These beauties are no ordinary hot cross buns! Easter is all about chocolate and so we have teamed with Ugne to create the ultimate Easter treat – Chocolate Hot Cross buns. For this recipe, she’s used Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder to make them extra chocolatey. The hint of orange used comes through beautifully and when mixed with the other spices, it creates a fabulous subtle flavour. If you want a bit of a crunch, you can add some Food Thoughts Chocolate Coated Cacao Nibs.
These Chocolate Hot Cross Buns can be adapted for sugar-free and vegan diets and can be enjoyed freshly baked or later, by lightly toasting them. Happy Easter everyone.
Recipe created by Ugne Bubnaityte of ‘Great British Bake Off’ fame and professional baker dedicated to healthy living and guilt free recipes.
You will need
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE HOT CROSS BUNS
- 250g strong bread flour
- 200g spelt flour
- 4 tbsp Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder
- Pinch of salt
- 80g soft coconut or dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 medium eggs, room temperature (or 2 flax eggs if opting for vegan option)
- 70g grape seed oil (or other flavourless oil)
- 300ml nut or oat milk, luke warm
- Zest of large orange
- 50g candied peel (or same amount of other dried fruit)
- 80g dried cranberries
- 130g juicy raisins
- 80g Food Thoughts Chocolate Coated Cacao Nibs (optional)
- FOR THE JUICES
- 3tbsp spelt flour
- 3-4tbsp water
- 1tbsp apricot jam
- 1tbsp water
Place the flours in a large bowl or a stand mixer bowl with a hook attachment. Add the cacao powder, mixed spice, salt and sugar to one side and the yeast to the other (yeast doesn't like to come into direct contact with salt). Mix it all together with a spoon or your fingers.
Put the butter, milk, egg (or flax egg) and orange zest in a jug or a bowl, whisk together slightly. Pour the milk mix whilst the mixer is on medium speed into the flour and mix/ knead until it forms a rough dough, around 10 minutes. The dough should be sticky at first but become smooth and elastic as you knead it
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
Flatten the risen dough out into a rectangle and scatter over the dried fruit, orange zest. Knead until they are well distributed. Roll the dough in to the sausage shape and divide it into 15 equal pieces and shape each one into a ball. Place them slightly spaced apart on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Loosley cover with oiled cling film and set aside to rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
To make the crosses, place the flour in a bowl and slowly whisk in enough water to form a thick, pipe-able consistency; your looking for something with a similar consistency to wallpaper paste (the amount of water you will use might vary).
Place the paste in a disposable piping bag and snip off the very tip (or put it in a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle).
When buns are risen, pipe a cross shape on the top of each risen bun and bake them in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. They should be well risen and browned.
While the buns are baking prepare the glaze. Put the jam and water in the small pan and heat it up until slightly simmering and set aside. Or if you have microwave, heat proof bowl and heat it until starts to bubble. Set aside with pastry brush.
Once the buns are baked, remove them from the oven and brush the tops liberally with the glaze. Allow to cool slightly on the baking tray, then serve split in half and buttered, topped with anything you like.