Cherry and Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns 2

Hot cross buns are a major Easter tradition here in the UK. The cross, which symbolises the crucifixion, means that they are traditionally consumed on Good Friday. Every year the supermarkets are jam-packed full of every type you can imagine, from super sophisticated, generously sized buns, (supposedly designed by Heston Blumenthal) to regular own brand, slightly sad and flat looking buns. Whatever the type, if I get through the Easter period without consuming at least one, I always regret it.

Hot Cross Buns  1

Hot cross buns, for the uninitiated, should be sweet, sticky and light, with a good helping of dried fruit and fragrant spices. Best served split through the middle, lightly toasted and slavered in butter, they should be soft, fluffy and warm in the middle and slightly crisp on the outside.

Hot Cross Buns 3

Sadly, shop bought buns don’t always deliver on this score, so I decided it was time to brave the complicated process of making my own. The secret to light and fluffy buns is leaving the dough to rise and prove 3 times, this makes the cooking process take roughly 4 hours, but trust me, it’s worth it. And who doesn’t love a spring morning in the kitchen, baking up a storm? (continue reading…)

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Chocolate Hazelnut Buns

Chocolate Hazelnut Buns 1

Pat me on the back, I have officially sorted your Christmas breakfast. Well, that is provided you like chocolate for breakfast, and given that my all time favourite breakfast cereal is cocopops, you know I do.

Chocolate Hazelnut Buns 2

Can you imagine, getting up on Christmas morning and opening your stocking as the beautiful smell of baking drifts around the house. Then sitting down to a soft, warm, chocolately breakfast bun, punctuated with the crunch of hazelnuts? Let’s make it happen!

Chocolate Hazelnut Buns 3

And best of all, you can do the preparation the night before and all you’ll have to do in the morning is pop them in the oven. I can’t imagine anything more perfect! (continue reading…)