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Spiced Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns

The perfect recipe for this Easter weekend!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

I’d been thinking about what to bake for Easter for a while and my mind kept going back to hot cross buns, even though I’m not a huge fan of them. So my challenge was to make these traditional Easter buns even more festive and tasty, and so these spiced chocolate & orange hot cross buns were born, I think I did a pretty good job!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

These sweet and sticky buns are loaded with chocolate just like the Easter bunny intended and warmed up with lovely spices and hints of orange. They’re finished off with a gooey, sticky orange glaze to give them that extra yum factor!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

These do require a little patience to make, but with only two rising times you’re not doing too badly for a hot cross bun recipe! And even though they’re “quick”, you won’t see any decrease in yummyness (a technical baking term), they’re still soft and delicious! It’s a fairly simple recipe too, and a bit of a messy one while you’re rubbing the butter into the flour, cocoa, spices and salt with your fingers. Then it’s spoon city as you stir in the sugar and yeast and then beat in the eggs and milk. Knead. Rise. Knead some more (adding chocolate and orange!) and rise again until finally it’s time for the oven (but not before those all important crosses!), then you just glaze and eat! These are best served warm and with lashings of butter, preferably this cinnamon honey butter because it’s to die for!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are traditionally served on Good Friday so I am a little late with this post, but let’s be honest you can enjoy these yummy buns all Easter weekend, even all year (I know, I’m just talking crazy now!!). It may be midnight in the UK, but it’s never too late to whip up a batch of yummyness, so get your apron on and get baking, you’re family will thank you!

[recipe title=”Spiced Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns” servings=”12″]
Ingredients

For the buns:

  • 400g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp salt
  • 85g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 sachets dried instant yeast (7g each)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 190ml lukewarm milk
  • 75g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 75g chopped candied orange peel

For the crosses:

  • 75g strong white flour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5tbsp cold water

For the glaze:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 50g golden caster sugar

Method

For the buns:

  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, spices and salt into a bowl. Add the chopped butter and, using your gingers, rub the butter into the flour mix until you get a breadcrumb texture. Stir in the sugar and yeast and make a well in the centre
  • Whisk together the warm milk and egg and pour into the well, quickly beat with a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Knead on a lightly floured surface for around 10 minutes, until you have a soft, smooth dough. Put in a large, lightly oiled bowl covered with oiled cling film. Leave to rise for an hour in warm place until doubled in size
  • Place the risen dough on a lightly floured surface and knead in the chocolate, zest and candied peel until it is all distributed evenly.
  • Divide into 12 equal balls and shape into smooth buns. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray, leaving a small gap between each roll. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. The buns should now be getting cozy and touching each other.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/390F

For the crosses:

  • Mix the flour, oil and water together to form a smooth paste. Pop into a piping bag and snip the end off.
  • With a serrated knife, score the tops of the buns with a cross. Pipe the mixture along the lines, you can use your knife to cut off the flow.
  • Bake the buns in the oven for 15-20 minutes until firm to the touch

For the glaze:

  • Put the sugar and orange juice into a small pan and heat on low until all the sugar as dissolved
  • Bring to the boil and bubble until thickened, around 3 minutes.
  • Once the buns have been removed from the oven, turn out onto a cooling rack and glaze.

Notes:

  • The buns are best served warm
  • They will stay fresh in an air tight container for about 3 days, but buns that are going stale will still be great toasted
  • You can freeze them too, just wait to glaze them. Once defrosted, warm through and glaze before serving.

[/recipe]
Happy Easter Everybody!

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

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Cinnamon Honey Butter

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We all remember those special moments in our life, the momentous occasions that helped shape who we are;  the first time you fell in love, your first kiss, the day you graduated, the first time you tried this cinnamon honey butter….

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Oh yes, it really is that good. I spread it on a nice, warm bagel and I was in heaven. How I stopped myself digging in and just eating it up with a spoon I’ll never know! It’s so sweet and buttery with a real cinnamon kick that keeps you coming back for more. Maybe I’m a little biased because cinnamon is my absolutely favourite flavour in the world and if you add it to something I’m sure to love it! But really, this butter is amazing!

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I made this butter to go with the hot cross buns I made for Easter, the recipe for which I’ll be sharing with you this weekend but I just had to share this cinnamon honey butter recipe with you first! This butter will go great with pretty much anything you could dream to put it on; bagels, dinner rolls, biscuits, baked sweet potatoes, waffles, pancakes, banana bread, EVERYTHING! I will be making this butter every chance I get and I’ll slather it on everything I possibly can to the point where I may have to make my next post from a hospital bed after my butter induced heart attack! (I’m kidding of course… hopefully!).

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And what makes this butter even more awesome? It’s so simple and quick to make, with only 3 ingredients! You can whip this up in a matter of minutes and you’re on your way to a buttery, cinnamon heaven! It’s also super simple to adjust to suit your personal tastes. What could be more perfect than a recipe that’s super easy to make and will transport you to a state of bliss?

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If you can bear to part with it, you could even package this up in cute little jars and give it away as Easter gifts. What better way to start Easter Sunday than with a slice of toast with this smothered all over it, before you break into all the yummy chocolate!

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Okay, I will stop teasing you! Here’s the recipe

[recipe title=”Cinnamon Honey Butter”]
Ingredients

  • 200g good quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp good quality, clear honey
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Method

  • Combine the all the ingredients in a bowl using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer with beaters. Beat for 3 minutes.
  • Serve at room temperature

Notes:

  • It will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for a few weeks, I doubt it’ll last that long though!
  • Makes approximately 1/2 cup of butter, you can divide or multiply the quantities to make as much as you need
  • Adjust the amount of honey to make it more or less sweet, same goes for cinnamon.

[/recipe]
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