Hot Cross Buns with Dark Chocolate and Orange Glaze

This recipe for hot cross buns has already been a big winner in my house the past couple weeks and I’ll be making them again this week for Easter. Chocolate and orange is a classic combination and they go so well with the heady spices in these little buns. They are best eaten the day they are made slathered in butter, but if you’d like them for breakfast the next day be sure to toast them up a bit. Happy Easter friends! x

What you’ll need: 

1 cup milk, lukewarm
2 tsp dry yeast
½ cup (120gm) caster sugar, plus 2 tsp
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges, plus ½ cup of juice
500gm plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp fine salt
80gm unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1½ cups (270gm) dark chocolate chips
½ cup (100gm) caster sugar, extra for the glaze

⅓ cup plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
⅓ cup water

What to do:

Combine the milk, yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a jug and stir to combine, then set aside until the mixture foams and the yeast is activated, then mix in the zest and allow to infuse for 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, ½ cup sugar, spices, salt, butter, egg and yeast mixture and mix until the dough is combined, then knead for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm spot for one hour until doubled in size.

Butter and line a 23cm square cake tin with baking paper and pre-heat oven to 180°C. Add the chocolate to the dough and knead through until evenly distributed, then divide the dough into 12 even pieces (roughly 100gm each) and roll into smooth balls and arrange in tin. Cover with the damp cloth again and allow the buns to rise for a further 30 minutes.

For the paste, in a small bowl mix together the plain flour, cocoa powder and water until a thick paste forms, place in a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun, then bake for 30 minutes.

For the glaze, place the orange juice and ½ cup of caster sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once cooked, brush the hot buns with the glaze and allow to cool slightly before serving with butter.

Recipe, Food styling and Photography by Karen McFarlane.


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