Chocolate Cherry Hot Cross Buns!

I thought it would be fun to try a new hot cross bun recipe this year! Seeing that chocolate and cherry are one of my favorite ‘chocolate &’ combinations ever, it didn't take long for me to decide to make these! I pick up magazines randomly never buying the same one every month, but one that I tend to buy most often is the Jamie magazine: I like the recipes, stories, and layout. I have always been a fan of Jamie Oliver, well I can't say always I should say since I moved to the UK. 

Anyhow… I am still a novice when it comes to bread/roll/bun baking. Think these took a while to rise for either or both of 2 reasons: 1. Cold kitchen it is always cold so moved next to pre-heating oven to get a better rise. 2. I didn't let the milk/butter mixture cool long enough before adding it to the dry ingredients which can kill the yeast. My bun rolling also needs serious work. I think I am worried about over kneading (also need to know if I’m kneading the “right” way) that I under knead. Oh and I probably could probably work on my piping skills too!

Overall these tasted delicious!! At the end of the day that is all that really matters!! Fresh out of the oven or put in the microwave for a several seconds with a light coat of butter! Like I already said I love the combination of chocolate & cherry so unless I messed them up completely or the recipe was off I was probably going to like them.

Apparently Sainsbury’s doesn't carry kirsch? I didn't feel like running around after one ingredient and Mr Knightley is allergic to orange juice so I used what was in kitchen: cherry juice (from cherry cola bundt cake) and Bacardi (love the stuff) to soak the cherries in. Enjoy!!

Chocolate Cherry Hot Cross Buns
from Jaime Magazine issue 37 March 2013

100g dried sour cherries
3 tbsp kirsch/orange juice or 2 tbsp cherry juice + 1 tbsp Barcardi
250ml milk
50g unsalted butter + extra for greasing
1 egg
2 tbsp cherry compote or jam
500g strong bread flour + extra for dusting
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
2 x 7g sachets dry yeast
75g milk chocolate chips
75g caster sugar + extra for glaze
1 tsp fine sea salt
50g plain flour
3 tbsp runny honey

  1. Soak cherries in your chosen “juice” over night. The following day, place the milk and butter into a sauce pan and heat until the butter is just melted. Cool slightly before whisking in the egg and compote. Set aside.
  2. Drain the cherries and mix well in a bowl with flour, cinnamon, cocoa powder, yeast, chocolate chips, caster sugar, and salt. Make a well in the mixture and pour in the milk mixture, use a fork to stir it all together until it forms soft dough! Turn out on to a lightly dusted work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly buttered bowl and cover with cling film, keep it in a warm place for about an hour to rise or until it doubles in size. 
  3. Once it's raised, grease and line a baking tray or two, depends on your baking tray sizes. Knock back the dough, on a lightly dusted work surface, by kneading for about 2 minutes. Cut the dough in half and roll each half into sausages then cut each “sausage” into 6 pieces. Roll them into balls and place on baking sheets cover with cling film and let rise in a warm place for further 45 minutes. Mine took longer then that. Its really cold in the kitchen like I said above. 
  4. Once they have doubled in size preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Mix the plain flour and about 5tbsp of water until it makes a thick paste. Then pipe unto buns. Use a sandwich bag if you don’t have any piping bags and nozzles. I have them and I still used a sandwich bag. Pipe a cross on each one and then pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden. When the timer goes off check to see if they are golden-ish -hard to tell on a chocolate roll. Once they are out of the oven cool on a rack and make the glaze by gently heating the honey and 1tbsp sugar over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Generously cover each bun/roll with the sugar glaze. Cool before eating… or not!

notes: Jamie Magazine, last years buns

introducing My Mixtape! Usually when I'm baking I have music on so I thought I would start sharing my playlist. Since I grew up in the 80-90's and I used to record songs off the radio (music pirating at it's finest) to make mix tapes I thought that's what I would call this addition to my posts! Even though now I just download music off iTunes and I pay for it.....

Joss Stone: While You're Out Looking for Sugar
Bush: Glycerine
Bruno Mars: The Lazy Song
Foo Fighters: All My Life
Savage Garden: I Want You

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