I love nothing more than hooking into some fresh hot cross buns each Easter. Unfortunately, though here in Germany you cant just duck into your local bakery and grab a bag, so I’m forced to bake them myself. Personally, I’m more of a traditional guy (dried fruits) but as my family doesn’t like these, we’ve compromised by making chocolate buns instead. I’ve tried a number of different recipes over the years, but these are certainly the fluffiest/tastiest I’ve come across yet.
Place yeast and milk in a bowl. Whisk to dissolve yeast. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until foamy.
Sift flour, cocoa and mixed spice into a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture, egg and sugar. Stir to combine. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Add the choc chips. Knead to combine. Roll into 8 equal-sized balls. Place in greased pan. Cover. Set aside in a warm place until dough has almost doubled in size.
Make Paste for crosses: Combine flour, sugar and 2 tablespoons of cold water in a bowl. Spoon the paste into a snap-lock bag and seal the bag. Snip 1 corner from bag. Pipe crosses onto the top of each bun. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) until the buns are golden-brown and cooked through.
Stir some jam with boiling water until it’s dissolved. Turn buns, top-side up, onto a wire rack. Brush tops with gelatine mixture. Cool. Serve.