I’m pretty sure almost all of you have one thing (at least) you did not like at all to eat when you were a kid, but grew to like as you get older (and wiser? maybe..). In my case, there are many, as I was not a kid who was keen on eating basically anything (except for okra!). And actually, I did not particularly like this bun when I grew older either, because the one that you find in Turkey always has raisins in it, and I do not like raisins in a cake etc. (but I do like eating them just by themselves..).
So, you may wonder, why the hell I took the time to bake it? Well because it looks cool! And I really liked what I baked. And people who are Turkish and non-Turkish, they all liked what I baked. So spot on! Maybe it is the time and the effort that make you like eating some things..
This bun is a very easy one as you can see, it just takes a bit of time. It is a great way to use up a chocolate or cocoa cake you had from the day before or two. In this version, I have to admit that I used a ready chocolate cake bought from the market, since I did not have time to first bake a cake and wait for a day etc.. But the following times, I always baked a basic chocolate (or cocoa) cake the day before and used that in the buns.
As I wrote above, if you buy this bun from a bakery in Turkey, you would find raisins in it traditionally. But you can perfectly skip raisins while you are baking (and it creates a much much better taste!).
In this crescent shape, these buns are quite filling. The portion in this recipe makes about 20 regular size buns. Now, you can make smaller crescents, or you can make half-crescents if you are not crazy about the traditional shape as much as I do. I kind of think that crescent shape looks cool on a bun – well the name of the bun comes from this shape after all. Now that I think of it, you can even make balls! The whole “pop cake” trend will have a whole new meaning with that. Gee, I am so making that next time!
Well, no more stories, off to the recipe – now you will learn one more traditional Turkish recipe!
(makes 18 buns)
125 gr. butter, in room temperature (please use a really good quality butter for a rich taste)
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tbsp powdered sugar
3 plus 1/2 cups white flour
1 package (11 gr.) dry yeast
A pinch of salt
1/2 chocolate or cocoa cake, crumbled into small pieces (I used half of a basic cake made with 22cm diameter mould. If you want to use the whole cake, just double all the proportions.)
1 cup walnut
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (or 2, depending on how much you would like to decorate) slivered almonds
1 egg yolk
1. Put butter in a mixer bowl and mix it until creamy.
6. When the dough starts to get a little easier to hold, transfer it to a lightly floured counter or table, and continue kneading, until you get a smooth, soft and non-sticking dough. Put the dough back in a bowl and cover it with a stretch film. Leave it like that for about half an hour, or until it gets about double in size.
7. In the meantime, prepare the filling. First, crush the walnuts. I put the walnuts in a small storage bag, sealed it and then crushed them by using a rolling pin. I did not put them in a food processor because the pieces should not be too small, you should feel the walnut pieces.
8. In a large bowl, put the cake crumbles. Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, walnuts and milk and mix them using a wooden spoon or a spatula. You just have to mix it until all the ingredients are blended and get wet.
10. When the dough is ready, take a piece a little bit bigger than a walnut in size. By just using your hands, flatten the piece and make a rough circle about 10 cm in diameter (you can of course roll it with a rolling pin if you do not want to do it with hands). Put a table spoon of filling in the middle and seal it as shown in the third and fourth photos below. Roll the piece into a little tube, about 1 cm thick – try not to get any filling pop out but if it does, just collect the pieces, seal the opening and continue – it does not matter so much after all once you bake it.. Turn the tube into a crescent shape – or any other shape you like. Now remember, the dough will rise a lot once you bake, so try to make really thin tubes not to end up with too fat crescents! Put each piece about 2 cm away from each other.
11. Once you have all the baking sheet filled the first batch, brush the buns with egg yolk generously, cover the surface with slivered almonds (as much as you like, I like to cover the whole surface, I love almonds!). Put the first batch in the oven and continue with the second, third and so on..
12. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the surface gets really brown. Now be careful at this point: put the tray in a place where the surface gets least affected – for instance I put mine in the middle rack. The reason for this is that the surface gets really brown easily because of heavy egg yolk brush. Once the buns are well browned, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down.