My ‘Hot’ Chocolate Cross Buns are a twist on the traditional hot cross bun. By using chopped up pieces of chilli chocolate within the sweetned spiced orange bread dough, they are given an extra hot chocolate hit. Presenting them on a chalk board marked with a noughts and crosses grid makes them a fun and edible way to play the game while enjoying the buns with mugs of Hot Chocolate.

Playing with your food over Easter never tasted so good!

100ml milk
100ml warm water
50g unsalted butter
500g strong white flour
100g vegetable suet
7g sachet of fast action yeast
10g salt
60g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp mixed spice
100g bar chilli dark chocolate, chopped into small chips

70g strong white flour
1 tbsp water

100g caster sugar
120ml water

Gently boil the milk and water in a saucepan and once it has come to the boil remove from the heat. Add the butter and stir to melt.┬áIn as food processor blend half of the flour with the vegetable suet until fine breadcrumbs are formed. Transfer this mixture, the rest of the flour and sugar and into a bowl. Now add the yeast and salt at opposite sides of the bowl. Pour the lukewarm liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients, followed by the beaten eggs, orange zest, mixed spice and chocolate . Stir the mixture with your hands, slowly adding the remaining water to form into a soft dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. If using a food mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on low speed for 7 minutes or until a soft dough has formed. Once kneaded shape into a round and place in a clean oiled bowl and cover with a shower cap(!) or tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place. Once doubled in size, punch down and deflate the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead again for a minute. Divide into 12 even sized buns and place in a 12″ x 9″ tray bake or roasting tin, lightly greased. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place again for approximately 30-40 minutes. To make the crosses mix the flour with the water to form a soft paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto each bun once risen in the tin.

Bake in a Pre-heat 220C oven for approx 15 minutes until hollow sounding when tapped on their base and golden brown. While the buns are baking prepare the glaze by heating the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. As soon as the buns are baked brush them immediately with the glaze and and leave to cool slightly in the tin for 10 minutes. Once cool, the buns can be pulled apart and served. Enjoy warm, with butter or chocolate spread.



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