Chelsea buns with chocolate hazelnut and caramel sauce. Why not?!
I very rarely make bread or anything involving yeast. Mainly because I haven’t the time for mucking about with proving. But when I found this recipe from GoodtoKnow for chocolate Chelsea buns, it sounded straightforward so I thought I’d give it a go.
Traditional Chelsea buns contain spices and sultanas. This is a sweeter twist on the classic recipe.
I didn’t have enough chocolate hazelnut spread, but did have some salted caramel sauce to use up. And so that’s why my version contains chocolate and caramel. You can just use the chocolate hazelnut spread if you prefer.
Ingredients (makes 12 chocolate caramel Chelsea buns)
For the buns:
- 350 g / 12 oz strong flour (and a bit more to dust your rolling surface and rolling pin)
- 50 g / 1.75 oz caster sugar
- 1 level tsp salt (I consider this optional if you’re on a low sodium diet)
- 7 g sachet of fast-action dried yeast (most yeast in the UK seems to come in these 7g sachets!)
- 50 g / 1.75 oz butter, melted (and you’ll need a little unmelted butter to grease your baking tin)
- 1 medium or large egg, beaten
- 150 ml / 5 fl oz (quarter of a pint) milk, lukewarm (don’t overheat it. Just warm it for 20-30 seconds in the microwave if you have one, or for a minute or two over a low heat in a pan).
For the filling and chocolate drizzle:
- 6-8 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread (i.e. Nutella) OR a couple of tbsp less of Nutella and 2 tbsp of caramel sauce
- 100 g / 3.5 oz chocolate chips or chop a chocolate bar into small pieces
The original recipe calls for a 18 x 28 cm (7 x 11 inches) traybake tin. That’s the size of tin I used and, as you will see below, it was too big. I admit this may be because I stupidly rolled the dough the wrong way, but if you have a 20 cm square (8 inch square) brownie tin, you could use that instead.
Prepare your tin by greasing it with a little butter.
Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl, melt the butter then add the eggs and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them together until they form a dough.
Now the kneading. If you have an electric stand mixer with a dough hook, I recommend you use it at this point. Put the dough in the mixer, attach the dough hook and let it knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until its smooth and elastic (take some out and see if you can stretch it without it breaking apart instantly).
If you don’t have a mixer, knead the dough on a lightly-floured surface.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle approximately 25 x 35.5 cm (10 x 14 inches) in size. Instead of rolling out on a floured surface, I drew the rectangle onto a piece of greaseproof baking paper and rolled the dough out on top of this so I knew the size and shape I was aiming for. Plus, it was really helpful later when it came to the rolling stage as I was able to pick up the end of the baking paper and roll the dough a bit like you would a Swiss roll.
Leave one of the long edges of the rectangle clear of chocolate and caramel sauce, spread the sauce over the rest of the dough and sprinkle half the chocolate chips over.
Can you see my mistake?
I left one of the short edges free (on the right in the photo), which explains why the buns all turned out as incredibly tight spirals. Don’t make my mistake!
Brush a little water along the clear edge. Roll the dough towards the clear edge and press down the dough along the wet join.
Your dough “roll” will be longer and fatter than this because you’ll be rolling it the correct way!
Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. I found this harder than it should have been because I rolled the dough the “wrong” way.
Put the pieces on their sides in the prepared baking tin, so you can see the chocolate spiral.
Cover the tin with oiled clingfilm (plastic wrap) or a clean cloth (I used a clean tea towel and it worked fine). Leave the tin in a warm place for 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size. If you have an airing cupboard, that’s a good option.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (180 fan), 392 degrees F, Gas Mark 6. Bake the buns for 20 – 30 minutes until the dough is firm and they are an even golden colour. Mine only took 20 minutes. You’ll know your oven best.
Leave the buns to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove them as one unit and put on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Melt the remaining chocolate either in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. If using the microwave, go gently, using 30 second bursts and stirring in between. Use a piping bag to drizzle the chocolate over the top. You can use a freezer bag and just snip the corner off.
If you can, leave the chocolate to set before serving. If you live in a household with children who constantly claim they’re starving, this is unlikely to be an option. Tear or cut the buns apart and serve either warm or cold.
Store the chocolate caramel Chelsea buns in an airtight container in a cool dry place. They will be at their best the day you make them, but will be ok for another couple of days, particularly if you reheat them a little before eating.
If you’re looking for more bun recipes
And remember, you can see a list of all the recipes on my website by visiting my recipe index.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul