The recipe involves making your own candied peel, which really is worth the effort. Stefi says 'Those who don't like candied peel just haven't made their own yet!' Well that's told you.
Chocolate orange hot cross buns
- 250g plain flour
- 30g granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 120ml milk
- 2tsp dried yeast
- 1 egg
- 60g softened butter
- Peel of two oranges
- 120ml water
- 120g caster sugar
- 50g currants
- 50g dark chocolate chips
- 1½tsp mixed spice
- ½tsp cinnamon
- For the cross:
- 150g flour
- water as needed
To Make the Candied Peel:
Remove the peel from the oranges using a potato peeler. Scrape off any bitter pith with a knife and cut into thin strips.
Blanch the peel by dropping it into boiling water for two minutes then draining it into a sieve and immediately running under cold water to stop the cooking process. Repeat another couple of times. The peel is done when it has lost its bitterness.
Place 120ml water and 120g caster sugar and heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring. Drop the blanched peel into the syrup and gently stir as the mixture simmers for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
Drain the peel, retaining the syrup. Spread the peel out on a plate to dry a little.
To Make the Bun:
Heat the milk very gently to lukewarm, and remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and granulated sugar and make a well in the centre. Pour in the beaten egg, milk mixture and the dried yeast. Mix until a dough forms,
Add the softened butter a little at a time, then knead the mixture lightly until smooth. Finish by adding the candied peel, currants and chocolate chips.
Now cover the bowl with a tea towel and set it aside somewhere warm to allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in volume.
Once risen, knead the dough very lightly to redistribute the air. Then shape into 12-16 balls and arrange them on a baking tray. Cover with clingfilm and place back in the warm area to double in size.
To Make the Cross:
In a bowl combine 150g flour and enough water to make a thick paste. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and cut off the end to give a ¼cm hole. Pipe a cross on each bun. Alternatively, you could use a teaspoon to drizzle the mixture into a thin cross over the buns.
Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes at 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Once done, remove the buns from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Brush the reserved orange syrup over the buns for glaze, shine and a super, orangey flavour.
Le Cordon Bleu-trained cake artist Stefi Jakab.offers a unique bespoke cake design service. Visit stefijakab.co.uk
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