If you thought cinnamon rolls were good, oh my goodness, wait until you try chocolate sweet rolls! They're not complicated at all despite seeming so; definitely give these a try as they will blow your mind.
Step 1: Ingredients
1 cup milk warmed to 100°-110° F or 37°-43° C
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one package)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
6 ounces chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used dutch processed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup powdered sugar
6 ounces cream cheese room temperature
2 tablespoons butter room temperature
1 1/4 + 1/8 cups powdered sugar up to 2 cups
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons of milk more as needed
Step 2: Bloom the Yeast
Wake that sleepy yeast up with the warmed milk and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar (food for the yeast) to a stand mixer bowl, stir to combine. Wait about 5 minutes for it to get bubbly and foamy. If it doesn't, your yeast is no longer alive, you'll have to start over with a new package.
Once the yeast has activated, add 1/4 cup of flour and mix to combine. It will be lumpy so don't freak out.
Step 3: Add More
Add the remaining granulated sugar, the egg, salt, and baking powder. Using the bread hook of the mixer, turn it onto “stir" and combine the ingredients.
Step 4: Add Flour and Butter
Turn the mixer to low or 2 and add the remaining flour. When the flour has mixed in thoroughly, up the mixer speed to 3 or 4 and add the butter, slowly one tablespoon each drop. It will stick to the sides and smear all over, but that’s ok, eventually it will mix in. The dough will be quite sticky. If need be, if the dough is too gooey, you may add up to 1/4 more flour to hold things together.
Once the butter has combined, beat the dough on 3 or 4 (medium) for 4 minutes. It will be quite soft and still sticky.
Step 5: Time to Rise
Grease a large bowl lightly, add the dough and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set the dough in a warm place to rise to double its size or about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
This is always a panic time when it comes to yeast. Will it rise? It will. It feeds off the sugar and flour creating air pockets of carbon dioxide which will give you a most glorious, airy dough.
Step 6: Time to Roll
When the dough has risen, melt the first 4 filling ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl, 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between until smooth, probably only 30 seconds to one minute. Once everything is smooth, add the powdered sugar and combine until smooth again. Try not to eat this straight up.
Flour your work surface and roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin into a rectangle about 13x19.
With an offset spatula, cover the entire surface of the dough with the chocolate mixture, spreading evenly.
Step 7: Second Rise
Roll up the dough on the 19” edge carefully and slice the dough into 1 1/2” pieces. Place the dough into a lightly greased 9x13 or slightly smaller pan about an inch apart. Cover with plastic and allow to rise again for a half hour.
While the dough is rising its second time, preheat the oven to 350° F or 176° C. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls for approximately 30 minutes, until lightly golden. Let the rolls cool in the pan.
Step 8: Frost the Rolls
Once the rolls have cooled, blend the cream cheese and butter in the mixer until they are smooth and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, beat to combine then slowly add the milk 1 tablespoon or less at a time until the frosting is the consistency you desire.
Spread the frosting over the buns and enjoy while they are still warm. Cover with plastic wrap to store once the rolls have completely cooled.
Step 9: Enjoy
Now enjoy the best sweet rolls you've ever had in your life. It will be hard to share, but do. Be sure to swing by the baking blog, Flaky Bakers, I have with my friend Jen for this and loads of other tasty treats!