Triple-Chocolate Sticky Buns
Naysayers said not to mess with a good thing. We love proving naysayers wrong.
Why This Recipe Works
To take sticky buns over the top, we added three types of chocolate: bittersweet and milk chocolate in the filling and cocoa powder in the sticky caramel topping. To ensure that the buns were ultratender, we used a Japanese bread-making technique called tangzhong that called for microwaving a portion of the dough’s flour and milk, turning it into agel-like paste, before adding it to the rest of the dough ingredients. The gel locked in more moisture than simply adding more liquid would, so the dough was soft without becoming overly sticky and difficult to work with, and it produced moist buns. For an easy filling with complex flavor, we microwaved butter and bittersweet chocolate to form a ganache that, once it had cooled, we spread over the rolled-out dough. We then sprinkled on milk chocolate chips: Rolled up in the dough, they delivered just the right amount of sweetness plus delightfully creamy pockets of chocolate(we ditched the cinnamon, a traditional ingredient in sticky buns, because it confused the chocolate flavor). For the easiest-ever caramel, we simply stirred together the ingredients—melted butter and brown sugar (for more depth), corn syrup to keep it soft and pliable, and cocoa powder for another dose of chocolate. Poured into a metal baking pan, it cooked into caramel in the oven as the buns baked—no candy thermometer needed.