It’s a cold, grey, drizzly day which of course calls for chocolate.

Both my Mum and Dad are resisting the urge to eat chocolate and cake until Easter day, however, if it’s a breakfast item then the rules can be broken, and hot cross buns definitely count as a breakfast treat, thus meaning dark chocolate and marzipan hot cross buns are allowed.

My least favourite part of hot cross buns has to be the dried fruit. The fragrant spice mixture which is released when you tear open the soft dough centre is delicious but it’s always ruined for me by the chewy sultanas. Replacing the dried fruit with rich dark chocolate and sweet, smooth almond flavoured marzipan is the dream.

The dark chocolate melts slightly so when they’re just baked they have a warm centre.

hot cross buns

The Recipe

450g strong white flour
2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
50g caster sugar
150ml warm milk
1 egg, beaten
50g unsalted butter, melted
oil, for greasing
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
50g currants
50g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
50g marzipan, chopped into small chunks
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar

– In a bowl place the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt.
– Add the spices, currants, chocolate and marzipan and mix well.
– Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and melted butter.
– Mix everything together until it forms a dough.
– Knead in the bowl until smooth.
– Transfer to a clean lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel in a warm place for 1 hour.
– Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few seconds.
– Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls.
– Place greaseproof paper on two baking trays.
– Place the balls on the baking sheets and using scissors cut a cross onto them.
– Cover with a damp tea towel and leave for a further 20 minutes in a warm place.
– Mix the flour with enough water to give you a paste.
– Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees.
– When proved again, pipe the paste in a cross shape onto the hot cross buns.
– Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
– Melt the sugar with 1 tbsp water and then brush on the buns to give them a glossy finish.