Cherry & Tomato Basil Toast
This is a little bit of a non-recipe recipe, but it was so bright and summery, I had to share.
This week is a very special week. Not just because I am sharing this rocking-awesome chocolate sticky bun recipe.
This week is the one-year anniversary of me starting this blog. Yep! I can’t believe it either. It is pretty much my first project ever that I’ve kept going this long, and I am pretty darn proud of it! Here’s to many more. Years of blogging and chocolate sticky buns.
It has been so amazing over the past year to watch this little blog grow. And I’ve grown, too. Most notably my photography has VASTLY improved, as I’ve read more about technique and shot thousands of photos. I bet you when my parents bought this DSLR for my college graduation, they had no idea I’d be using it this much.
I’ve also learned a TON. I’ve made some cool stuff that I’ve never tried before. Syrups, dressings, freakishly complicated pastries, and more (remember the Almond Danish Braid? Yeah, my photos are better now, but I learned a lot from that project!). I can now pickle stuff, can stuff and oven dry produce. I can make a LOT of kinds of bread with pretty consistent success. I’ve made complicated stuff like sushi and madeleines, but also some delightfully simple stuff like this week’s homemade ranch.
And then of course, there have been some amazing opportunities that have come with the blog. I’ve been able to get more involved in the Portland food scene – I have met a ton of new friends. I have been able to work with some amazing brands, and to attend BlogHer Food!
My plan is to make Year 2 bigger and better. Wish me luck!
And now the sticky buns. This recipe is adapted from “The Gourmet’s Guide to Cooking with Chocolate,” a really fun cookbook that we got for a wedding gift. For the dough, you will need:
For the chocolate sauce:
Okay, this is a little long! Haha.
Start by combining 2 cups of the flour and the yeast in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and 1/3 cup butter and salt. Warm over medium heat until the butter is almost melted. Add the warmed milk mixture to the flour in the stand mixer along with the eggs, and mix gently until just combined.
Add the remaining flour one cup at a time (two rounds), scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 8 minutes. Then, move the dough to an oiled bowl and cover.
Allow to rise about one hour, then punch down and split into two halves. Cover the halves and let them rest for ten minutes.
In the meantime, make the chocolate and the filling. In a heat-safe bowl on top of a saucepan filled with one inch of water (makeshift double boiler), melt the chocolate, butter and cream. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Next, the filling: melt the butter and combine it with the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Stir with a fork to make a crumbly texture.
Preheat the oven to 375, and then roll the halves of dough into two separate 12×8-inch rectangles. Brush 1/3 of the melted chocolate onto each square of dough, then sprinkle the filling on top of each.
Stand the rolls on one round side with plenty of room to spread in an 8.5×11 pan. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes, and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining chocolate sauce.