Do you fancy chocolate bread? I am talking about a good quality bitter dark chocolate bread. If so, this is the way to go on Easter - Very Chocolate Hot Cross Buns with Cranberries.
As I have mentioned many times, I am not such a big chocolate lover. However, my family does the job for me. Therefore, I regularly have to learn how to master the chocolate treats. Never ending learning. Practice is the key. The more I make and bake, the more confident I feel. No other way, I am sorry. These chocolaty beauties are made of a very good quality cocoa powder, filled with some dark chocolate chunks, dried cranberries and lime zest. Let me tell you, it is really so crunchy on the top and soft on the inside. Heavenly!
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns are suitable for toddlers from the age of 2. Offer as an afternoon snack with a cup of milk. So yummy!
Total Time: 2 hours + 1.5 hour for rising the Dough
40g of fresh yeast
1 cup of lukewarm milk (around 300ml)
120g of caster superfine sugar
650g of plain flour, sifted
A pinch of sea salt, sifted
50g of cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, sifted
1 teaspoon of ground gingerbread spice, sifted
1 teaspoon of lime zest
1 whole egg
80g of butter, soft in cubes
80g of dark chocolate (at least 60%), in chunks
1 handful of dried cranberries, hardly chopped
2-3 knobs of lard
The Cross Topping:
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
50g of plain flour, sifted
70ml of cold water
2 tablespoons of honey
The Chocolate Dough
First, activate the yeast. In a large coffee mug pour the lukewarm milk and sprinkle with the yeast. Add 1 teaspoon of caster sugar and mix. Let it rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large and wide mixing bowl place all the dry ingredients: sugar, flour, sea salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, gingerbread spice, lime zest and stir well.
Next, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast with ½ of the milk from the cup. Add the egg and start kneading until you get a non sticking elastic Dough. Gradually add butter and rest of the milk, if needed.
Once you are finished, grease the bowl with a knob of lard (or butter) and place The Dough inside of it. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise in a warm place at least for 1 hour.
Once The Chocolate Dough has risen enough, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and start baking them into Chocolate Hot Cross Buns with Cranberries.
Mold The Dough onto your working board and sprinkle with some more plain flour. Roll it out into a round shape and place all the chocolate chunks and cranberries in the middle.
Then, cover with the edges of The Dough and knead into a roll. Roll it out into a thin snake and cut out the buns. I made them approximately 3x3cm large. Take each bun and grease a bit with some lard and gently place the buns into a well greased baking tray. Continue until all has been processed.
Let it sit in a warm place for 15 more minutes.
The Cross Topping
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl place the sugar, flour and mix. Start pouring the water and gradually stir with a balloon whisk until you get a smooth doughy texture. Nor too thick, nor too liquid, makes around 50ml of water in total. Place the Topping into a decorating bag and cut out a 0.5 cm hole.
Next, draw the crosses on each bun and immediately place in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, until they are nicely crunchy and baked through.
Afterwards, in a small coffee mug pour 20ml of water with 2 tablespoons of honey. Microwave just to warm it up and brush all the Chocolate Hot Cross Buns with Cranberries generously on top. Beautiful!
Serve just like that, with a layer of butter, peanut butter or with my favourite lemon and mango curd. It gives just a lovely taste to the Chocolate Hot Cross Buns with Cranberries and it looks beautiful, too. For more hot cross bun inspiration, click here. Enjoy!
Makes 2 medium baking tray of buns.