Thursday, 5 April 2012

Guest post - Sour cherry and chocolate hot cross buns

So Easter is upon us and with it comes the usual treats of Easter biscuits, chocolate, and the good old hot cross bun. I love hot cross buns but I have never felt the urge to make them myself. So I was really pleased when my lovely friend Alice - my best friend from secondary school - agreed to write out the recipe for me to put on the blog. Over to Alice!

This is a recipe that I found in a free Waitrose recipe book about five years ago and they just appealed to my inner chocoholic!! I don’t like a lot of the shop brought hot cross buns as I don’t like the peel in them, so thought why not make my own!!! I have done them every Easter since and have become a firm favourite amongst my family!!! I love the zing you get from a sour cherry when you bite into it and the starting to melt chocolate inside. They are best eaten on the day you make them, but if you eat them the day after split them in half, pop on a baking tray and toast under the grill (not in the toaster) and serve spread with a bit of butter, they taste divine!!! Hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Sour Cherry and Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

(makes 12)

1) Sift 450g of very strong flour (white) ½ tsp of salt and 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon into a large bowl and lightly combine the ingredients. Add 50g caster sugar, 1 packet of 7g fast action dried yeast, 2 x 80g packs of Forest Feast Sour Cherries and 100g of dark chocolate chunks (I buy the dark Green and Blacks and chop into small pieces) and then stir until just combined.

2) Gently melt 50g butter in a small pan, add 250ml of semi-skimmed milk and heat for a minute until tepid. Pour in one large beaten egg and then stir enough of the milk mixture into the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Don’t panic if it feels really wet, it will become more elastic when you knead it.

3) Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 mins until smooth and elastic. Divide it into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Make sure at this point you push and chocolate or cherries into the middle of your dough so it doesn’t ooze out when you bake it. Transfer onto two large baking sheets which you have lined with grease proof paper and cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1-1 1/2 hours (I put mine in my airing cupboard). They should double in size

4) Preheat the oven to 190 Celsius, gas mark 5. To decorate the crosses, put approx 50g of plain flour in a bowl and gradually add 5-6 tbsp cold water until you have a smooth paste, you want it like wall paper paste, but not too runny. Spoon this into a piping bag with a small/medium nozzle (the recipe said if you didn’t have one to use a plastic food bag and to cut the end off but I tried this once with disastrous results!!!). The neatly pipe a cross over each bun. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins (I swop shelves and turn them around after 10 mins) until golden in colour.

5) While they are baking, make the glaze by placing about 3 tbsp of semi-skimmed milk in a small pan, about the same of cold water and ½ tsp of ground cinnamon and 50g caster sugar and heat gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. When they are cooked, transfer to a cooling rack and brush the glaze over each one twice (do this straight away).

6) Allow to cool and enjoy!!!!

They do look absolutely amazing and may well tempt me into making my own next year!

Thanks Alice!

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