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Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Prep Time:2 hours 10 minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes

Freshly baked and still warm chocolate hot cross buns with a dollop of melting butter…

These are great for Easter and all year round!

A beautiful fruity single estate cacao like the Sambirano Madagascan or Chulucanas from Peru brings out the flavour of the dried currant!



For the dough

500g strong white flour

2 level teaspoon salt

16g easy bake yeast

4 level teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 7 teaspoons of mixed spice)

100g raw cane sugar

150g currants or a mixture or dried fruit

160g 70% dark chocolate (Willie suggests Madagascan)

50g unsalted butter

150ml semi skimmed milk

75ml water

1 large egg, beaten

For the cross on the buns

3 tablespoons plain flour

2 tablespoons water

For the egg wash

1 large egg (beaten with a little milk)


For the sugar glaze

1 tablespoon raw cane sugar

1 tablespoon boiling water




First put the yeast in hand temperature water, about 26 degrees.

Heat the milk, butter and chocolate in a saucepan until it is hand warm and the cacao has melted

Put the flour, spices, sugar and water and yeast mixture in a bowl and mix with a bread hook for a few minutes until combined. Then add the egg and continue to beat for a few minutes.

Add the chocolate milk mixture and beat on high until a glossy dough ball forms.

Put the dough to a flour dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.

Transfer the dough to a clean flour dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist, then sprinkle over the dried fruit and mixed peel and knead into the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a large baking tray.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into balls. Place them on the baking tray well spaced out.

Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.

Gently pat down the risen buns, brush them with the egg wash, then pipe the flour and water paste over the top to form the cross

Place the buns into the preheated oven for 15 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Just before the buns are ready to come out of the oven, melt the sugar in the water to form a glaze. It is ready as soon as the sugar is fully melted.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and immediately brush over the sugar glaze and leave to cool.

Willie Recommends

White Chocolate Bread
Butter Pudding

Prep Time:30 minutes
Cooking Time:40 minutes

Braised Lamb Shanks
With Cacao Mash And Gremolata

Prep Time:30 minutes
Cooking Time:2 - 3 hours
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