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.