Ok, so I’m a little late for Easter but I’m firmly believe that these little delights shouldn’t be limited to just one weekend a year. FYI, I apply the same rule to pancakes which I would quite happily eat every single day!
So, what am I rambling about. Why, Chocolate Hot Cross Buns of course! I first acquired a love of these moreish chocolatey treats on a trip to see the Mullen’s in Brisbane. It would be fair to say that “wine time” and Brumbie’s Chocolate Hot Cross Buns were an integral part of the trip.
I digress… again!
So, a few weeks ago I was perusing the Sainsbury’s magazine and happened across a recipe for Chocolate Hot Cross Buns. Not only were they chocolate, they were a “cheats” version! Perfect! I’ve toyed with making HCBs for long time, but have always been put off by all the faff. This version was perfect for me.
Now, I say perfect, there were a few changes that had to be made – the removal of the fruit bits and bobs! I am in no way anti-raisin! In fact I quiet like a raisin and my rabbit adores them. But, I don’t understand the need for them to be in everything! I’m not even going to mention candied fruit or mixed peel….. So I removed the fruit and upped the chocolate!
You can find the original recipe here.
And here is my version:
1 x 500g pack Wright’s premium white bread mix
50g soft butter, in pieces
100g light brown soft sugar
3 tsp ground mixed spice
250ml warm (not hot) milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
200g (about) dark chocolate, chopped
plain flour, for dusting (if needed)
For the crosses and glaze:
3 tbsp plain flour
75g caster sugar
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and rub it in using your fingers. Just like making pastry but don’t expect such a “breadcrumb” consistency – you’re not using enough butter to get that effect.
Add the sugar and mixed spice making sure it is mixed well.
Pop your milk on to heat – it only has to be warm so will take no time at all. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the warm milk and beaten egg. Now, add the chocolate and, using a large spoon first, then your hands, bring the mixture together to make the dough.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes, either by hand or in a food mixer using a dough hook. I dust with quite a lot of flour as the dough is very sticky. But be patient and careful, a little at a time.
Once it has been kneaded, cut your dough into 12 pieces as evenly as possible and roll into balls. Pop these into your pre buttered and lined baking dish.
Cover with a damp cloth – I try to make sure I don’t bend the paper inward with the cloth. These bad boys of buns really rise! Then the buns in a warm place to rise for 2 hours – they’ll be springy and massive so you’ll know they’re done!
Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7.
Now for the Crosses – mix the flour with 3 tablespoons of cold water to make a paste, transfer it to a piping bag and pipe across the length and width of each bun to form a cross.
Bake the buns for 25 mins – I have a fan oven so you may need a little longer if you don’t.
I make the glaze while the buns still have 5minutes left in the oven. Gently heat the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water together in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved.
Once the buns are cooked, put the cooked buns to a wire cooling rack – paper removed – and brush with the glaze; leave to cool.
Lushness! They are more bread roll-y than a usual hot cross bun, but still divine. I also cannot deny that part of the joy for me was finding out how the crosses are made! Don’t restrict yourselves to crosses the world is now your bun – go forth and bake!