Fruit and Chocolate Chip Hot-Cross Buns and Egg-Dyeing

Easter’s just a few days away; a good excuse to whip up some hot cross buns and fill the house with the scent of warm spices and freshly baked bread! I have been feeling rather despondent lately and no sweets, desserts, entertainment or even ferocious crocheting could snap me out of this blue fog. No major concerns, no dramas; in fact I’m in a good place at the moment. April has certainly kept me occupied with birthday cakes, ‘New Baby’ cupcakes for the coming week and loads of crocheting projects that I hope to turn into a moolah-making venture, albeit small, it should be fun!  Yet, here I am feeling down in the dumps; Bah! Must be the shorter days and longer, colder nights <shrugs shoulders>

Alright, time to stop being a sourpuss. I tried to channel all that emo-ness into the upcoming Easter festivities. While I don’t exactly celebrate it, other than the usual pig-out sessions with whoever’s not on a long-weekend getaway, this is a good excuse to get creative in the kitchen. So I’ve decided to load up my hot cross buns with rum-soaked sultanas, peel, dark chocolate chips and crosses made from a flour and hazelnut paste. Buns turned out really soft and scrumptious indeed especially when consumed warm and slathered with butter!

  

Had a play with egg-dyeing as well; looked up some tips from Martha Stewart.com. Mine were simply dyed with food colouring using the boiled method; hardboiling the eggs in a simmering solution of water, colour and vinegar. I tried using elastic bands, fronds and sprigs of herbs from my garden for pretty imprints but I suppose I lacked the patience and finesse to produce more intricate results. Still love the colours though! :) Can’t wait to experiment further with this craft especially blowing the eggs out of their shells then colouring, painting, stencilling  or applying decoupage on them; I could see myself going nuts!

Drying out the dyed hard boiled eggs in the oven

Magic Eggs?

Alien Purple Egg?
 

 Blue egg with very faint carrot-leaf imprint

 Dinosaur Egg? :mrgreen:

Well better luck with the eggs next time. Tomorrow I’ll be attempting giant chocolate eggs! It will be one big happy mess in my kitchen! 😛 And hopefully, those chocolate endorphins will help kick the blues in the butt!

Fruit and Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

A)  14 g dried yeast
       50 g caster sugar
       375 ml warm milk (body/blood temperature 37oC)

B)  600 g plain flour
      1 teaspoon mixed spice
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

C)  60 g butter, cut into small cubes
      1 egg

D)  70 g sultanas, rinsed with water then soaked with 2 tablespoons rum
      60 g dark chocolate chips

Flour & Hazelnut Paste

35 g plain flour
40 ml water
20 g hazelnut meal
30 g brown sugar
20 g butter
25 ml frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
20 ml water (extra)

Bun Glaze

2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
zest of one lemon

  1. Combine (A) in a small bowl; cover with cling-wrap and stand in warm place for about 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.
  2. Sift (B) into a mixing bowl; pour in the yeast mixture, (C) egg and butter and with a dough hook, set to knead on medium speed for 6 minutes or until dough is elastic. Alternatively, knead with hands until smooth and elastic. Add (D) and knead well into the dough; cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave to proof in a warm area (35oC warm oven would be ideal) until dough has doubled in size. (Mine took 35 minutes)
  3. Grease a 10 inch square pan or a swiss roll tray.
  4. Punch/Knock back the dough then turn out onto a lightly floured surface; divide the dough into 16 equal sized portions then knead into balls. Place buns on greased tray, cover loosely with cling wrap then let them proof  for another 15 – 20 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. While the buns are proofing, make the flour and hazelnut paste; bring the butter, brown sugar and water to the boil; stir in the flour and hazelnut meal and stir the mixture until you get a thick paste that leaves the sides of the pan (cook for about 1 minute over small to medium heat). Transfer this paste to a bowl. With electric beaters or a whisk, mix in the frangelico and extra water a little at a time and incorporate well with the flour paste. Spoon this into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tube and when ready, pipe crosses on top of the buns.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 220oC (200oC for fan-forced)
  7. Bake buns for 20 minutes; meanwhile make the bun glaze by bringing all glaze ingredients to the boil (until sugar dissolves). When ready, immediately brush warm glaze on hot buns. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Serve warm with butter. 
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3 comments to Fruit and Chocolate Chip Hot-Cross Buns and Egg-Dyeing

  • Aww sorry to hear about your Autumn Blues but it is contagious and seems to be going around. Hope you feel better soon! And love the dyed eggs. They’re gorgeous :)

  • Mei Sze

    Thanks gal, this feeling absolutely sucks! 😛 I usually enjoy Autumn; mushroom picking season, pumpkin soups, leaf changing colours…sigh…oh well..I’ll go kill some zombies now ( P vs Z)

  • Vyanne

    Such beauties, both buns and eggs!