Chocolate hot cross buns

Chocolate hot cross buns

Yes, I know it’s really way too late to be posting this recipe, but these buns were too good to either not blog about or wait another 11 months to blog about!

Last year I made my first ever hot cross buns, having never really liked them previously. I was pretty happy with how they turned out, considering baking with yeast isn’t my strong point, and so I fancied trying them again this year, but with a bit of a twist.

With a hungry pony to feed, the twist obviously had to be chocolate, so I used a recipe from Delicious Magazine and tweaked it slightly to suit his tastes and what we had in the kitchen cupboards – less spice, no candied peel, dark chocolate instead of milk and sultanas instead of raisins.

Although I’ve only tried a little bite of one, I thought they turned out better than expected, and the pony has been enjoying them warmed up for breakfast for the past couple of days. The orange and spice flavours are both quite subtle but enough to make it more than just a chocolate bun and the chunks of chocolate and sultanas make a nice texture contrast as well as giving bursts of sweetness.

It’s so difficult to find breakfast foods the pony likes that I think I may have to follow Caroline at Cake, Crumbs and Cooking‘s lead and ditch the cross on top to turn them into ‘not hot cross buns’, therefore making it acceptable to bake and eat them all year round!

Chocolate hot cross buns (adapted from Delicious Magazine)

  • 400g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1tsp salt
  • 85g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 14g dried fast action yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 190ml lukewarm milk
  • 75g chopped dark chocolate
  • 75g sultanas
  • zest of an orange

For the crosses and for glazing:

  • 50g plain flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • juice of half an orange

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, spice and salt into a large bowl, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and yeast, then add the egg and milk, starting by mixing in with a fork or spoon, then continuing with your hands until it comes into a rough dough. Turn out onto your worktop and knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is pliable and elastic. Leave in a lightly oiled bowl to rise for an hour and half to two hours, or until doubled in size.

Once risen, add the chocolate, sultanas and orange zest to the dough and knead again, just until the add-ins are well dispersed throughout the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces, then roll into balls and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet, spaced a couple of centimetres apart. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise again for an hour or so, until the buns have risen and are just starting to touch each other.

To make the crosses, mix the flour with 4-5tbsp water until it reaches a thick, pasty but pipeable consistency. Score crosses into the tops of the buns, then pipe on the flour paste. Bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, until risen and firm but not browning.

Heat the sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan and boil until it starts to thicken into a syrup. Brush this on top of the buns while they are still warm, and either serve straight away or toast when you want to eat them.

Hot cross buns

Yes, I know I’m a little late to the party with these, but I was so happy with how these turned out that I wanted to post them so I can refer back next Easter!

I chose this recipe from Cakes, Crumbs and Cooking because it seemed pretty simple and could be adapted to the ingredients I had on hand.

Mine didn’t turn out quite in perfect roll shapes as the dough was quite wet and sticky to work with, but I think generally speaking the look like a decent HCB…

I’ve never really been a fan of HCB’s so I can’t compare what I made to the ones you can buy, but the feedback from the pony was good and even I enjoyed half of one as well!

I’m entering these for the April Fresh From The Oven challenge, which this month is hosted by The Little Loaf.

Hot cross buns (recipe from Cakes, Crumbs and Cooking)

  • 150g strong flour
  • 175g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4tsp ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp dried yeast
  • 25g caster sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 180ml milk
  • 100ml water
  • 30g butter
  • 125g sultanas
  • extra flour and water for the crosses
  • 1tbsp golden syrup

Start by covering the sultanas in boiling water and soaking for half an hour, to plump them up. Heat the milk almost to boiling point, then add in the butter and stir until melted. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Mix the flour, cornflour, salt, spices, yeast, sugar and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Drain the sultanas and add those in too. Ad the milk and butter mixture and the 100ml water and stir in to the dry ingredients to form a wet, sticky dough. Cover and leave for 2 hours to rise.

Once risen, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead quickly to knock the air out. Divide into equal pieces and shape into balls (I made 10 80g balls, the original recipe made 18 mini rolls. Place on a baking sheet, spaced out but not too far apart, like this…

Leave for another 45 minutes until risen again – they should be almost touching. Make a paste from the extra flour and water and pipe crosses onto the buns.

Bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Heat the golden syrup and brush over the top of the buns, then either serve immediately or leave to cool then slice and toast, spread with butter. Delicious!