Chocolate, almonds and apple buns – for the love of Fall

By Sarah Levannier - November 11, 2014

I love Fall, I love its warm colors, they make me happy. As I open the curtains of my room in the morning, I enjoy drinking my cup of tea watching the show of the leaves turning in the wind. I feel lucky that even though I live in town, trees surround our apartment. Nantes is a great city: it is full of parks and green places. There are trees and bushes and flowers everywhere.

I baked these buns last weekend. I was tired after spending 8 hours working on the same law topic. I felt like I needed a break and when it happens, I have two options: going out jogging or baking. It was raining cats and dogs last Saturday so I chose to bake. Baking has the power of calming me down. My mind is totally focused on the recipe, on proportions, on timing, on creation. Baking has the power of making me forget my troubles.


I baked these buns because I wanted something with an apple and chocolate filling. Also, almonds give a nice taste to a Fall treat and are full of proteins, which is important in a vegetarian or vegan diet.


Makes about 15 buns

-        300 g flour
-        5 g desiccated yeast or 25 g fresh yeast
-        100 mL plant milk (if vegan) or regular cow milk
-        2 TbS muscovado sugar
-        50 g butter (or vegan shortening)
-        1 small apple
-        1 TbS cacao powder (unsweetened chocolate)
-        50 g almond flour
-        1 TbS agave syrup
-        10 dates, soaked in water


  1. Combine together yeast and milk. Let rest for 15 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add flour and sugar. Mix well and add butter or shortening to dough. Knead dough, adding more flour if needed (the amount of flour will depend on the kind of flour you are using. If you use whole flours, you might need a bit less flour than if you use regular flour. Why? Because whole flours absorb more liquid than regular white flour).
  2. Cover and let dough rest for one hour.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the filing. Shred the apple in a bowl. Add cacao and almond flour. Stir well. Cut dates in tiny pieces and transfer to apple-chocolate-almond filing. Add agave syrup and stir. Keep in fridge until dough is ready.
  4. When dough has rest and swollen, transfer to a dusted table. Dust flour and spread into a rectangle shape. Spread filing on dough and roll it. Cut buns and lay on a baking trail lined with parchment paper. If you know how to make knots with your buns, you can do as well and send me a message to tell me how you do it. Because my knots are horrible. At least, my buns look rustic.
  5. Let buns rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven at 390°F (200°C) and bake for 15 minutes. You can glaze buns with egg yolks (non vegan recipe) or water before baking. 



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