Title says it all! You can choose to decorate them with the traditional flour and water cross or - after they're cooked - pipe on a melted chocolate cross. I make these without the fruit but I think currants and orange peel would be a good addition if you want some fruit.
1 1/2 cups (375ml) warm milk
1 (7g) sachet yeast
a pinch of salt
4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
60g butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup chocolate bits
1/3 cup water and 1/4 cup flour (for the cross paste)
100g cooking or dark chocolate (for chocolate cross)
For the glaze
a couple of tablespoons of jam (e.g. apricot jam) or
2 tablespoons sugar & a good pinch of cinnamon heated in 1/4 cup water till dissolved
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Put the milk in a jug and sprinkle in the yeast, salt and a pinch of the sugar. Stir lightly then let it sit till foamy – approx 10 minutes.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl. Rub in the butter then stir in the sugar and chocolate bits. Lightly mix the egg into the milk mixture and add that to the dry ingredients.
Mix together till it becomes a soft dough and then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead till smooth – about 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place till doubled in size – about an hour. Could be more or less depending on the temperature and ingredients.
When it's done, punch it down a few times with your fist and then knead it again on a lightly floured surface a few more times.
Divide into equal portions – 12 or 16 depending on your preferred size, and knead each one lightly. Place them on a greased or lined baking tray. They can be close as they will continue to expand during cooking but will pull apart nicely when done. Cover the tray and let them sit another 30 minutes or until doubled in size again.
If you are adding the paste crosses do it now: mix together flour and water to a paste. Put it into a plastic bag, snip off a small cut at the corner, and pipe a cross onto the top of each bun, going all the way to the end of each bun.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Cook for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 180 degrees and cook for another 15 minutes until the buns sound hollow when tapped.
Take the buns out of the oven and put them on a rack to cool (you don't need to separate them at this point) and brush the glaze over them.
If you want to do chocolate crosses, melt the chocolate and apply in the same way as the flour cross.
Substitute some of the flour with cocoa to make a chocolate flour cross - about a tablespoon.
Altered ingredient amounts.
For the first time ever making chocolate hot cross buns, I was impressed at how easy it was after all. Thanks for the chocolate choc chip idea...the kids prefer these to regular fruit buns. - 23 Apr 2011