December 1, 2016

Cinnamon rolls with chestnut cream and chocolate

Recently, my husband celebrated a special birthday.  We'd made lunch and dinner plans out but I asked what he'd like for breakfast since we'd be home together and he requested financiers.  I popped open a jar of chestnut cream for filling the financiers and that got me thinking about how I should use the rest of the precious jar.  Then I got to thinking...the other thing my husband often requests for breakfast are cinnamon rolls...
A couple of years ago, I had a craving for cinnamon rolls and found a small batch recipe that I adapted.  Since then, my family and I have been hooked and you may have seen me make versions from Nutella-hazelnut to one featuring an almond paste filling.  With the holidays, I always think about chestnuts and I got to thinking that I should use some of my chestnut cream as a filling for my next batch of cinnamon rolls.  So this batch of cinnamon rolls with a chestnut cream filling - and a little chocolate - was born and it was a hit at my house...though I have to say that every version of homemade cinnamon rolls has met with approval here!
It's a special morning we look forward to when there are homemade cinnamon rolls coming out of the oven for breakfast!  There's nothing like enjoying them warm.  The rolls themselves are super soft, tender, and squishy.  The filling here is simply chestnut cream, with a modest amount (a scant ounce is enough) of finely chopped dark chocolate, and, of course, a touch of cinnamon.  My family and I really enjoyed the flavor; the chestnut cream provides a wonderful nutty sweetness and the chocolate melts and turns the filling into a marvelous chestnut cream-chocolate paste, that is very enjoyable.
To make things extra sticky, sweet, and tactile, I topped the warm rolls with a simple chestnut glaze I made with a little confectioners' sugar, low-fat milk and a little more chestnut cream.  Oh my...this was another great use of my chestnut cream stash. 

Like all delicious things, these cinnamon rolls vanished all too quickly.  We find ourselves whipping at the last bit of sticky glaze from our plates and wondering when we can have cinnamon rolls's a recurring thing around here.

Here's one of my favorite ingredients, chestnut cream.  I use it in many ways (from cake to ice cream, just to mention two) and now I can add cinnamon rolls to the list of possibilities.  You can buy chestnut cream via amazon; the Clement Faugier brand is easier to find and very good.
For this recipe, which makes 4 cinnamon rolls, I use a generous rounded 1/4 cup of chestnut cream.  Thinking that maybe I should thicken up the chestnut cream slightly to use as the filling, I whisked in about a teaspoon or so of confectioners' sugar to "stiffen" the cream up a bit; in retrospect, I don't think that's altogether necessary.
As for the chocolate, you could omit it if you want to.  I typically add just 1 ounce of dark chocolate into my batch of 4 cinnamon rolls.  In this case, you could even use a little less to let the chestnut cream flavor and sweetness come through.  It depends on your preference.  My son is definitely in favor of more chocolate; while I generally agree on principle, I actually wouldn't mind less chocolate in this case to let that chestnut cream flavor shine.
I always prep the rolls the night before and let them have a final second rise in the morning for about an hour or so before baking and enjoying them fresh - and warm - with my family!  It is a serious treat!
It becomes an even better treat once the rolls get their glaze treatment!  I just whisked a couple tablespoons of confectioners' sugar with a spoonful of 1% milk and a teaspoon of chestnut the last minute, I decided to add a couple drops of vanilla extract as well.  Adjust the glaze to the consistency you want (add more confectioners' sugar or milk) - a nice flow - and drizzle it over the warm rolls.  Then, it's just time to get them out of the pan, on to plates, and into our hands and tummies.  It gets messy and oh so enjoyable!
Cinnamon roll mornings are very exciting at my house!  I'm already looking forward to the next time (and I know for sure my husband is too)!


Cinnamon Rolls with Chestnut Cream and Chocolate Filling
Recipe for dough adapted from Oh, LadyCakes

- A small batch-recipe for 4 cinnamon rolls - 

For dough:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, between 105-108 degrees Fahrenheit
1 tablespoon butter, melted (and warm)
2 tablespoons milk, slightly warm
4 teaspoon sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For filling:
Rounded 1/4 cup chestnut cream
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
1 scant oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated
Ground cinnamon, to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)

For chestnut glaze:
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 tablespoon low-fat milk (I used 1% milk)
1 teaspoon chestnut cream
Drop or two of vanilla extract

Lightly oil a medium size mixing bowl and butter a 6-inch cake pan; set aside.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, lightly stir yeast into the warm water.  Add a pinch of sugar, cover, and set aside until slightly foamy, about 10-15 minutes.  If the mixture does not foam at all after that time, you will need to start over (but at the same time, don't expect a great deal of foam given the small proportions).

In another small bowl, stir the warm melted butter together with the sugar until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.  Mix in milk and set aside.  

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center and add both the yeast and butter mixtures.  Stir with a wood spoon until dough comes together, then remove from the bowl and knead with your hands for 4-5 minutes. Transfer the kneaded dough to the prepared mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until doubled, about 45 minutes (or more).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll or pat/press the dough into a 5x10 inch rectangle.  Whisk the teaspoon of confectioners' sugar into the chestnut cream (this is probably not totally necessary but I did it to stiffen up the cream a bit). Spread the chestnut cream filling evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/4 to 1/2-inch border along the sides.  Top evenly with chocolate and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Starting at the short end, tightly roll the dough, trim off the ends (optional), and slice into 4 even pieces.  Place rolls into the prepared cake pan and place in a warm spot to rise again until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes (60 minutes being optimal).  [Do ahead: Once the rolls have been sliced and placed in the pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator, set it in a warm place to rise again - this may take a bit more than an hour - and bake.]  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.  The rolls will still look fairly pale after baking.

Let rolls cool slightly for about 5-10 minutes in the pan.  In the meantime, make glaze by mixing milk into the confectioners' sugar, then whisking in chestnut cream and vanilla until smooth.  Adjust with additional confectioners' sugar (or milk), as needed, until you have a fluid, spreadable consistency.  Drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve immediately, while still warm.


  1. Happy Birthday to your husband Monica. I just tasted chestnuts yesterday for the first time as I made a soup with them in it. I can see why you say you are hooked, they are fabulous as I can only imagine these cinnamon rolls are. What a wonderful morning treat!

    1. Thank you very much, Cheri! It was a great birthday.
      I am so happy you had some chestnuts. I love them every which way, including soup! I made a simple one from Mark Bittman's recipe that I really like.

  2. What a wonderful birthday breakfast - fanciers and then these amazing rolls. You have me so curious about chestnut cream. I've always loved your recipes and use for this special spread. Should I let you know when my next birthday is getting close? Haha - these are really lovely and the addition of chocolate is perfect. My husband has been asking for cinnamon style rolls lately. Must be the comfort food thing! Have a great weekend!

    1. Haha - yes, time to indulge in all your cravings on your birthday. These were easy to love...I think we can fill these squishy little cinnamon rolls with just about anything and enjoy 'em. And men do love cinnamon rolls...haha! I am craving heartier fare now that it's cold, too.

  3. Financiers and cinnamon rolls...what a great breakfast! Happy Birthday to your hubby, Monica. I need to get some chestnut cream too.

  4. Financiers and cinnamon rolls sounds like the perfect way to celebrate a special birthday! These look SO good with the chestnut cream, Monica! I seriously wish I had a big jar of that! Yay for a small batch of cinnamon rolls too!

  5. Happy Birthday to your husband. What a great way to celebrate a birthday. Yummy and adorable looking sweet cinnamon rolls, Monica. Lovely pics too!!


  6. A very special Happy Birthday to your husband. A fantastic start the day with your cinnamon rolls with chestnut cream and chocolate! Oh my that sounds decadent. Get the kettle going we will be right over!!!

    1. Much appreciated...kettle is almost always on here!

  7. With the weather getting cooler these days, warm cinnamon rolls sound amazing with a cup of coffee in the morning! I know your love for chestnut cream! I need to look into buying one for sure.

    1. Yes, such a lovely homemade indulgence. I love eating them!

  8. Happy Birthday to your husband, Monica. I can imagine how yummy these cinnamon rolls are. What a wonderful breakfast treat! Lucky man your husband is. Have a great Sunday, Monica :)

    1. Thank you so much! He does love cinnamon rolls and I'm happy to indulge with him!

  9. I have some chestnut cream in the cupboard and wasn't sure what to do with it. These cinnamon rolls would be amazing! Happy birthday to your husband!

    1. That's awesome. I have tons of ways to use it up...I use it in cakes, as filling in crepes, to make ice cream, pudding, etc. : ) Enjoy your jar!

  10. Oh wow, these cinnamon rolls sound absolutely phenomenal! I need to get my hands on some chestnut cream to try these out. I haven't tried it before, but it sounds incredible.

  11. I love cinnamon rolls in any form, I make them every chance I get as well. Never had them with chestnut cream though, it sounds delicious! I've never used chestnuts in baking actually, I think it's time to do that.

    1. We do love our cinnamon rolls and I'm really happy I learned how to make them. One day, I'll venture into a big batch recipe. : )

  12. You clever girl! These are just fabulous...only if I could taste:-(

    1. I'm not often called 'clever' so I'm feeling very proud right now. Thank you! ; )



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