A celebration of local, fresh ingredients shared with family and friends
Mexican Hot Chocolate Rotiboy (Coffee Bun)
I’ve been working as a professional chef since I was 17 and over the past 15+ years I’ve encountered a fair amount of baked goods. Whether I saw them in text books, on TV, or in the countless bakeries I’ve been to, I can confidently say I know a lot about baking. Which is why this recipe for my Mexican Hot Chocolate Rotiboy is such an interesting one for me- I had no idea what this amazing pastry was a week ago!!
I’m sure I’d seen them before. Growing up in a largely Mexican populated town I know my friends ate these. And I’m sure there was no shortage at the local bakery. And I definitely know what a concha is (mmmm). So why I’m just discovering the amazingness that is a rotiboy now beyond me. But ohhhh man, I’m so happy I did.
Traditionally, rotiboys (Mexican coffee buns) are made from an enriched dough, stuffed with a cube of butter, and topped with a crunchy coffee crust. While the original is mighty tasty, you know I had to put my unique spin on it. My version takes the coffee bun to a level of spicy and chocolaty deliciousness. The brioche starts with a tangzhong sponge making these the lightest buns (ha) on the planet. They’re stuffed with dark and white chocolate to mimic the luscious creaminess of hot chocolate. To finish, they’re topped with a cinnamon, dark chocolate, and ancho chili crust. It’s an out of this world pairing with the creamy chocolate and soft dough. My Mexican hot chocolate rotiboy buns will be your new favorite breakfast, snack, dessert, eat-any-time-of-day treat.
Tools to help with this recipe:
Mexican Hot Chocolate Rotiboy (Coffee Bun)
These coffee buns start with a tangzhong sponge making them the lightest buns on the planet. They're stuffed with dark and white chocolate to mimic the luscious creaminess of hot chocolate. To finish, they're topped with a cinnamon, dark chocolate, and ancho chili crust that's an out of this world pairing with the creamy chocolate and soft dough.
To make the Tangzhong, pour the milk in a small saucepan. Add the flour in increments and stir to dissolve. Heat the mixture in low heat and continue to stir until the mixture gets thicker and smooth. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the milk and yeast. Let rest for 10 minutes until the yeast wakes up and bubbles. In a mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add in tangzhong, yeast/milk mixture, egg, and vanilla. Mix and knead until combined and has formed a soft and supple dough.
Slowly add the room temperature butter in increments. Keep mixing until butter is completely incorporated and dough begins to form gluten (about 10-15 minutes).
Form a clean ball out of the dough and place into a greased bowl. Place in a warm spot, covered in plastic wrap, for about 2 hours or until it's doubled in size.
Now that it's doubled in size, you want to punch it down and allow it to double in size again for about an hour.
Once the dough is finish with its second proof, portion out the dough into 12 equal balls. Gently flatten each ball into a circle with your hand (Try to flatten the dough so its thicker in the center and thinner around the edges. When you stuff and gather the ends to seal the balls, any excess dough around the edges will add bulk to the bottom of the rolls.) In a small bowl, mix the chili powder and cinnamon together. Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of the spice mix into the center of each flattened piece of dough. Place 18 grams of the dark and white chocolate chunks on top of the dough. To seal, gather up the edges of the dough and bring them together over the chocolate. Pinch the opening together, stretching the top of the dough down to the bottom, so the chocolate is sealed tightly inside and there is a tight skin on the outside of the roll. Place rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet (about 2 inches apart because they will spread), gently spray with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
Beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Beat in chocolate, chili, and cinnamon. Sift flour onto mixture and mix until combined. Place mixture in a piping bag with a medium sized circle tip.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring the dough out of the refrigerator and rest on the counter for 1-2 hours, or until the balls double in size. Gently pipe the topping in a spiral around the top half of the rolls. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until edges start to slightly brown. Cool for 5 minutes before eating. These buns are best when fresh so enjoy as soon as you'd like!