Chocolate Pani Popo Coconut Buns With A Molten Chocolate Core

Store-bought baked goods look great, but they usually end up tasting a bit lackluster. Chocolate buns are one of those sweets you can't wait to get your hands on, but that never end up being fresh or moist enough to really hit the mark. All of that is about change, because these chocolate pani popo with a molten chocolate core just might be the moistest, richest chocolate buns ever made. Pani popo, or coconut buns, are a traditional Samoan dessert with an irresistibly light, fluffy interior and luscious coconut flavor. We love the combination of chocolate and coconut, so we decided to add chocolate into the mix! Our chocolate coconut buns are made from a homemade dough that gets stuffed with a rich chocolate molten core and then covered in a delicious coconut cream. Get ready for chocolate buns so delicious they'll drive you coconuts!

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate

You'll Need:

For the chocolate coconut filling:

  • 1¾ cups sweetened condensed milk
  • 1½ tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • shredded coconut

For the chocolate yeast dough:

  • 4 cups flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, warmed

For the coconut cream:

  • 1¼ cups coconut milk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

Here's How:

1. For the chocolate yeast dough, knead together all of the ingredients using a dough hook until a smooth dough forms. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for 90 minutes.

2. For the chocolate coconut filling, heat the sweetened condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder in a large saucepan. Bring  the mixture to a simmer and let it cook until it develops a thick, paste-like consistency. Remove the chocolate coconut filling from the heat, transfer it to a plate, and spread it evenly over its surface. Transfer the plate to the refrigerator let the chocolate filling chill for an hour.

3. Once the filling has chilled, put on gloves or grease your hands lightly, make 12 equally sized balls out of the chocolate filling, and roll the balls in shredded coconut.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a baking pan. Divide the chocolate yeast dough into 12 equal pieces and wrap 1 coconut chocolate ball up inside each piece.

5. Place the stuffed chocolate coconut buns in the greased baking pan, cover them, and let them rise for 30 minutes.

6. For the coconut cream, stir together the corn starch and some room temperature coconut milk. Heat the rest of the coconut milk in a saucepan and stir in the sugar and salt. Once the mixture has warmed up, gradually add in the corn starch mixture, stirring continuously. Bring the coconut cream to a simmer and let it cook until it has thickened significantly. Remove the coconut cream from the heat and pour the majority of it over the chocolate coconut buns.

7. Transfer the baking pan to the oven and bake the chocolate buns at 350°F for 30 minutes. Pour the remainder of the coconut sauce over the buns to serve.

These moist, delicious chocolate coconut buns are the perfect sweet treat, full of ooey, gooey, chocolatey surprises. You won't be able to keep your hands off of them!

Get the recipe for the Brazilian Carrot Cake featured in the bonus video.


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