After my plaited loaf was sliced, eaten and acclaimed, I could not wait to start on my next yeast bread. It was while rummaging through a stack of old unfiled recipes that I found this. To whoever the credit for this recipe goes, I’d like to say thanks a million.

These petits pains au chocolat are a wonderful idea for a special breakfast. While not being buttery and sweet like brioche, they are soft enough with a lovely golden crust. At the heart of each plain looking bun lies a glob of melted chocolate that oozes out as soon as you bite into it. Other fillings worth experimenting with are peanut butter and berry jam. I’ll let you know if they work out but do try the chocolate version first.  

PETITS PAINS AU CHOCOLAT

Ingredients:

320 ml lukewarm milk

1 tbs butter, softened

2 tbs caster sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1/4 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups flour

1 sachet [10g] instant yeast

200g dark or milk chocolate

Method:

  • Fit the bowl of your stand mixer with a dough hook. Pour flour, yeast and salt into it and make a well in the centre.
  • Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add butter, sugar and milk.
  • Add 1/3 of the egg mixture to the flour and switch on mixer.

  • Knead for a few minutes then add remaining egg mixture.
  • Let it knead for another 10 minutes at low speed until dough forms a soft smooth ball. Cover bowl and leave for 1 hour.
  • After dough has doubled in size, turn out on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large square.

  • Cut square into regular pieces and place 2 chocolate cubes in the middle of each. Pinch the edges together.
  • Roll each into a ball and place on a lined baking tray. Cover.
  • Let prove for 45 minutes as you preheat the oven to 350 oF.

 

  • Brush with melted honey and butter after 2nd proving.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and hollow when tapped. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

I used part of the dough to make snails since I did not have enough chocolate cubes to fill them all. Don’t they look cute?

Bread making requires hours of proving. As I waited for the dough to double in size I found that I had just enough time to put together a pineapple cake to use up the rings left over from making fruit & semolina halva some days back. 

They would not suffice for a large upside down cake so I baked them in a regular muffin pan. Increase the baking time by another 10 mins if using a larger pan. Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

UPSIDE DOWN PINEAPPLE CUPCAKES

  

Ingredients:

2 tbs unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup light brown sugar

4 pineapple rings, fresh or canned

6 glacé cherries, halved

100g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup caster sugar

2/3 cup self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tbs pineapple syrup

 

Method:

  • Line the cups of a 12-hole muffin pan with circles of aluminuim foil cut to fit the base. Preheat oven to 180 o C.
  • Drain pineapple rings well and cut each into 3 equal parts.
  • Beat 2 tbs butter and 1/4 cup sugar together until creamy.

 

  • Spread 1 -2 tsp of this mixture over the base of each lined muffin cup. Arrange a piece of pineapple and a cherry half over butter mixture in each cup. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat 100g butter with 1/2 cup sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat for another minute.

 

  • Fold in flour, baking powder and pineapple syrup [from can] until batter reaches a soft consistency.
  • Fill each muffin cup with 2 tbs batter on top on pineapple and level surface with spoon. Bake for about 25 minutes.

 

  • Leave to stand in pan for 5 minutes before turning out.
  • Cut off domes from top of cupcakes [if any] with a serrated knife so that they lie flat when inverted on a serving plate.
  • Serve warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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