Chocolate Cardamom Hot Cross Buns
Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Chocolate and cardamom are one of those perfect flavour pairings; wonderfully aromatic and simply mouthwatering! These spiced hot cross buns replace the traditional fruit with a mix of dark and milk chocolate, serve while still warm and the chocolate will melt in your mouth!!
Makes 12 Large Buns
340g full cream milk, lukewarm
3 tsp dry instant yeast
515g all-purpose/ plain bread flour
40g cocoa powder
115g soft brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
4 cardamom pods, green pods removed and black seeds ground
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
280g mix of dark and milk chocolate (I used a dark chocolate block chopped up and some milk chocolate chips)
30g all-purpose/ plain bread flour
10g cocoa powder
Apricot Syrup for Glazing
2 tbsp apricot jam
2 tsp of water
For the bun dough:
Add the lukewarm milk, a teaspoon of the sugar (or honey), and the yeast to a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for around 10 minutes, or until the yeast has bloomed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt, spices, and mix well to combine. Next add the yeasted milk mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix on a low speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, soft, and comes away cleanly from the side of the bowl.
Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface (I do not find that there is a need to flour, but add some if you wish), and knead in the chocolate by hand until thoroughly incorporated throughout the dough. Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling wrap and leave to prove in a warm area until least doubled in size (around 2 hours).
Line a baking tray with baking paper or grease with lots of butter, set aside. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and weigh the dough. Divide the weight of the dough by 12, and divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces (mine were all approximately 118grams each). Roll out each piece into a ball, then arrange evenly on the baking tray, in a 3 by 4 arrangement, leaving a small amount of space in between each ball (so they have room to proof). Extra tip: if you want them to join together in the oven to give the ‘classic’ hot cross bun look don’t space them too far apart!
Lightly cover the tray with cling wrap or tea towel, and leave in a warm place for about 45 to an hour minutes, or until puffy and risen once more.
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan-forced (350°f / 190°C). Using a sharp knife, lightly score crosses on the buns to mark out where you will pipe the crosses.
Now mix the flour, cocoa, and water for the crosses until a thick runny paste forms. Add to a piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner. Remove the cling wrap/ tea towel and pipe crosses onto the buns. Go slow and make sure you get the sides (I like to pipe downwards then all the way across).
Bake the buns in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a deep chocolate brown, while you are waiting start making the glaze.
For the apricot glaze:
Place apricot jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.
Remove buns from oven and brush with jam while still warm (use a pastry brush). Allow to cool slightly before serving, (but still warm) and in my opinion serve with lots of butter! Please enjoy!
Store any leftover buns in an airtight container at room temperature. I like to reheat mine in the microwave or oven before eating.
An electric kitchen scale is very useful for this recipe (and all baking recipes when you need to be exact about quantities), can’t recommend one enough!