It must be true what they say about your taste in food changing as you get older. When I was little I couldn’t get enough of chocolate. Easter was an extremely exciting time for me – the one day of the year where you were allowed to eat as much chocolate as you wanted and no-one would tell you off was my idea of heaven.
But now you can keep your Easter eggs – the best thing about Easter for me is hot cross buns. Fluffy, soft, spicy buns spread with butter while they are still warm from the oven – yes please!
I wanted to try a chocolate orange version ever since I tried some from a local bakeryand loved them. I was a little disappointed this year when I learned they were no longer making them but it gave me the push I needed to make my own.
They are very good toasted under a hot grill and spread with butter and marmalade.
How do you make chocolate orange hot cross buns?
I followed the basic recipe for these orange, cranberry and white chocolate hot cross buns I made last Easter and added the zest of one large orange, 1/2 tsp Orange extract and 80g dark chocolate chips.
When they came out of the oven I brushed them with a glaze I made by boiling 3 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp water and 1/2 tsp cinnamon together in a small pan until syrupy.
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Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns
- 500 g strong white flour
- 10 g fast action yeast
- 10 g salt
- 75 g sugar
- 120 ml warm milk
- 120 ml cool water
- 2 medium eggs beaten
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 40 g soft unsalted butter
- Finely grated zest of one large orange
- 100 g dark chocolate chips
For the glaze:
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, sugar and yeast to the bowl, keeping the salt and yeast separate.
- Add the warm milk, soft butter, eggs, orange extract and half the water. Mix the ingredients together until you have a soft dough. If it is too dry, add the remaining water slowly until you have a soft, but not soggy, dough. Knead for 5 mins in a mixer or 10 minutes by hand or until the dough is very smooth and bouncy.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warmish place for at least 1-2 hours or until the dough is doubled in size.
- Once the dough is ready, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flatten it out a little and place the orange zest and chocolate chunks on top. Gently work them into the dough until they are all evenly incorporated.
- Place the dough back into the bowl and leave for one hour until risen in size again.
- Divide the dough into twelve equal portions - if you want them all the same size you can weigh them - 75g is a good size.
- Roll each piece of dough into balls and place fairly close together on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Cover and leave to prove for 45-60 minutes until well risen and at least doubled in size.
- About 30 minutes before proving time is done, preheat the oven to 200C.
- For the crosses, mix 75g plain flour and 75-100ml water together until you have a smooth paste that isn't too runny. Using a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle, pipe crosses on the buns. Alternatively, you can drizzle the crosses over using a teaspoon.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven and brush the glaze over the buns immediately. Transfer to a wire rack.
For the Glaze:
- In a small pan, boil the honey, water and sugar together until syrupy and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.