When we were children everywhere was closed on Good Friday, the Fast day was adhered to and you weren’t even supposed to speak between 12 and 3pm. There wasn’t anything to watch on TV except the Long Good Friday. The only good thing was the bag of hot cross buns that my Mum used to buy from McGinn’s bakery. These sticky buns were delicious with lashings of butter – we protested that they counted as a collation and so formed part of the Fast Day diet.
Good Friday is now almost like any other day except for Hot Cross Buns that is. McGinn’s no longer exists – it’s now the CopperPot Still Pub. I’m not even sure how many people observe the Fast Day anymore.
In the last few years I have started making my own hot cross buns to see if I can recreate that childhood taste. I’ve had various degrees of success but I never seem to remember to write down how I made them or which recipe I followed.
This year I am going with a twist as I want to include Hot Cross Buns in my Easter Chocolate Class in Butlers Chocolates. And because people like to know how to reproduce what I demonstrate I’ve even remembered to write down how I made them 🙂
I took my inspiration from a number of recipes but I’ve broken a few rules by adding everything in together. I came across the idea of using the muffin trays on the Taste Australia website and it’s such a good idea I can’t believe I hadn’t come across it before.
There’s a bit of time involved in making these but trust me they’re worth it 🙂
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
What you need:
- 450g strong flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 25g cocoa
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 2 *7g sachet dried yeast
- 150ml milk, made up to 200ml with warm water
- 50g butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 75g mixed peel
- 75g Butlers milk chocolate, chopped
- Zest & Juice of 1 orange
- To decorate:
- 4tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
What you do:
- Make your dough by mixing together the flour, sugar, cocoa, mixed spice and yeast in bowl of your Kenwood.
- In a jug mix the warm milk mix, melted butter and beaten egg. You want this mix to be lukewarm so it will activate the yeast.
- Pour this mix into the dry ingredients and knead using the dough hook ( or you could do by hand if you’re feeling energetic!)
- Once the mix comes together add in the mixed peel, chocolate, orange zest and juice and continue to knead for another 5 mins.
- When the dough mix is smooth and springy transfer it to an oiled bowl. Cover lightly with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and knead for a minute or two (by hand this time!)
- Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners. I knew I’d eventually find a use for the lovely ones that have been languishing in my baking cases box for the last two years.
- Divide the mix into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball and place one in each hole of the muffin tray.
- Cut a cross in the top of each bun using a scissors . Cover the tray and leave to rise for another 20 mins.
- Heat your oven to 200C/180Fan/Gas6
- To top the buns mix the 4 tbsp. of flour with enough water to form a paste. Put the paste into a plastic bag, snip of the corner of the bag and pipe into the cross on each bun.
- Bake in a hot oven for 12-15 minutes. To check they’re cooked tap one of the buns on the bottom and you should hear a hollow sound
- To get that lovely sticky glaze on top melt the 2 tbsp. sugar with a tablespoon of water and then brush over the top of each bun.
These hot cross buns are best enjoyed warm with lots of butter. The Chief Taster is in the UK on business so I’ll have to make another batch when he gets back to see what he thinks of the chocolate twist. Any excuse I know….
Happy Cooking !