Happy Cinco De Mayo

Since moving to Houston I've live in neighborhoods with panaderias baking up delicious looking sweet treats. Unfortunately a lot of these Mexican pastries are not vegan. I've been fixing to try a concha for the longest time, and this article about Unicorn pan dulces from El Bollilo inspired me to finally take the plunge. Now, a local ice cream shop is even making ice cream sandwiches with them (they're not vegan, but I'm giving major props for the over-the-top response to Starbucks' frappucino). I knew that making a rainbow colored pastry might be a little too high of a difficulty level for me, because I'm more of a savory cook than a baker (I blame it on my oven, but it's probably me). I found a standard recipe from the Thyme and Love vegan blog, but decided to alter the crunchy sweet topping from plain to a chocolate-cinnamon flavor.

The recipe for the rolls was easy, although time consuming (you gotta proof, proof, and proof again). The sweet topping, however, was 100 times more difficult, and here were the issues I faced: (1) there needed to be slightly more quantity, and (2) I was unable to make them thin enough to cover the whole roll. This is because it kept sticking to the plastic wrap and would break when peeled off if too thin. Spraying some coconut oil helped ease them off...but still it was thicker than it was supposed to be. Here's the recipe (just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside).

Chocolate Topping (if making 12 rolls, maybe up the recipe 1.5 times?) 1/3 C sugar
1/4 C vegetable shortening
1/2 C flour (very scant)
1 tsp real vanilla extract
2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
dash cinnamon
The Concha 🐚
I've never had a non-vegan concha, so I'm not sure if this turned out authentic or not...but it sure was delicioso! What I can say is that it is similar to a yeast donut with a light sweetness and great airiness. The crunchy topping was well worth the difficulty,  and I think the chocolate gave it the necessary flavor besides just sweet-on-sweet.
Some turned out better than others but they are all loved.