Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011
Do not confuse chocolate bread with cakes or brownies. It is traditional yeast bread just made with rich cocoa and sometimes with the addition of chocolate chunks or chips. I first served this recipe at The Customs House restaurant as a special promotional bread for one of our annual events—The Rubber Ducky Raft Race. It was as much of a hit then as it is today.
Bake this recipe at the last minute as the intoxicating chocolate aromas emanating from the oven will drive everyone near crazy. The melted chocolate chips peeking out from the fold of the crescent rolls and smearing onto your hands as you break open the roll to butter them (yes, you can butter these like any other bread) is messy good.
The following—Cocoa Crescent Rolls—shouldn’t be confused with a light, laminated, multi-layered French Croissant dough. It is more like a Parker House Dinner Roll in texture. It is nothing short of amazing all by itself, but it also goes well when paired with melted brie and fresh basil, almond butter and berry preserves or with caramelized bananas and walnuts.
Cocoa Crescent Roll
Yield 32 rolls
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 (.25 ounce) packaged active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110º F)
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Mini Chips (optional)
- Place potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and mash.
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
- When yeast is ready, mix in 1 cup mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, 2 cups flour and cocoa powder. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough has become stiff but still pliable.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to 3 days. This slow rise (called retarded proof) will develop a fuller, more complex flavor.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and form into rounds. Roll out each round to a 12 inch circle. Brush generously with melted butter, and cut each circle into 16 wedges. Roll wedges up tightly, starting with the large end. Place on lightly buttered baking sheets with the points underneath, and the ends bent to form a crescent shape.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400º F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
ChefSecret: Believe it or not these sweet crescent rolls are great with meat dishes and steaks and are especially great when served with something off the barbecue. For great weekend brunch bread, sprinkle the optional chocolate chips or cinnamon and sugar on the flat dough and roll up before baking.