These triple chocolate sticky buns make a fantastic breakfast! The soft and fluffy buns sit in a pool of caramelized chocolate and are filled with even more chocolate. The secret to the sticky buns is the Asian tangzhong technique.
This is certainly going to be an interesting rest of 2020. My company has declared that we are all working virtually until at least the end of the year. Addie’s school will also be virtual for at least the first 9 years. My guess is that they will continue to remain virtual for a while. Who knows though. I just hope that everyone remains safe and healthy.
While we were discussing school, Addie mentioned that she wanted to eat some cinnamon rolls. Granted, I hadn’t made them in a while, so it was about time to make them again. However, I wanted to try something new. I found these triple chocolate sticky buns in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook and knew that I had to make them. Addie was thrilled to help.
I followed the instructions and chilled them overnight in the refrigerator. Then, I baked them the next day for brunch. The buns were super soft and fluffy (thanks to the tangzhong technique), and each bun sat in a pool of caramelized chocolate. They were filled with oodles of chocolate. Surprisingly, the buns weren’t TOO chocolatey or too sweet.
Although these rolls are a bit more involved than your typical cinnamon rolls, they are definitely worthwhile if you’re looking for something a little different. My entire family enjoyed them and ate them for several days straight with no complaints. I’d recommend baking these for a less time uncovered and more time covered (part of our buns got a little crispy for our liking – we are fans of super soft and fluffy rolls).
Husband’s rating: 4 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4 out of 5
Triple chocolate sticky buns
Flour paste (tangzhong)
- ⅔ cup whole milk I used 1%
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup whole milk I used 1%
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
- 3 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces and softened
Chocolate caramel layer
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup dark corn syrup I used light corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped finely
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Make the tangzhong
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and flour until smooth. Microwave for 25 seconds, then stir. Repeat 1 to 2 more times until the mixture becomes super thick and pudding-like.
Make the dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer or by hand, mix the tangzhong and the milk together on medium speed until smooth. Turn the mixer down to low and add the egg and egg yolk.
- Add the flour and yeast and switch to the dough hook attachment. Mix on medium low speed until a shaggy dough starts to form. Add the sugar, salt and continue mixing for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and keep mixing until the final dough is smooth and lump-free. All of the butter should be fully incorporated into the dough (you should not see any butter lumps; if you do, keep mixing).
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds. Form the dough into a ball and place it seam-side down in a well-greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot and double, about 1 hour.
Make the chocolate caramel layer
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well incorporated.
- Generously grease a METAL 9"x13" pan (do not use a glass or ceramic one). Pour the chocolate caramel ingredients into the bottom and spread it out into an even layer. Set aside.
Make the filling
- About 30 minutes before the dough is ready, make the filling.
- In a small bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Mix well until it is smooth. Then place into the refrigerator to allow to set - about 30 to 40 minutes. I recommend stirring every 10-15 minutes. Your final product should resemble spreadable frosting.
Assemble the buns
- Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to an approximate 18"x15" rectangle.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the filling onto the dough, making sure you leave a 1-inch border all around. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
- With the long side of the dough facing you, grab the side farthest away from you and begin rolling the dough toward you. You should have a long log. I found that using a bench scraper helps with this process. Pinch the seams and place the log seam-side down.
- Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut and divide the roll into 12 equal pieces. Place them onto your prepared baking pan, in 4 rows of 3.
- Cover the pan and allow the buns to rise for 1 more hour. At this point, you can bake them or cover them with aluminum foil and let them chill overnight (to bake the next day). If you are putting them in the refrigerator, allow the buns to thaw for at least 30-40 minutes before baking.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Remove the cover from the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Then cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Very carefully remove the aluminum foil and allow the buns to cool slightly before serving.