It doesn't have to be easter to enjoy hot cross buns but when it is, it is such a treat to cook these up. and if you love chocolate then this is one for you, triple amounts of chocolate goodness, a chocolate bread with a chocolate chips and a chocolate ganache cross. Yummy!
Step 1: Ingredients
You will need:
For the buns
- 7g dried yeast
- 240ml whole milk
- 60g caster sugar
- 380g plain flour
- 30g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 60g chilled butter (cubed)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 100g chocolate chips
For the glaze
- 2 Tbsp of marmalade
For the chocolate cross
- 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
- 100ml double cream
- bake at 180 degree celsius for 10 mins
- then, reduce temperature to 160 degrees celsius for 15 mins
Step 2: Yeast Mixture
Gently warm the milk so it is about body temperature, put your finger in the milk and when it feels just warm it is ready (be careful not to heat the milk too much and burn yourself). It will only take a short time to come up to temperature so keep an eye on it.
Add the dried yeast and one Tbsp of the sugar and stir, the sugar and the warm milk will start to activate the yeast, you will see the mixture start to bubble. If it doesn't then it is possible the milk was too hot and you have killed the yeast, in which case you will need to start again.
Step 3: Dry Ingredients
Pass all the flour, cocoa powder and the cinnamon powder (optional) through a sieve, incorporate the dry ingredients and to this add chilled cubed butter. With your finger tips crumble the butter and dry ingredients together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. You can use a food processor but using your hands is much more rewarding :)
Step 4: Wet and Dry
Lightly beat the egg and put to one side, make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add the yeast mixture, egg and sugar to the well.
Step 5: Bring It Together
With your hands bring the wet and dry ingredients together, it will be sticky to start with but knead a little in the bowl. Then, lightly flour the surface with some plain flour and turn the formed dough out, knead the dough for around 10 minutes until it is elastic when you pinch it.
Step 6: Proving Time
To prove the dough find a warm place and put the dough in the bowl, under the tap wet a cloth and squeeze the excess water out of it so it is damp. Cover the bowl with the cloth and leave the dough to rise for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
When the dough has proved, with your hand know it back and take out the bowl, returning to the work surface. flatten the dough.
Step 7: Chocolate Chips
When the dough has been flattened, pour the chocolate chips on top of the dough. You can use dark, white or milk chocolate chips for this.
knead the dough for a further 3 - 5 minutes until the chocolate chips have been incorporated into the dough.
Step 8: Portioning and Final Prove
Roll the dough out into a sausage shape and cut it into 16 pieces, shape each of these pieces into a ball in your hands and place in a greased and lined baking tin. Cover the dough with the same damp cloth used earlier and leave to prove for 30 mins or until doubled in size again.
Step 9: Baking the Buns
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan) and bake the buns for 10 minutes then, reduce the temperature to 160 degrees celsius (fan) for a further 15 minutes. While baking continue with preparing the glaze and chocolate ganache.
Step 10: The Ganache
Pour the cream into a cold pan and bring up to the boil, when the cream just starts bubbling, take off the heat and add the dark chocolate, stir in gently, but don't over stir and set to one side (5 mins).
Step 11: The Glaze
In a cold pan add the marmalade and bring up to heat gently, melting the marmalade into a syrup. Stir the chocolate and leave to one side to cool slightly.
Take the buns out of the oven and immediately brush on the melted marmalade to give a beautiful glossy sweet finish.
Step 12: Piping the Chocolate
If you have a piping bag then you can use that but if you don't a food bag can work just as well.
Take a food bag and put in a cup or glass to make it easier to fill. Spoon the ganache into the bag and twist the end pushing all the chocolate down to the bottom.
Take some scissors and snip a small hole in the bottom of the food bag, pipe the chocolate ganache in single lines across the buns, then turn the tin and pipe in the perpendicular direction.
Serve your hot cross buns with a generous amount of butter and some marmalade.