Kakaós Csiga (Cocoa Rolls)
(Pronunciation: “Kah-kah-osh Chee-gaw”)
Although the translation for this is actually “cocoa snails”, I figured since some people aren’t a fan of escargot I’d put “cocoa rolls” in the title instead.
Jokes aside, these baked sweets are common in Hungary, similar to cinnamon rolls, but with cocoa powder instead of cinnamon. Cocoa rolls are generally larger than cinnamon rolls since the dough is rolled out much more thinly which makes space for more filling. These also don’t include that deliciously rich cream cheese glaze that cinnamon rolls usually come drizzled in… But then again, this is my website, and today we’re doing cocoa rolls! ＼(＾O＾)／
While the dough for this can be a flaky yeast dough made in the manner of puff pastry, it could also be a more simple yeast dough with melted butter and an egg yolk simply kneaded in. But in this recipe, we’re going to be making a puff-style pastry and you absolutely cannot use store-bought puff pastry. Not only because they usually contain vegetable shortening and canola oil, but also because… well, we’re not exactly doing a standard puff pastry. The preparation method is the same, but the ingredients and measurements are completely different. Standard puff pastry is usually one part flour to one part fat and doesn’t include yeast or sugar. Guess what our pastry includes. If you want to do an easier dough with melted butter and an egg yolk, that’d be fine too, but you won’t get that flaky texture as you would with this recipe, so I highly recommend you do it this way.
I recommend referring to this post for a detailed explanation and tutorial on making puff pastry. It even gives pictures for the tri-folding method which I really suck at explaining. You’re still going to want to use the ingredients on this post for this recipe though!
Ingredients (makes 10-12 large rolls)
For the pastry:
420g (about 3 cups, but please use a scale to be sure) all-purpose flour
210g (about 2 sticks) unsalted butter*
4 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 package dry active yeast (2&1/4 tsp)
For the filling:
60g cocoa powder
180g granulated sugar
1. Start by proofing your yeast; stir the yeast into a bowl of your milk (which has to be very warm but not hot) with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
2. In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer** add your flour, salt, and the rest of the sugar (3 tablespoons) and whisk it all together. Whisking won’t just mix everything together, but it will also sift your flour minimizing the lumps in your dough.
3. Once your yeast is active (it should be foaming quite a bit) add that to your dough and using the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer knead the dough on the lowest setting while very slowly increasing the speed as needed and occasionally giving the sides a scrape with a spatula until the dough is very evenly mixed and there are no bits of it sticking to the side of your bowl or the hook. This should take 5-10 minutes.
4. Remove the dough from the stand mixer, roll in into a nice ball, cover it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to keep it cold while you move on to the next step.
We will now make the beurrage, or the butter block/layer.
5. Take 2 sticks of cold butter and chop them into thin squares.
6. On a sheet of plastic wrap, place your butter squares to form an even bigger butter square, place a sheep of plastic wrap over it, then roll it with your rolling pin, rotating as necessary, so all the butter sticks together and keep rolling until it’s about a centimetre or two thick, but not too flat. Get it as close to a square shape as possible. Place the block back into the fridge with the plastic wrap to keep it cold.
7. Take your thoroughly chilled dough out of the fridge and roll it out (I only had to dust it with flour on step 11 so only dust it if absolutely necessary, as adding more flour at this stage isn’t a good idea, but if you keep the dough well chilled you probably won’t need to add flour), until it’s twice as large as your butter block and so you can easily place the block into the dough and fold it in with all 4 corners of the dough tucked in and overlapping so the butter sheet is fully encased in the dough. Stretch the corners of the dough out with your hands if you need to. If the butter block seems too wide and poking out the sides of the dough, cut off some pieces of the butter block from the side, add them to the middle and flatten the butter out again.*** Brush off any excess flour as that will be an obstacle for the flakiness of the pastry. If you happen to have some butter sticking to the plastic wrap, scrape it off and save it in a bowl for later in the recipe.
8. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle as thin as you can make it, fold it using the tri-fold method which involves folding in the thirds of the outside of the dough into the center third one over the other, wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to keep the butter cold so it doesn’t melt and ruin the layers you’re trying to make.
9. Take the dough out of the fridge once it’s nice and chilled, turn the dough 90 degrees from the direction you folded it and roll it out into another rectangle and do another tri-fold. Place back into the fridge for another 30 minutes.
10. Repeat step 9. At this point, you can mix together the cocoa powder with the sugar.
11. Take the dough out of the fridge. After 3 tri-folds, it should have a really cushiony feel. On a lightly-floured surface, roll it out into a very large rectangle**** as thin as you can make it, taking extra care to make the edges as thin as possible, because thick edges make the rolls look really bad. Keep adding more flour if you find the dough too springy, or if it’s sticking to your surface too much. Brush on any reserved butter on top of the dough (if you have none, you can also use water, as this is just to make the filling stick a little better), then pour on all***** the filling, brushing it with the pastry brush to help it get everywhere evenly.
12. Roll it up from a shorter side of the rectangle (for large rolls), taking care to firmly tuck in the middle of the roll so it doesn’t fall apart, then at the outside end, brush on a little more butter (or water) to help it stick, and this will help to prevent the rolls from unwinding as they rest. You should try to roll them as densely as possible so there aren’t any gaps between the dough and the filling.
13. Cut the roll up into pieces about an inch or two thick (use a very sharp chef’s knife for best results), and place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, then leave them to rise at room temperature (not in a warm place because the butter will melt too quickly and leak out) covered for an hour to an hour and a half. They should double in size, and the center of the roll should pop out a little.
14. Preheat your oven to 400F and place the rolls into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes on 400F they should be browned and crusty on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside. You can bake them at a lower temperature (375F) for longer (15-20 minutes) if you don’t want them too crispy, just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t overcook.
15. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a minimum of 10 minutes before digging in. They’ll fall apart too easily if you try to remove them from the parchment paper immediately. Plus, they’ll be really hot so you may even burn yourself. Just be patient, I know it’s tempting. These taste best fresh and warm (but not scolding hot), so reheat them if they’ve been out for awhile.
16. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar! Or if you’re like me, eat them topped with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup or jam; the perfect breakfast!
*I always use up 2 sticks of butter, first measuring out 210g for the butter layer and saving any excess for coating.
**I actually tried to knead the dough by hand at first, but there were all these little bits of dry flour everywhere no matter how hard I kneaded it, so in the end I gave in and plopped the dough into the stand mixer which I got for Christmas.
***Okay this may sound a little confusing, but basically if the butter is too wide and too close to the edges of the dough, it will stick out of the dough, and you really don’t want any butter on the outside of your finished rolls because when you bake it it will melt onto your pastry and burn.
****Remember, depending on the dimensions of the rectangle, you’ll either get bigger but fewer rolls, or smaller but more rolls. Overall though, it’s more important to roll out the dough as thinly as possible.
*****It may seem like too much filling and a lot of it will fall out when you roll it and cut it, but believe me: these won’t be sweet enough unless you at least try to cram in all the filling. So dump it all on there, and give it a good brushing. If any of it falls out, which it will, just sweep it up and add it to some hot milk for some instant hot chocolate!
I say 30 minutes minimum to let the dough rest between foldings, but this doesn’t mean you have to be exact on the timing. We’re only doing this to keep the butter cold and so the dough stays chilled and easy to work up, you can certainly let it rest longer if you want. What I really like about making puff pastry is that I can start in the morning and just every so often come back to the dough and give it another roll while I go about my day.
Although anybody can roll up a dough filled with cocoa powder and sugar, the difficult part of pastry making is making them look, well, good. I actually attempted these 3 times very I got them looking all professional. Here’s the gallery:
If you follow all my instructions to the dot, you should be able to get them looking like the 3rd picture.
(kakaos, cacaos, chiga)