Chocolate Strawberry rolls

What would be the best possible match in the culinary marriage of chocolate? If I were to match the horoscope, I would conclude that it is orange that is the best match closely followed by strawberry. Somehow, a hint of orange in an otherwise ordinary brownie takes my taste buds several steps closer to nirvana. However in puff pastries and rolls it is strawberry that is a match made in heaven. It is not just Valentine ’s Day that Chocolate and strawberries make a great couple, they sure are any morning when I am craving for these rolls.

Speaking of match made in heaven reminds of weddings.  I love weddings, though I don’t get to go to weddings since I live so far away from family these past several years.  Back then it used to be joyous occasion with extended families, food , celebrations and new clothes, something we looked forward to.  Earliest of memories of a wedding stretch back to eighties, from the cinema wedding to a muslim one to family, several of them. The cinema wedding was indeed dramatic. A wedding sequence for the classic Kannada movie Bandana was being filmed in my neighborhood. The movie makers requested women in our neighborhood to go over to the shoot dressed for the occasion. Hoping to catch a glimpse or their favorite stars (Suhasini Maniratnam and Jai Jagadeesh) my neighbor took me along. Once the shoot was over we were to return back home but I would not budge without the traditional meals served over banana leaf. I threw a big tantrum over food. Poor my neighbor could not convince me that it was just a shoot and there would be no food. Instead she just scooped me up and hurried me back home to my mother. Then there was my teacher’s wedding -a muslim one that I distinctly remember. It was the first time I saw her in make-up and bridal finery, but that did not strike me. What struck me was that my teacher who would otherwise be chatty, pacing up and down the classroom sat amidst bunch of women with her head covered, eyes closed in stoic silence.

The best were the weddings in my own families, when my uncles or cousins got married. Each one of those marriages is unforgettable. Preparations would start months earlier once the match was finalized. There would be several trips to shop for clothing, jewelry etc. Strangely it is just not the bride and the groom that got to wear new clothes. The whole family shopped for new clothes, we end up buying clothes (mostly Saris) for members of distant branches of the family even those that we met only during weddings and have trouble remembering names and how they are related to us. These shopping trips spearheaded by the senior most women folk is a family is like Ekta Kapoor soaps- never ending. Every other day someone pops up on their radar that they had omitted from the Sari list.  This loot goes on till the last day. Men folk typically accompany the shopping party the first few times and then they throw in the towel. The very political process of distributing the loot continues parallel with shopping. There always are folks who think the other cousin scored a better or more expensive Sari. It is impossible to make everyone happy even those who were allowed to shop their own stuff will end up no-so-happy after they see the other cousin’s choice. And then there is the dangerous game of recycling Saris. The sari scored in one the weddings in the family of the third cousin twice removed will duly be stored in the closet to be presented to someone else. Some how these senior women in the family like matriarchs in an elephant herd remember everything. I wonder how, I cannot as much remember the matching blouses to my sari. Sometimes even elephantine memory does not help and these recycled stuff short circuit. As with every short circuit these situations are also associated with explosive fireworks of different intensities and some waterworks which if harvested will keep Tamil Nadu happy during the Kuruvai season. Then there will be efforts to please the aggrieved party in form of bribes, praises, more water works from the accused party and they all kiss and make up. This is just the story of Clothes (Saris). There is still jewelry, decorations, food and most important navigating the quagmire of inquisitive relatives who think they have the right to talk to you about everything in your life from bedroom to bathroom to your office desk, nothing is out of bound here.
All these for another day, for now let me focus on chocolate strawberry rolls. These chocolate strawberry rolls turned out to be soft, sweet and chocolaty. It said Sunday like nothing else. So here it is.
We will need,

For the rolls:
Maida 1 Cup
Whole Wheat flour (Chapati flour) 1 Cup
Yeast 1.5 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Sugar 3 tbsp (add more if sweeter rolls are preferred, these are barely sweet, just the way my family likes)
Butter 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp or so to grease
Milk  lukewarm Shy of 1 Cup

Strawberry jam 
Chocolate Chips /chunks of choice (I love mini bitter sweet chunks) as desired


    • Dissolve the yeast in milk + 1 tsp sugar and set it aside. If the mixture turns frothy in the next 15 minutes or so. If it is not frothy they discard and repeat using fresh package of yeast.
    • Mix in all the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and stir it into the milk mixture. 
    • Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Mix it well and knead it into a soft ball. Add more milk if the mixture is too stiff.  
    • Grease a bowl with a little butter and place the dough. Cover it with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm spot till it doubles. It took me about 40 minutes. 
    • Punch the dough down and roll it out into a rectangle about 1/4" thick. Spread the strawberry jam all over the dough excluding the the area along 1/2" from the edges. 
    • Scatter the chocolate chips/chunks. Starting from the wider side, gather the edges and start rolling it tightly into a log.Keep the chocolate chips in place while rolling so that they don't bunch.
    • Cut the log into six pieces and transfer it into a greased baking dish one inch apart from each other. Cover with a kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place to double. 
    • Pre heat oven to 375F.  Once the dough had doubled in size, brush some butter over the dough and pop it in the oven. They are done when they are fragrant and golden on top.Serve immediately.

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