Umm, you had to know this was coming. The minute I think about croissants, my mind floats to chocolate croissants next. I restrained myself and shared plain croissants with you first, but these babies? They’re here to make sure your New Year’s resolution didn’t include giving up things that taste delicious. Because that would be dumb. Life is short! Eat the things that make you smile (but in moderation…like small servings, ya know?).
Another reason these chocolate-filled love bites are here? I’m kicking of 30 days of chocolate for Valentine’s Day! You guys know me: Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. I loved it when I was single, I loved it when I wasn’t. I’m so happy that my cookbook is slated for a just-before-Valentine’s Day release, because it’s what I’ve always wanted. We’re going to have one big chocolatey build-up to the sweetest day of the year. Are you ready?
I’m taking requests for 30 days of chocolate, because I want to know what you and your love bug want. If I can help make Valentine’s Day even chocolatier for you, well, that would just make me happier than a kid in a candy store. Just leave me a comment, or email me. I’ll be waiting with my wooden spoon and chocolate bar for you!
If you remember from my original small batch of croissants recipe, this recipe is divided up into 3 days of easy steps. I don’t want you to be overwhelmed by French pastry. You should have a cool and aloof approach to the dough, just like a real French pastry chef. French looks so good on you.
On the first day, just wake up the yeast. Let it mingle with the flour overnight. Easy. On the second day, we’re going to incorporate the butter layer. It can be intimidating, but just go slow and let the dough rest for 2 hours in between each roll session. Day two is your hardest day, really. On day three, just roll, rise, and bake! The rolls above are awaiting their milk bath before their rise. The rolls below are awaiting my mouth hole.
Anyone want to lick the pan?
If chocolate isn’t your thing (omg are you a real live alien living among us?), don’t miss my small batch of croissants recipe, sans chocolate ;)
Heat 1/2 cup of the milk to 115-degrees Fahrenheit, and stir in the yeast until dissolved. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the flour. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, remaining 1 cup + 1 tablespoon of the flour, and salt. Add the foamy yeast to the mixture, and knead until smooth with a wooden spoon, about 3-4 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but it will stick to itself and not the edges of the bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
Let the butter come to room temperature.
Remove the dough from the fridge (it should have risen some and seem bubbly). Flour a surface, and roll the dough out into a 6 x 10" rectangle. The 6" side should be closest to you.
Spread all 6 tablespoons of the butter evenly over the rectangle, but leave about 1cm of a border on all edges.
Fold the dough like a letter: fold the top one-third to the middle. Fold the bottom third up to the middle also. Roll the dough back into a 6 x 10" rectangle. Cover and refrigerate the rectangle of dough for 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge after 2 hours, fold it like a letter again, and then roll back out to a 6 x 10" rectangle. Place it back in the fridge for 2 hours.
Repeat this two more times for a total of 4 folds, refrigerating for 2 hours between each fold and roll. After the last roll out, refrigerate the dough overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it on a floured surface into a 6" x 12" rectangle.
Using a knife, cut the rectangle into 4 evenly-sized smaller rectangles.
On one side of each rectangle, place a heaping tablespoon of chocolate chunks.
Staring on the short edge of the rectangle, roll each into a roll shape, like shown in the photo above. Tuck the chocolate in as you go.
Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat or parchment paper, and brush with the remaining tablespoon of milk.
Let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. If your kitchen is cold, let them rise for longer--they really need to double in size before baking.
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Brush the egg yolk generously over the croissants. Be sure to get it in the nooks and crannies of the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes. Check on the rolls, and shield them with foil if the edges threaten to burn. Bake for another 2 minutes if the rolls aren't very golden brown.
Christina Lane is the author of 3 cookbooks all about cooking and baking for two. She has scaled down hundreds of recipes into smaller servings so you can enjoy your favorite dishes without the leftovers! Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday.