Today is Good Friday, also known in my house as Hot Cross Bun Day! Hot cross buns are sweet, spiced, sticky buns made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top and traditionally eaten on Good Friday. There are many variations of the buns nowadays, including orange & cranberry and apple & cinnamon, all delicious, but I wanted to try something a little bit different.
That's when I came up with these White Chocolate & Cardamom Hot Cross Buns. The buns are soft and fluffy with an intensely aromatic, delicately spiced fragrance and filled with delectable nuggets of creamy, smooth white chocolate...delicious!
White Chocolate & Cardamom Hot Cross Buns
50g unsalted butter
500g strong white flour
75g golden caster sugar
7g sachet fast action yeast
150g white chocolate, roughly chopped
2tsp ground cardamom
For the topping
75g plain flour
2tbsp granulated sugar
Pour the milk into a saucepan and place on a medium heat. Bring the milk to the boil then remove from heat, add the butter and leave to one side to cool slightly.
In a large bowl add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast and mix until well combined. When the milk mixture is warm, but not too hot, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in along with the egg.
Use a wooden spoon to bring the mixture together, then use your hands to mix it into a sticky dough. Place the dough on a slightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough inside. Oil a piece of clingfilm and place on top of the bowl. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.
When the dough has risen, whilst it is still in the bowl, add the chocolate and cardamom. Use your hands to knead the ingredients into the dough until evenly distributed. Cover again with the oiled clingfilm and put back in the warm place for another hour.
Divide th dough into 12-15 even sized balls and place on a lightly floured surface. Take 2 baking sheets and line with baking paper. Place the balls on the trays, evenly spaced with room for spreading. Cover the baking sheets loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for another hour.
Meanwhile, place the 75g of plain flour in a bowl and add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag and attach a medium sized round nozzle.
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7 and pipe your flour paste onto the top of each bun in a cross shape. Place the buns in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
Place the 2tbsp of sugar and water into a saucepan and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. When the buns are ready and still warm, brush the sugar/water mixture over each of them with a pastry brush to glaze and leave to cool.
Belle's Top Tip
The buns taste delicious served warm with lashings of butter and jam and keep well in the freezer in an airtight container, just remember to defrost them thoroughly before tucking in!