Original recipe of the week: Dark Chocolate and Cherry Hot Cross Buns
Easter comes but once a year, so it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in yummy sticky hot cross buns. The dark chocolate twist in our recipe means that you can go that extra mile to treat yourself this year – jammy red cherries and earthy dark chocolate add a much needed punch into the 21st century.
Serves: makes 12 buns
Cook time: 2 hours 30 minutes
What you will need:
625g strong white flour (plus extra for dusting)
45g unsalted butter (cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing)
100g tinned dark cherries
4 tbsp cherry conserve
80g dark chocolate chips
1½ tsp fast-acting yeast
1 free-range egg
275ml tepid milk
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
For the cross
2 tbsp plain flour
Vegetable oil, for greasing
1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing
What you need to do:
- Pre-heat your oven to 240°C and sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and yeast.
- Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk (microwave for 30 seconds), cherries, sultanas, conserve, chocolate chips. Mix together to a form a soft, pliable dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
- Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour to prove.
- Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.
- Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
- When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
- Place the buns into the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until golden.
- Once cooked remove and transfer onto a cooling tray and glaze with the golden syrup.
- Leave to cool completely before enjoying.