I can't decide whether to call these plain old Mexican Chocolate Biscuit-Dough Cinnamon Buns or stick with the Oaxcan Fire thing. Because these are definitely not your grandma's cinnamon buns! Continuing to play with the chocolate-chile comibination, I designed a spicy mix of Special Dark cocoa, dark brown sugar, ancho, chipotle, and cayenne chile powders along with cinnamon and pecans to fill these cinnamon rolls.
I also couldn't decide what to glaze them with. My initial idea was to make some homemade cajeta, which is an amazingly delicious caramel made from goat's milk that is popular in Mexico. However, I realize that while I may be perfectly happy to spend 2 hrs. making cajeta from scratch, most people probably would not. You can purchase it ready-made in a can, but it's hard to find. My next thought was a burnt-orange cream cheese frosting. But something about the caramel idea kept nagging at me in the back of my mind, when I suddenly remembered praline powder I had made once to gild whipped cream. It might be just the thing for adding a nice nutty, caramel flavor to some cream cheese frosting.
I actually ended up making both frostings, (burnt orange and hazelnut pralinee). DC thought the pralinee tasted best with the buns, so I went with that. (The photos with the orange plate have the orange frosting, the ones with the green plate have the pralinee.)
These buns are really pretty easy to make. Although to me nothing is better than yeast-raised cinnamon buns, this biscuit-dough version is almost as good. The dough is really soft, so don't get discouraged if it starts tearing when you try to roll everything up. You can just kind of squeeze things back together, and it will still taste good.
Oaxacan Fire Biscuit-Dough Cinnamon Rolls with Hazelnut Praline Frosting
First, let's make our hazlenut praline powder. This can be done the day (or even weeks, it keeps well if tightly covered) ahead. You will need:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. hazelnuts (without skins)
If your hazelnuts have skin on them, dip them in boiling water for 1 minute to loosen the skins, then rub briskly with a kitchen towel to remove the skins.
Place the hazelnuts, and sugar in a small, heavy (NOT NONSTICK) saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar starts to melt.
Keep stirring, until all the sugar is melted. Allow to boil, without stirring, until the sugar turns a beautiful amber color. Immediately remove from the heat.
Pour onto a greased baking pan and allow to cool on a rack until completely cool.
When hardened and cool, break the praline into pieces. Place them in a food processor and pulverize into golden dust. Set aside.
Praline powder: gold dust!
Now, let's work on the rolls. These are SO easy to make: you don't even have to cut in any shortening, since the heavy cream takes the place of both fat and liquid.
Mix together the self-rising flour and the sugar in a medium bowl.
Add the cream and mix to make a soft dough. If the dough seems very wet, sprinkle on a couple of tablespoons of flour. If it's too dry, add a T or so of cream.
Knead in the bowl 3-4 times.
Get a sheet of wazed paper 19-20 in. long, and sprinkle generously with flour. Place the dough on the floured waxed paper.
With a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough evenly into a rectangle 10 in. wide by 18 in. long, with the long side facing you.
Pick up the dough using the waxed paper and place on a baking sheet, covering with another sheet of waxed paper. Refrigerate for 20 min. to firm up the dough.
Spray a 9" round cake pan with nonstick spray, and preheat the oven to 425F.
Mix the filing: in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ancho, chipotle and cayenne chile powders, and a pinch of salt. Mix well with a whisk.
Meanwhile, make the Hazelnut Praline Cream Cheese Frosting.
Mix the softened cream cheese, buttermilk, vanilla, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment.
Add the praline powder, and mix until smooth.
Set the frosting aside.
Once the dough is ready to come out of the fridge, remove it, on the waxed paper, from the baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper.
Brush the dough with 1 T of the melted butter
and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture.
Sprinkle on the toasted pecans.
Using the waxed paper as an aid, pick up the long side nearest you and roll up the dough and the filling into a tight cylinder, jelly-roll style.
Using a sharp, serrated knife, slice the dough into 1" slices. Place the slices cut-side down in the prepared cake pan.
Brush the rolls with the remaining 2 T of melted butter.
Bake for 20 min., or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes.
Invert the pan onto a plate, then invert again onto a serving platter.
While still warm, spread with the Hazelnut Praline Cream Cheese Frosting.