Chocolate spread swirls

by Ed Smith

Croatian chocolate and hazelnut spread in a Scandi-style bun

This recipe assumes you have the use of a stand mixer. You could knead the dough by hand if you’ve both elbow grease and patience. 

For more on Croatian chocolate and hazelnut spread, check out Ed’s blog


250g whole milk
50g butter
500g strong white bread flour
40g caster sugar
7g fast action dried yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg, beaten
150g chocolate spread at room temperature
2 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra to serve
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp demerara sugar


Warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts. Beat with a fork to combine, then set aside to cool to body temperature.

Mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle, then add the beaten egg and lukewarm milk and butter. Combine with a spatula, then move the bowl to the mixer and use the dough hook to knead for 5-6 mins until smooth, shiny and slightly wet to touch. Gently shape the dough into a ball, place in a lightly floured bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to prove for 60 mins. It should double in size.

Lightly flour a clean surface and rolling pin. Tip the dough out, shape it into a rectangle, then use the rolling pin to push the dough to around 40cm x 30cm. It will take a bit of work, but you’ll get there.

Use a palette knife to spread the soft chocolate generously and evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and ground cardamom—a sieve is useful. Roll the dough tightly along the long edge so that you have a roulade shape, then cut into 12 even pieces with a sharp knife.

You can now either place the swirls in a large muffin tin, or into another baking tin that just fits the swirls if they’re about 1cm apart. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to prove again for another 45-60 mins.

Heat an oven to 220C. Brush the swirls with the egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for 25-30 mins, by when the swirls will be springy and golden. These are particularly good when fresh from the oven, sprinkled with a little more caster sugar, perhaps with apricot jam or even some more chocolate spread on the side.

Recipe and image: Ed Smith