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Photo: Alex Farnum; Styling: Robyn Valarik Photo by: Photo: Alex Farnum; Styling: Robyn Valarik

Chocolate Apricot Wreath

Imagine an extravagant cinnamon roll twisted into a ring, and you've got the idea here. The filling riffs on a recipe in Romney Steele's Plum Gorgeous (Andrews McMeel, 2011; $25).

Sunset DECEMBER 2011

  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12
  • Total:4 Hours

Ingredients

  • DOUGH
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • About 3 1/4 cups flour, divided
  • FILLING
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Wine-Poached Apricots, sliced
  • 2/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz.) bittersweet chocolate chunks, such as Scharffen Berger; or bittersweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • TOPPINGS
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons syrup from Wine-Poached Apricots

Preparation

1. Make dough: Stir yeast into 3 tbsp. warm (110°) water in bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Add milk, granulated sugar, salt, butter, egg, cardamom, and 2 cups flour; mix with dough hook on low speed or stir until combined. Blend in about 1 more cup flour (enough for a soft dough).

2. Mix with dough hook on medium speed until dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed so dough pulls cleanly from bowl. (Or turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding flour as required to keep dough from sticking.)

3. Oil bowl, add dough and turn over, then let rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and divide into 2 equal parts.

4. Make filling: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, apricots, almonds, and chocolate.

5. Roll each dough portion on a lightly floured work surface into a 7- by 14-in. rectangle with a long side facing you. Spread rectangles with butter and sprinkle with apricot mixture to within 1 in. of the edge farthest from you. Starting at nearest side, roll each rectangle into a log and seal along edge (but not ends) with a good pinch. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and put logs next to each other on paper, seam down.

6. Weave logs together to form a loose braid. Lift up braid and gently twist once or twice. Form braid into a ring on baking sheet, pinch ends together to join, and tuck under. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until puffy, 30 to 45 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 350°. Add toppings: Brush ring with egg and scatter with almonds. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in bread reads 185° to 190°, about 30 minutes. Slide cake from parchment to a rack. Let cool at least 20 minutes.

8. Whisk powdered sugar and syrup in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Make ahead: Up to 1 day, chilled. Set on a baking sheet, wrap with foil, and rewarm in a 250° oven 10 to 15 minutes.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 405
  • Calories from fat: 36%
  • Protein: 7.9g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 7.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 61g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Sodium: 175mg
  • Cholesterol: 57mg
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Chocolate Apricot Wreath recipe

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