But I couldn’t. I opened the larder door and the chocolate chips called to me. I had some yeast sachets that needed using up, plus some strong white flour that’s almost done for. And I really don’t like waste you see. It bothers me hugely.
The rest is history. But look! They’re very pretty. See:
In my defence, these really are delicious. Soft, ever so slightly sweet bread rolls, enriched with egg and milk and with a truck load of chocolate chips that mean you never have to play ‘hunt the chocolate’, which is my least favourite culinary game. (Unless it involves eggs and it’s Easter of course).
I have given you quantities for 9, but I actually made a double batch at home. After gobbling one each, the rest are safely ensconced in the freezer at the moment. I’m going to resurrect them on Easter Monday, (which feels fitting if you know what I mean) to be eaten by the adults whilst the kids hunt for eggs at their annual hunt. We’ll have to be quick if we don’t want to share them. Perhaps the Easter bunny might be really good at hiding chocolate this year.
One year ago:
- Carrot & almond layer cake and
- Pecan & hazelnut granola and
- Banana & toffee muffins and
- Lemon drizzle loaf
Two years ago:
Three years ago:
Four years ago:
Chocolate chip hot cross tea cakes
Made 9 for me
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for shaping
- 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
- 7g salt
- 15g olive oil
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 350mls warm, body temperature, milk
- 200g dark chocolate chips
- 20g butter to grease the baking tray with
- Egg wash made from an egg with a pinch of salt stirred in
- ‘Cross’ paste made from 70g strong white flour mixed to a pipeable but stiff paste with cold water
- Glaze made from boiling 30mls water with 25g caster sugar
Okay. Here we go. Mix together the flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and caster sugar until everything is evenly distributed. Then add the warm milk and mix again. Then add the egg, beaten and mix again. Now you need to knead until shiny and elastic – probably about 10 minutes by hand or about 4 in a mixer. I used my stand mixer as this is a VERY sticky dough – it’s enriched with milk and eggs which mean it’s hard work by hand. It isn’t impossible but I am just warning you. A dough scraper might be useful if you do do this by hand. And remove all rings.
Once shiny and elastic (but still sticky) cover the bowl in clingfilm and leave to double in size. Once doubled add the chocolate chips. Mix well whilst knocking back the dough then scrape onto a floured work surface and divide the dough into as many pieces as you wish to make tea cakes. I went for 9 as I wanted large tea cakes.
Grease a baking tray lightly and then take your piece of dough, dip it in a little of the extra flour on the work surface so it doesn’t stick to your hands – then squash it in your hand and pull the edges into the middle, like you’re folding something exciting into the centre. Pinch these edges together and then place the bun pinched side down on the tray. Continue until all the dough is used and leave about a 1cm space between each tea cake. Cover loosely in clingfilm and leave to prove until double the size.
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Make the flour paste for the crosses by mixing 70g strong white flour with a little water until you have a stiff paste. It needs to be pipeable but not too thin that it drips down the tea cakes. Once the buns are double the size brush them in egg wash then pipe a cross onto each tea cake. The tea cakes will be touching by now through the proofing process so it’s actually easier to pipe along all the buns in one direction and then turn the tray and do the same – rather than pipe each cross individually. Pop into the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes but keep an eye on them as enriched doughs, especially ones with sugar in, have a tendency to burn easily. Also your tea cakes might be bigger or smaller than mine so will likely have a different baking time. They’re done when browned and risen.
Whilst they’re baking make the glaze by boiling 30g water with 25g caster sugar. When the buns are ready grab them from the oven and brush with the still warm glaze. Beware using too much as it makes for soggy bun bottoms by dripping under the buns and pooling on the baking tray. When cool enough to touch pull the buns apart and transfer to a rack. Eat slightly warm with chocolate spread or toasted with salted butter. Or in bread and butter pudding.
You can totally substitute different chocolates/dried fruits/spices etc – let me know if you do and how it turned out? If you fancy a more Easter spiced version then take a look here. Happy Easter!
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