black Forest buns!
"Dressed up" Black Forest Buns
These buns are "almost" and don't quite make the "Black Forest" grade because there's no cherry compote/ filling in them. We have some more months to go before cherries make an appearance, so I used strawberry jam instead. And since I had some preserved cherries in the fridge, I just pressed them into the buns before baking, for a near authentic feel.
"Waiting for the chocolate drizzle"
I halved the original recipe and made slight adjustments in ingredient amounts to suit our taste. I didn't have those pretty moulds for the buns, so I made some collars for mine with foil. This ensures that the buns rise upwards rather than sideways.
I also chose to leave out the sugar icing and drizzled melted chocolate over the buns, instead.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
50 gm butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (at room temperature)
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
3 to 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
Filling and topping:
3/4 cup strawberry jam
2 1/2 to 3 cups crumbled chocolate sponge cake
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
Just scald the water and milk in a saucepan. Pour this liquid into a large bowl and add the butter. Stir till the butter is melted. Then add in the sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves. Make sure this mixture is not too hot before proceeding. The original recipe says about 110 F, but I don't have a kitchen thermometer. You should have it warm enough to proof the yeast but not curdle the egg!
From this point on, I made an kneaded my dough in the food processor. You may do it by hand.
Once the mixture has cooled add the egg, the instant yeast and about 1 cup of flour. Mix till smooth and allow to sit uncovered for 10 minutes.
Add in the salt and some more flour and mix. Once the mixture becomes difficult to mix, turn it out onto your work surface. Add more flour and continue to knead for about 10 minutes till the dough is not sticky and elastic.
Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough till lightly coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in bulk, for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Now place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into an approximately 8" by 11" rectangle.
Spread the strawberry jam over the leaving a 1/2 inch all around. Sprinkle the chocolate cake crumbs on top of this. Roll the dough like you would cinnamon buns. Try to pinch the dough closed as best as possible.
Cut the buns into 1 1/2" wide pieces with a very sharp knife. Place each piece in a mould (or make collars using foil or parchment paper to fit well around each piece) and then on a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour or till double in bulk.
Bake at 180C for 25 - 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.
For a detailed step-by-step procedure with pictures, please go here.
This recipe makes 10 to 12 "almost" Black Forest Buns. These are a wonderful variation on Cinnamon buns and there's something quite special about chocolate cake and strawberry jam rolled in slightly sweet and buttery bread.
Just make sure you roll the dough, with the filling, as tightly as you can and well because these buns swell up quite a bit.
These buns are my contribution to the World Bread Baking Day, 2009 that Zorra is hosting.