The purists among us may be horrified at the thought of including chocolate in hot-cross buns, but we're all for combining Easter's big treats. We've added a dash of cocoa to the dough for a subtle hint of flavour and a beautiful dusky colour, while shards of bitter chocolate flecked throughout work well with the more classic addition of sultanas and candied peel. These buns are best served warm from the oven with softened butter or, if you want to up the chocolate factor even more, with chocolate hazelnut spread. In the unlikely event of leftovers, serve them toasted.
- 60 gm caster sugar
- 40 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved
- 10 gm dried yeast
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 520 gm plain flour
- 300 ml milk
- 70 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 egg
- 80 gm sultanas
- 100 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 40 gm candied orange, diced
- ½ tsp sunflower oil
- 60 gm caster sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1Combine sugar, cocoa, yeast, cinnamon, 450gm flour and 1 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed to combine. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts, cool to lukewarm, then whisk in egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes; dough will be quite soft). Add sultanas, chocolate and candied orange, knead to combine, then transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (50 minutes to 1 hour).
- 2Knock back dough, divide into 12 even pieces, then roll each into a smooth ball. Arrange in four rows of three on a large baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving 1.5cm between each for dough to expand. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
- 3Preheat oven to 220C. Stir remaining flour, sunflower oil and 50ml cold water, adding a little more water if necessary to achieve a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 200C and bake until buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped (8-10 minutes).
- 4For cinnamon glaze, stir sugar, cinnamon and 50ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to a simmer, then cool briefly to thicken a little (5 minutes). Brush warm buns with glaze and serve.
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