Easter Sunday is coming up, so celebrate by baking some traditional buns and/or less classic chocolate truffles.
Hot cross buns
Ingredients (makes 12)
250g strong plain flour
1 tsp easy blend dried yeast
pinch of salt
25g caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
25g mixed peel (or an equal quantity of dried fruit)
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp apricot jam
- Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts. Allow to cool.
- Place the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, mixed spice, raisins and mixed peel (or dried fruit) into a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add the milk and egg, and mix with a wooden spoon. Then use your hands to bring the sticky dough together.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in greased bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for a couple of minutes, then divide into 12 equal pieces.
- Shape the pieces into rounds. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, cover with oiled cling film, and leave to rise for an hour or until the buns double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
- Prepare decoration: Mix flour with enough water to make a thick paste, and spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Before putting the buns in the oven, pipe a cross on top.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Melt apricot jam with 1 tbsp of water in a saucepan and brush over buns. Serve warm or cold.
Cold cross chocs
Ingredients (makes about 25 truffles)
150ml double cream
225g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into small chunks
25g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
¼ tsp nutmeg or mixed spice (optional)
white icing or melted white chocolate (optional)
- Place 150g of the chocolate in a mixing bowl.
- Heat the cream in a pan over a low heat. Just before it comes to a boil, add the butter and then remove from the heat. Stir until butter has melted.
- Add this hot mixture to the chocolate, whisking continuously so that the chocolate melts slowly.
- Add the salt, and spices if using, to the chocolate mixture and mix gently. Don’t worry if the chocolate mixture “splits”; if it does, just add a drop or two of boiling water and whisk.
- Place this chocolate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until firm.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Take the chocolate mixture out of the fridge. Take a teaspoonful and roll it into a rough ball shape and place on the tray. Repeat until all the chocolate mixture has been used.
- Place the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.
- Break the remaining chocolate chunks into a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir the chocolate with a metal spoon until it melts.
- Take the truffles out of the fridge. Slide a fork under a truffle, and place it in the melted chocolate. Gently turn the truffle in the chocolate to coat it evenly.
- Lift the truffle out of the chocolate and tap the fork a few times against the side of the bowl to remove excess. Place it back on the lined tray by sliding the fork gently out from underneath.
- Repeat for remaining truffles.
- Put in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to set.
- To make the truffles look like hotcross buns, pipe a cross on top of each one with white icing or melted white chocolate.