Red. Velvet. Cinnamon. Buns.

I feel like nothing really needs to be said beyond the title. What more can I say?

Red

Velvet

Cinnamon Buns.

Oh ya, how about Valrhona chocolate chunks, and cream cheese icing?

This started off as a birthday breakfast, and is pulling double duty as a Valentine’s Day brunch. The buns themselves are soft and chewy, filled with a cinnamon, cocoa and brown sugar mixture and dotted with chunks of Valrhona Caraibe 66%. They’re rich, with just a hint of that red velvet tang. Gives “bet you can’t eat just one” a whole new meaning.

But the best part of this recipe is that you do all the work the night before, so in the morning, all you have to do is turn on the oven, and pop them in.

Dough:
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
66g granulated sugar
85g butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla paste (or pure extract)
450g all purpose flour
3 tbsp Valrhona cocoa powder (or other high-fat cocoa)
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk

Filling:
100g dark brown sugar
50g granulated sugar
2 tbsp Valrhona cocoa powder
1 – tsp cinnamon (to taste)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
150g dark chocolate (I used Valrhona 66% Caraibe)
30g butter (melted)

Cream Cheese Icing
141g cream cheese (room temperature
100g powdered sugar
71g unsalted butter (room temperature)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions(The night before)

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, butter and vanilla.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, yeast, half the flour, and the salt (in that order).
  3. Warm the buttermilk in the microwave until about it is about 100f. If it seperates or curdles, just give it a quick whisk to recombine.  Add the warmed buttermilk to the mixer bowl. With the dough hook on the stand mixer, mix to combine until all the dry ingredients are moistened. (You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice).
  4. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly combined, add the remaining flour.
  5. Mix with the dough hook for 6-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and satiny, tacky (but not sticky). You may need to add another few tablespoons of flour.
  6. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled (about 2 hours).
  7. Mix all of the filling ingredients except the butter. Set aside. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
  8. Lightly flour your work surface. Pat and stretch the dough into a rough rectangle. Gently roll it out to 18″x12″, with the long side facing you.
  9. Melt the butter for the filling, and brush over the entire surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2″ at the far end.
  10. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough.
  11. Starting at the long end closest to you, roll the dough up as tightly as you can, lifting and pulling back as you go to tighten the roll. When you get to the end, pinch to seal.
  12. Using a length of dental floss cut the log into 1.5″ pieces. (Wrap the dental floss around the log, and cross the ends, pulling them in opposite directions to cut).
  13. Place each piece, cut side down in the baking dish, evenly spaced. They’ll end up expanding into each other in the oven anyways, so don’t worry if they’re close.
  14. Cover with plastic wrap, leave at room temperature for half an hour, and then refrigerate overnight. (You can also make these in one day, by reducing the first rise to one hour, and letting the shaped rolls rise for two hours before baking).

The Next Day

  1. Remove the baking dish from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature while the oven is preheating.
  2. Take out the ingredients for the icing and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350f.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. The buns should still be bright red, and should be between 180f and 190f in the centre.
  6. Allow to cool, in the pan on a cooling rack until still very warm, but you can touch them.
  7. Eat while warm and gooey!

Cream Cheese Icing

  1. While the buns are baking, combine all the ingredients for the icing in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with the flat paddle until totally combined and fluffy. There should be no chunks of cream cheese.
  2. When the buns are warm but not piping hot, spread the icing over the buns with an offset spatula.
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