An Easter tea party with home-made Hot Cross Buns

Earlier in the week I received a parcel from Merchant Gourmet inviting me to make some Hot Cross Buns, and not just any old Hot Cross Buns. Their recipe also includes Chestnut Puree and Dulce de Leche, which have to be two of my favourite things ever, so this was an opportunity that I didn't want to miss.

Chestnuts are a long time favourite, and especially my mum's Chestnut stuffing which is an absolute must at Christmas. I really must get her to write it down as even though I've tried to replicate it, I've not mastered it yet.

Dulce de Leche is a newer flavour to me - if you've not tried it, it's like a caramel sauce and delicious. I was first introduced to it at our local Argentinian restaurant who do a stunning dulce de leche bread pudding, and it's always worth trying to leave some room to end the meal on. But as they do delicious morcilla and huge steaks that's always tricky!

Making the Hot Cross Buns

mixing the dough
dulce de leche

Unusually there's dulce de leche mixed into the dough; to help ensure this was evenly mixed I stirred it through the warm milk and warm water mixture, and it gave the dough a warm, caramel colour which isn't surprising.

The upper arm work-out

With all the ingredients mixed, it was time for ten minutes of kneading. Its purpose is to stretch the gluten so the dough rises, but it's also good for an arm work-out! It's amazing that after ten minutes its appearance is so different.

before kneading
after kneading

Shaping the buns

The recipe suggests wrapping the dough around the chestnut and dulce de leche mixture but as I think the best way to have Hot Cross Buns is split and toasted I opted to use the mixture once they were toasted.

I had some challenges adding the crosses too, although they are my most successful attempt at crosses to date. I'd chosen a piping nozzle that was just too fine and the mixture struggled to flow out. I gave up at the right time and just before the piping bag burst - I wouldn't have been so happy about that. When I tried with a larger nozzle it was still hard to squeeze out, but much easier than my first go.

the second proove
adding the crosses

But when they came out of the oven, they looked great and I was impressed. 

out of the oven

They smelt good too, and we did well to resist trying one straight from the oven!

The Easter tea party 

Well it's (almost) Easter, so Easter bunnies, chicks and mini-Easter eggs were all included. And doesn't it look pretty?  

hot cross buns easter tea party

And yes, that's a tea cup full of mini-Easter eggs, I didn't want my tea getting cold.

easter bunnies & hot cross buns

The Hot Cross Buns were tasty too, they kept their caramel flavour and MOH thought they were the healthy brown sort, but the colour has come from the dulce de leche. They tasted better than the shop bought ones do, they had more about them if you know what I mean.

easter eggs and hot cross buns
easter chicks
easter personified

How do you like your Hot Cross Buns?


This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.