Chocoalte dough - 680

Vanilla, Nutmeg and Chocolate Buns


I can't quite make my mind up whether I enjoyed making these buns more than I enjoyed eating them!

They are a joy. Huge chocolate buns gently spiced with vanilla and nutmeg, they are deeply flavoured, but not too sweet.  I suppose they are a backlash against the over sugared sweet commercial chocolate baked goods that seem to taste of nothing but sugar ... so the sweetness comes from the glaze, more then the bun itself. I suppose you might liken them to a hot cross bun in their texture, and they toast wonderfully.

I must emphasise that the quality of the vanilla and chocolate is essential, and anyone who reads my recipes regularly knows that I am a huge fan of Ndali vanilla powder.  It is the most powerful vanilla I have ever come across, and is packed full of vanilla crystals.  It is also essential to use glycerine as it makes them really moist.

Makes: 12 large or 18 medium buns


For the swirls (my addition)

  • 180g plain or strong white organic flour
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g water


To finish

75g golden syrup mixed with 1 tablespoon of pure orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon of orange essence to glaze


  • Sieve 225g flour into a bowl. Mix the yeast with 2 teaspoons of the sugar and stir in the tepid liquid. Pour this liquid into the sieved flour and mix well, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to sponge, this will take about 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile sieve the remaining flour with the remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla powder, and stir. Mix the melted butter with the glycerine, then beat in the eggs.
  • Take your sponged mixture and stir in all the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter mixture and knead thoroughly with your hand to form a smooth dough.
  • Cover the basin with a cloth and put it aside in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled its size. Remove the dough from the bowl and fold in the chopped chocolate.
  • Flour your hands and divide the dough into 12 or 18 pieces, depending on how large you would prefer your buns. Shape and place on lined baking sheets, spacing well.
  • Place in a warm place to prove until risen by double again. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Mix the ingredients for the swirls and leave to sit for 5 minutes before placing in a piping bag and piping a swirl on the top of each bun.
  • Place the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and they sound hollow when tapped on the base.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Glaze the buns with the orange syrup.