Well……. our New Year’s resolution was to be more organised! So……… we’ve been planning ahead to Easter!!! Ok we’re lying we have a lovely guest poster who is VERY organised and is in recipe trials for Easter. So……. over to Sandie!
Hello everyone and welcome to my guest blog post. I’m Sandie (of Jam Ring Envy fame) and after sending a few emails and sharing some recipes, Becksie kindly asked me to write a post, when I told her that I was planning to make some hot cross buns with a twist!
Now, I have been avidly following Ian and Becksie’s wonderful blog for a while and have been inspired to (a) try to shop more locally, and (b) get more creative in the kitchen. I was thinking about the latter one night while lying in bed, and wondering how I could surpass the jam rings, and then I hit upon an idea. With Easter fast approaching why not combine two seasonal favourites – hot cross buns and chocolate – to make choc-chip hot cross buns! Or even go one better and make a double chocolate choc-chip variety! So after searching for some recipes I brought together some ideas and came up with the following which I hope you enjoy making, but best of all eating. A word of warning though – don’t start making these late at night as there is a lot of time needed for the dough to rise, and you might find yourself zzz-ing on the job!
For the buns
420g strong white flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
100g caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
180ml warm milk
100g chocolate chips (plus extra for eating as you go along!)
For the crosses
50g strong white flour
1 level tbsp cocoa powder
Approx. 100ml water
For the glaze
75ml water or the juice of an orange
2 tbsps sugar
1) Sift the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips.
2) Stir in the sugar and yeast, and form a well in the centre. Whisk the egg and milk together and pour into the well, and mix with a wooden spoon and your hands to form a soft dough. You might find that you need to add a bit more flour if it’s very sticky (mine was!).
3) Knead on a floured surface for about 10 mins and shape into a ball.
Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, covered with cling film, and leave for an hour and a half in a warm place until doubled in size. I put mine in the airing cupboard.
4) Remove the risen dough to a lightly floured surface and knead in the chocolate chips until they’re evenly distributed. You can get creative at this point if you like and add orange zest, candied peel, raisins – any extras you like really.
5) Divide into 12 equal pieces, shape into buns and place on to a baking sheet, either oiled or lined with baking parchment, about 1 cm apart.
Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place again for around an hour. The buns should double in size and be touching each other at this point.
6) Preheat the oven to 200˚C/ fan 180˚C/ gas 6.
7) Now make the paste for the crosses. Mix the flour and cocoa powder with the water to make a smooth paste of dropping consistency and spoon into a piping bag – or if you’re me a plastic bag with the corner cut off and a nozzle! Score the tops of the buns with a knife into a cross shape and pipe the mixture along the lines. Stop the flow with a knife if necessary.
8) Bake in the oven for 15−20 minutes and in the meantime make the glaze. Put the water and sugar on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for a few minutes.
9) Remove the buns from the oven and brush them with the sugar glaze.
Voilà! Some delicious and different seasonal treats.