Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns

Whilst watching TV last week I noticed the existence of chocolate and orange hot cross buns thanks to the lyrical tones of Matthew Macfayden on the latest M&S advert. Um what the hell, how was I not aware of this sooner?! That is just a revolutionary idea – chocolate orange hot cross buns – two of my favourite things in one bite. Amazing! So needless to say I knew I had to make them over the Easter weekend and I wasn’t disapointed. They were delicious and went down a storm with the family – it’s just a shame that they take quite so long to make!! Anyway if you fancy making them, the recipes below, which I borrowed from here. I left out the 50g of mixed peel as the family Evans hates peel, but if you want to include it just add it with the orange zest.

For the dough:
100ml milk
50g caster sugar
75g butter
450g plain white flour
25g cocoa powder
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
7g fast action dried yeast
75g dark chocolate drops
1 egg, beaten

For the crosses and glaze:
50g strong plain white flour
1tbsp sunflower oil
2-3tbsp water
2tbsp orange juice
2tbsp caster sugar

Heat the milk in a saucepan over a low heat
Remove from the heat before the milk boils and stir in the sugar and butter, until dissolved
Add 100ml cold water to the milk mixture and leave to cool down until you can comfortably hold your finger in it for a few seconds
In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, mixed spice and salt and stir in the orange zest and yeast
Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk mixture and beaten egg, mixing together until you have a sticky dough
Next add the chocolate drops, and knead on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic
Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour/until doubled in volume
Knock back the dough and knead for a couple of minutes, before dividing into 12 pieces and shape into buns
Place on greased baking sheets, cover with the tea towel and leave to rise again for 30 minutes until doubled in size
Meanwhile make the glaze by mixing the flour, oil and water together until smooth
Cut across each bun to make crosses and then fill the crosses with the glaze (the recipe says to pipe it but I found it easier to spread it with a knife)
Cook on 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 for 15-18 minutes, until they are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom
Just before removing the buns from the oven heat the orange juice and sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves
As soon as the buns are out of the oven, brush with the glaze and leave to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving



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