Hazelnut Chocolate Buns

I’ve got to give myself a round of applause because I made these all by myself. I baked bread. I have actually baked bread before, long time followers (ahem) will remember that I baked bread for the first time a few years back but I was convinced that this experience was short-lived, would be filed under one hit wonders alongside macarons and croissants. Bread would be in good company. There was an occasion a few weeks after my good bread experience, success simmering in my head. that I delved into more adventurous bread-baking, I did it before didn’t I, I told myself. It was a complete disaster, the bread expanded too much in the oven and the pan was too small, it was only partially edible. I then tried again, spontaneously. It was a sunday, I was bored, I still had the strong bread flour from the previous time I tried, I had the yeast. I had cream cheese in the fridge and nutella in the cupboard. SO yeah, went ahead and tried it again and this was the result! It goes to support a long term theory of mine, serendipity always leads to good things. ALWAYS. Lowering your expectations has similar effects. RECIPE BELOW: 


For the Dough
300ml lukewarm whole milk
25g caster sugar
1.5 tsp dried active yeast
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter

For the Filling
50g unsalted butter (softened)
100g caster sugar
100g hazelnuts (chopped)
25g cocoa powder
1 large egg, beaten

For the Glaze
50g unsalted butter (softened)
300g icing sugar
125 full-fat cream cheese




  1. In a jug, mix together the lukewarm milk, caster sugar and yeast. Stir well and then set aside until it becomes frothy. This will take around 20 mins.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add the butter and rub it into the dry ingredients to form a crumb-like consistency. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and yeast and bring together using a spoon to form a dough. 
  3.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead well until smooth and soft. Place dough into a lightly floured mixing bowl and cover with clingfilm. Keep in a warm area and allow the dough to rise, this will take around 40 mins.
  4. Once risen (about double in size) knock it back in the bowl and transfer to a floured surface. Knead it gently to get the dough smooth. Roll out into a rectangle about 1.5 cm thick.
  5. Spread butter evenly over the dough. In a small bowl, mix together caster sugar, chopped hazelnuts and cocoa powder. Spread this hazelnut mixture over the butter. Roll the dough up lengthways and cut the roll into 16-18 slices. 
  6. Line the cake tin (one 25cm tin or two 20cm) with parchment. Place the pieces, flat side down, into tin. Wrap cling film and allow to rise for about 20 mins. 
  7. Glaze can be made at this time. Whisk together butter and icing sugar, add a little cream cheese to loosen the mixture, the add rest and mix at slow speed until incorporated. Set aside. Can be done with electric hand whisk/freestanding electric mixer.
  8. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Brush the tops of your now risen dough buns with a beaten egg. Bake the buns for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. Allow to cool before adding cream cheese glaze. Finish by sprinkling cocoa powder/hazelnuts.