{Chocolate Sweet Bread} – Cozonac cu ciocolata

chocolate sweet bread

I can’t conceive Christmas without the traditional Romanian cozonac which is a braided sweet bread filled with either a walnut and chocolate cream, a poppy seed cream or with Turkish delight cubes. Seriously, this stuff is addictive and we make at least 4 every Christmas! However, this doesn’t mean that I’m not open to suggestions and that is what happened with this chocolate sweet bread. I can actually say that it is a mix between a Romanian sweet bread and the famous stollen and it has a fluffy, fragrant chocolate dough plus an airy, rich almond filling. Did I mention the chocolate bits and rum soaked raisins in the dough as well?! If I didn’t, I do it now – the dough is studded with chocolate chunks, both dark and white, and raisins that have been soaked in rum for a few days. Needless to say that these additions make the dough alone absolutely delicious and rich!

But wait as there is more! The dough is buttery and it rises so much! Honestly, I’m not a person who likes working with dough much, but I was really impressed by the amount of tiny air pockets this dough developed and how easy it was to work with it. So easy and enjoyable that I might reconsider working with dough from now on. Exciting times coming in the Pastry Workshop kitchen! In addition to this, I totally loved the airy marzipan filling – in fact, the whole idea of this bread started from the fact that I don’t like marzipan in its raw shape, I find it too sticky and not necessarily appealing, so I thought that maybe mixed with egg white it preserves the taste but it’s less sticky and I was right. So there you have it – the same taste as a stollen, but desguised as a bread is that fancies your taste buds more!

{Chocolate Sweet Bread} - Cozonac cu ciocolata
Serves:: 1 loaf
Rum Soaked Raisins:
  • 120g raisins
  • ½ teapsoon grated ginger
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g water
  • 50ml dark rum
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1g fresh yeast
Chocolate Sweet Bread:
  • The pre-ferment from above
  • 375g all-purpose flour
  • 30g dark cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 65ml warm milk
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • 100g white sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 180g butter (82% fat), softened
  • Rum soaked raisins
  • 50g dark chocolate chipes
  • 50g white chocolate chips
  • 50g almond sliced
Marzipan Filling:
  • 100g marzipan
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teapsoon vanilla extract
  • Plus 1 egg yolk for egg wash
Rum Soaked Raisins:
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook the syrup just until the sugar is dissolved then remove from heat and add the raisins and ginger.
  2. Let them cool in the syrup then stir in the rum and macerate the raisins at least 1 day, preferably 3 days for a better flavor. Although they can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the pre-ferment rise at room temperature overnight. Do not skip this step!
Chocolate Sweet Bread:
  1. Combine the pre-ferment, flour, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, milk, yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of your mixer.
  2. Knead the dough with the dough hooks for 1 minutes then gradually stir in the softened butter and mix at least 10 additional minutes or until the dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
  3. Drain the raisins well and fold them into the dough, adding the chocolate chips and almond slices as well.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
Marzipan FIlling:
  1. Combine the three ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth and fluffy.
Finishing the Bread:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F-200C.
  2. To finish the sweet bread, slightly grease your working surface with vegetable oil then transfer the dough on your working surface.
  3. Using your hands (Don't use a rolling pin as it tends to deflate the dough too much), spread the dough into a rectangular.
  4. Spoon the filling over the dough and spread it into a thin layer.
  5. Carefully roll the dough into a log and place it in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
  6. Let the dough rise 20 additional minutes then mix the egg yolk with a tablespoon of milk and brush the bread with this mixture.
  7. Bake at 400F - 200C for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 340F - 170C and bake 30 additional minutes.
  8. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer it on a cooling rack.
  9. Slice the bread only when chilled.


chocolate sweet bread

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