Um, I hope you’re not on a diet…because I’m about to ruin it.
These are totally worth it, though, promise! I mean…fluffy sweet bread filled with dark chocolate and raspberries, and topped with a glorious waterfall of luscious sweet and tangy cream cheese icing?! That’s hard to top, you guys.
I ate two while they were nice and warm. It made me painfully full, and I still don’t regret it.
But wait before we talk about sweet rolls let’s talk about this guy (yeah, it’s a little blurry but it’s hard to get him to stand still):
That would be Rook (also known as Rookie, Pup, Puppers, and Dog), my weirdo Pharaoh Hound rescue, and photography assistant. That face is what I have peering over my shoulder while I take pictures for the blog. Before I tell you how naughty he is, did you see his new trick I posted on Instagram?
So, last night at 3am, our smoke detector decided to start doing that low battery, high-pitched beep thing. You know, where it beeps once like every minute, very, very loudly. It spooked Rookie and he started boofing (the onomatopoeia for the low, soft woof he does when he’s unsure of things). But, as soon as Mikey climbed up onto a stool to try to change the battery, all hell broke loose. Rook was barking at the top of his puppy lungs, and trying to block Mikey from getting to the alarm by jumping up on the stool.
For some reason, in his doggie brain, he was sure that this weird device making obnoxious sounds was not to be trusted, and he didn’t want his family getting anywhere near it. I had to hold him (IN MY ARMS) in one room, as Mikey tried to change it. It was ridiculous. And loud. (And I’m super sorry if we woke you up, neighbors!) Of course the entire time I was almost in tears laughing, because hoooly crap this dog never ceases to amaze me with his odd behaviors.
-Sigh- oh the trials and tribulations of owning a rescue dog, haha. But let me fill you in on these delicious delights now:
I’m kind of enamored with sweet rolls (a.k.a. cinnamon rolls with lots of ridiculous other fillings that may or may not contain cinnamon). It all started with these meyer lemon sweet rolls a few years back. Then came these, these, and finally these. All have been amazing but I’m not sure any have been quite as over the top as this newest addition to my sweet roll archive.
These Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Sweet Rolls are bitter from the intense dark chocolate I used (a blend of 86% and 72% cocoa content), a bit tart from the raspberries, and, of course, sweet. The Cream Cheese Icing is like liquid cheesecake poured over top. It’s, almost literally, “the icing on the cake” ;). (Sorry I HAD to! I love puns; I won’t deny it!)
I baked my rolls in a couple of cake pans, but you can really use anything. In the past to cook sweet rolls I’ve used: sheet pans, casserole dishes, and even ramekins. It’s hard to go wrong.
Oh, also, the icing recipe makes quite a bit. You’re not obligated to use it all. If you don’t, it would be a delicious dip for strawberries or fruit of any kind!
Yield: about 1 dozen rolls
for the dough:
- 1 cup milk, lukewarm (around 95 degrees)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
for the filling:
- 7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
- 1/4 + 2 tbsp cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 to 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 7 ounces raspberries (not thawed if frozen)
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
for the icing:
- 8 ounces cream cheese (I like the 1/3 less fat Neufchatel variety), softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp salt
for the dough:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the bread hook, combine the milk, sugar, and yeast. Allow to stand for 10 minutes until it's nice and foamy.
- Add in the butter, eggs, salt, and flour and mix on low until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for about 15 minutes until the dough has formed a ball on the hook, and has pulled away from the sides. (This is a fairly sticky dough, so you may have just a bit that sticks to the sides of your bowl.)
- Knead the dough a couple times on a lightly-floured surface, form into a ball, and place in a lightly-buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour to an hour and half until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and place on a lightly-floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle (approximately 10" by 24").
for the filling:
- In your food processor, pulse together the chocolate, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt until the chocolate is ground. Add in the butter and pulse until combined into a thick paste.
- In a small bowl, toss the raspberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and cornstarch.
- Spread the chocolate paste over the dough. (It's easiest to just crumble it around.) Pour the raspberries on top.
- Roll the dough up tightly (roll so that your finished roll is the width of the shorter side of the rectangle).
- Using some (non-mint!) dental floss, slice the roll into 1" to 1 and 1/2"-thick disks. (If you're wondering how to do this, see the instruction in this post.)
- Place the rolls in a baking dish. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour to an hour and a half, until they are puffed and have filled their baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
for the icing:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all of the icing ingredients until smooth and pourable.
- Pour over the rolls after you have allowed them to cool for 5-10 minutes.