Chocolate banana sticky buns and a birthday breakfast

Entering the world of double digits is a big deal when you’re a kid, and our house was full of excitement last week as we celebrated our eldest son’s tenth birthday.

My emotions ran high as he blew out the candles on his birthday cake. I have to admit that I shed more than a few “happy” tears watching our boy inch one step closer to becoming a teenager. 

Since my family is big on birthday parties, I was surprised when my son asked for a sleep over with just a few friends. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yeah mom,” he replied. “We’ll watch the Chronicles of Narnia and stay up late. Then we’ll wake up in the morning, eat breakfast and hang out.” And that is exactly what they did.

I had a feeling the kids would wake up early and hungry (I was right!). Since I didn’t want to be flipping pancakes at 5:00 am, a make-ahead breakfast was the only way to go.

When it came time to feed nine ravenous kids (8 boys and my daughter), these chocolate banana sticky buns totally fit the bill. The pre-teen crowd was impressed as the buns were devoured within minutes, and my three-year old daughter couldn’t believe her luck when she found out she was having chocolate for breakfast. A win win situation all around!

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To save on morning prep time, you can roll and cut the buns the night before. Remember to take the buns out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before baking.

Chocolate Banana Sticky Buns

Equipment:

  • 8 or 9 inch round cake tin, at least 2 inches high
  • Standing or handheld mixer
  • Large bowl
  • Rolling pin

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package instant yeast or active dry yeast (the package I use contains 11 grams)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

Mix 2 cups of flour with salt in a large bowl.

Heat the milk, butter, and sugar until warm (not boiling – warm enough to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar). Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it foam up.

Add the milk mixture and the eggs to the flour mixture. Mix with your mixer for 3-4 minutes, starting on low speed for a few seconds and gradually increasing the speed to high.

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Stir in the rest of the flour. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes until the dough is smooth.

Shape your dough into a ball and place into a large, buttered bowl.

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Cover the dough completely with a kitchen/tea towel and let rest in a warm place for 50-60 minutes. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it in half.

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Cover the dough again for ten minutes. Use half the dough for the sticky buns now, and wrap, freeze or refrigerate the other half for another use (the dough keeps well in the fridge for up to three days, and can be frozen for up to two weeks).

Sticky bun mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (for the sticky bun mixture)
  • Another 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (for greasing the pan)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 125 grams dark chocolate (minimum 52% cocoa solids), finely chopped – if you are a chocolate lover like I am,  an extra 25 grams of chocolate doesn’t do any harm
  • 1  & ½ to 2 ripe bananas, sliced

Directions for sticky buns:

Butter your baking pan with two tablespoons of the melted butter (remember to do this generously so the buns don’t stick to your pan).

Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder in a small bowl.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough into an 18 inch x 12 inch rectangle (roughly).

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Brush the dough with the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter, then sprinkle the dough with sugar mixture. Add the bananas on top of the sugar, then scatter the chocolate all over the surface.

Starting with the longer edge, roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam to close it well.

Slice the log into 10 equal pieces, (a serrated knife will make slicing easier). Arrange the pieces – cut side up – in the buttered cake tin. Leave a bit of space between each roll, as it will expand again.

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IMG_5369.JPGCover the dough with buttered plastic wrap, and let rise again for thirty minutes. Refrigerate if you are making in advance.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C (350 degrees F), set your oven rack in the middle.

Remove plastic wrap, and set the tin on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any extra bubbling chocolate sauce that might spill over your pan during baking.

Bake for about approximately 30 to 35 minutes, until the tops of the buns are lightly  browned, and the butter and chocolate are bubbling away! Be warned, the fabulous smell coming from your kitchen will be incredibly intoxicating.

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Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Run a knife around the pan to loosen the edges of the buns.

Carefully, and I repeat, carefully invert the pan onto a serving plate. If there is any extra chocolate stuck to the bottom of the pan, don’t worry! Scrape it out with a rubber spatula and spread it onto the hot sticky buns.

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Serve immediately and enjoy the decadence!

Copyright © 2016 Lidija’s Kitchen, including personal images taken by the author.

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