Are you tired of having to choose between brownies and cinnamon buns? Because I sure as heck was…until today. Indecisive pastry-choosers rejoice! For the agony of our indecision is over! I give you, the Pecan Brownie Bun!
Yup, it’s a beautifully soft yeasted bun, stuffed with super-chocolaty pecan brownie filling. The best of both worlds, and yet somehow totally different to a cinnamon bun or brownie. And it all started with a major kitchen fail…
See guys, the filling for these brownies started out life as an attempt to make pecan-ella. That is, nutella made out of pecans and flavoured with a little maple syrup. Welp, turns out my food processor is just straight up incapable of making nut butter. I think it’s the way the bowl is designed…I won’t go into it, but just take my word for it.
So instead of a super-smooth pecan chocolate spread, I ended up with a kind of runny, grainy paste of pecan and chocolate with a hint of maple. Not what I was hoping for. Not something I would share with you guys. A definite #kitchenfail. Like most food bloggers I hate waste, so I just chucked it into the fridge and attempted to forget my kitchen disaster.
Cut to a few days later when I’m in the mood for a little yeast baking. I never get sick of making cinnamon buns, so I started up a batch of lovely soft dough, and then opened up the fridge to grab some butter and there was that failed pecan-ella staring out at me. Interestingly it had firmed up into a sort of thick ganache texture and it tasted good.
Since I had nothing to lose I spread it over the dough, rolled em up and baked them. 25 minutes later…WHAAAAAT?! That crazy pecan paste has turned into BROWNIE. A gooey, rich swirl of pecan brownie paste, perfectly wrapped up in feathery dough. From there, the espresso glaze on top was a no brainer. And these have just become a strong contender for my Christmas morning. They are gorgeous. I hope you try ’em! And even if you don’t, let me know about your kitchen fails in the comments below!
- 1 cup (130g) pecans
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- 4 oz (100g) dark chocolate, melted
- ¾ stick (75g) butter
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 3 cups (450g) plain flour (aka all purpose flour)
- ¼ cup (65g) sugar
- 1 + ½ tsp dry active yeast
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- 1 cup (200g) icing sugar (aka powdered sugar)
- To make the filling, place the pecans into a dry frying pan and toast over a low heat until the smell of toasty pecans wafts up to your nose. They don't look different, but you will smell (and taste) the change.
- Throw the toasted nuts into a food processor and wazz them up until they form a grainy, oily paste. Then, throw in the remaining ingredients and pulse just until combined. Pour this liquid mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge to firm up for at least an hour.
- To make the dough, melt the butter in a small pan, and then add the milk and set this aside.
- Place the remaining ingredients, and the slightly cooled milk/butter mixture into a large bowl and then bring together and knead until a smooth, elastic and ever-so-slightly tacky dough forms. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic, then leave in a warm place to rise for 30-45 minutes.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch (30cm) square. Spread the pecan filling, which should be cooled to the texture of thick ganache, all over the dough, and then roll it up tightly.
- Butter a 9inch (23cm) cake tin and line it with baking paper. Then cut the rolled dough into 8 equal pieces and arrange in the tin, swirly side up. Set aside to rise for another 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C), and then bake the risen buns for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Place the buns in their tin on a wire rack while you prepare the glaze by stirring all the ingredients together. You may need to add more water to get the desired consistency. Then pour the glaze over the warm buns, leave to soak in for about 10 minutes and then dig in!