Friday, April 10, 2009

Chocolate and Apricot Hot Cross Buns

These hot cross buns are very good, even after spending nearly an hour on this post due to blogger being uncooperative! I found the recipe here but changed it quite a bit. I added chocolate! And apricots! And lemon! And I took out some of their ingredients, such as candied orange peel, orange juice and sultanas. The chocolate bits melt through the dough as you are kneading, making it a lovely dark colour.Instead of making flour paste crosses, I used lemon icing and did the crosses as the final step. This tastes divine (which is appropriate for Easter) and uses the rest of the lemon that provided the rind. Nice and thrifty! (Btw, thrifty has a lovely meaning: careful and diligent. Much nicer than 'frugal'.) Here is the recipe, changed to how I did it (if you want the original recipe, click the link above).

Chocolate and Apricot Hot Cross Buns
Serves 16

5 cups plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tspn dried yeast
1 tspn allspice
1/2 tspn cinnamon
250g chocolate chips (I used an equal amount of milk and dark choc)
100g dried apricots, finely chopped
1 lemon, rind only (save the juice for the icing)
300ml milk
100g butter, chopped
1 egg

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tspn allspice
1/4 cup water

Icing for Crosses
1 Tbspn lemon juice
1/4 cup icing sugar

1. Combine flour, sugar, yeast, spices, chocolate, apricot and lemon rind in a large bow.
2. Gently warm milk and butter over a low heat until butter melts and mixture is tepid. Add the egg to the mixture and whick until smooth.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add milk mixture and stir together.
4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth.
5. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
6. Knock back dough and divide into 16 equal pieces. Knead each piece into a ball, place on a lightly greased tray, cover, and leave until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
7. Heat oven to 220C. Bake buns for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 200C and bake a further 10 minutes or until golden. (They are ready when they sound hollow when tapped).

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Brush glaze over hot buns.

Combine ingredients and mix with a knife until smooth. The icing should be of a runny consistency. Put icing in a piping bag (or a plastic sandwich bag with the corner cut off - cut off the corner after the icing is in the bag) and make crosses on the buns.

Transfer the buns to a wire rack to cook. Or just start eating them... Your choice!