Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

24 Aug

Everything’s been a little bit stressful and crazy lately. The Husband has been working especially hard and has been completely exhausted, so I thought I’d bake him a little something to cheer him up.

These are a complete comfort food: dense, rich chocolate brownies studded with milk chocolate chunks and marbled with swirls of velvety cream cheese. It’s like two desserts in one! Try to resist. Seriously.

The basic brownie recipe comes from Marian Keyes’ wonderful Saved By Cake cookbook, which I’ve altered to add the milk chocolate chunks and cream cheese swirls.

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

225g dark chocolate (70%)

225g butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

100g brown sugar

100g caster sugar

170g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

100g milk chocolate

For the cheesecake swirl:

200g cream cheese

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 egg

1. Grease and line a square cake tin and set aside, then preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (that’s 325 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 3).

2. Break the dark chocolate into pieces and melt with the butter, either in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water or in the microwave, until all the lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth and silky. If microwaving, do so in thirty second blasts, stirring between each zap in the microwave.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the 2 eggs, both the egg yolks, the caster sugar and the brown sugar with a stand mixer or handheld beaters until the mixture becomes thick and is the colour of light toffee.

4. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, and gently fold together to avoid the mixture congealing.

5. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the chocolate mixture.

6. Break up the milk chocolate into pieces/chunks and gently fold into the brownie mixture.

7. To make the cheesecake mixture, beat together the cream cheese, caster sugar and the egg with electric beaters or a stand mixer in a new bowl for 1 -2 minutes until thick and creamy.

8. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the prepared tin.

9. Dollop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter.

10. Pour the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese dollops.

11. Spoon more of the cheesecake mixture over the top of the brownie batter in large dollops and marble using a flat bladed knife.

12. Bake for 28 -30 minutes, until the cream cheese swirls have started to firm up. Allow to cool in the tin for approximately 2 hours before turning out the brownie and cutting it into squares.

Store in an airtight container – though I have to say, I don’t think these will be sticking around for long!

As a side note, this post is also dedicated to my wonderful friends Tarryn and Pete, who are celebrating the safe arrival of their first child, a beautiful boy named Percy. Congratulations guys! Sending lots of love and hugs across the seas to you and the bubba!❤

You can view Tarryn’s lovely blog Butter & Buntings here.

Enjoy! xx

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

18 Aug

I’m back! Sorry for being MIA lately – The Husband and I have recently moved into our own home (!), and between moving, unpacking and trying to get settled, I’ve hardly had time to get into the kitchen. I needed an excuse to get me back in there, really.

And the excuse came in the form of request for a birthday cake. Perfect! I was specifically asked to make a carrot cake, which I was really excited about. Carrot cake is one of my absolute favourites, and honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t posted about it before. There’s just something about that moist, dense cake coupled with creamy frosting that’s absolutely irresistible. In fact, I think I love carrot cake so very much because it’s an excuse to make copious amounts of cream cheese frosting. Adding maple syrup to the cream cheese gives the flavour a whole other, deeper dimension, and it works with so many cakes – red velvet, pumpkin spice, carrot (of course!)…the list is endless! All I can say is trust me, it’s worth it.

This is a very simple carrot cake recipe, which is slightly adapted from the original found in the Australian Women’s Weekly 100 Classic Cakes cookbook. The maple cream cheese frosting recipe is my own, which has sprung from about five different variations all merged together. The carrot cake is moist, dense and bursting with spices, and topped with the creamy, maple-infused frosting makes it the perfect cake for birthdays, desserts or an afternoon tea with friends. I was sad to give it up once it was baked and decorated!

CARROT CAKE WITH MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

For the cake (note that I doubled the recipe):

250 ml vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3 eggs

3 cups firmly packed grated carrot

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 4) and grease and line a 22cm or 23cm round cake tin.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, eggs and brown sugar with an electric mixer until the the mixture becomes thick and creamy.

3. Add the carrots and nuts and the sifted dry ingredients and mix gently with a wooden spoon until combined.

4. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, though you ought to start checking the cake after 45 minutes in the oven. The cake is cooked when it is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack.

For the Maple Cream Cheese frosting:

90g butter

200g cream cheese

1/3 cup maple syrup

6 cups icing sugar, sifted.

1. Beat the butter, maple syrup and cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer for 2 – 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

2. Add 1/3 of the icing sugar and beat again to incorporate. Repeat the process until all the icing sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is thick and creamy.

3. Place the frosting in the fridge for 20 minutes to help it thicken up.

4. Frost the cake however you like – I placed frosting between the layers and over the top of the cake and decorated using extra chopped walnuts and sugar carrots. If you’d like to pipe, simply colour some of your left over frosting and fill a piping bag with an attached writing tip.

Enjoy! xx

Jubilee Tart & Banoffee Cupcakes

9 Jun

Where has this week gone? I was supposed to write this post on Monday, but the days have just slipped away!  I’m on ‘half term’ at the moment, which is British for ‘a whole week off from work in the middle of the school term’, and I’m not complaining one bit. Half term coincided with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which for all you non-Commonwealth folk is the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. You could hardly walk out your front door here in England without seeing Union Jack flags, bunting, and blue, white and red balloons waving in the breeze. The Husband and I were invited to a Jubilee barbeque/party on Sunday afternoon, and I thought I’d get in on the Jubilee action and make some Union Jack-inspired treats myself.

I was in an enormous hurry while I was baking these, mainly because *cough*I-forgot-to-buy-eggs-and-had-to-run-back-to-the-supermarket-halfway-through*cough*, so by the time I was back I was majorly running out of time to get everything done. I ended up using store-bought pastry (come on, you’ve done it too) and a tin of ready-made caramel filling for the cupcakes, because I didn’t have time to deal with making the caramel and waiting for it to cool down. Nevertheless, we got there in the end!

I decided on Banoffee cupcakes because I figured I should do something quintessentially British, and I was relatively sure that people would have eaten their way through enough Victoria sponge cakes already. Banoffee pie was supposedly created in East Sussex (which is actually where The Husband and I currently live), so it fit the bill perfectly! It’s a gorgeous mix of banana and toffee, and I was really excited to put it into cupcake form. Plus, I’d bought this ridiculously adorable cupcake decorating set the previous week, which I was desperate to use:

First up, let’s look at the Jubilee Tart. I saw this on the cover of a magazine at my local supermarket and I couldn’t resist! The recipe is ridiculously quick and easy (especially if you use ready-made pastry) and the tart itself is light, fresh and fruity. Yum!

JUBILEE TART

1 sheet shortcrust pastry

375g mascarpone cheese

225g low fat creme fraiche (or sour cream, if you can’t find creme fraiche)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 – 3 tablespoons icing sugar

400g strawberries, hulled

150g raspberries

300g blueberries

1. Place the sheet of shortcrust pastry, lightly pricked all over with a fork, on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 5) for 15 – 18 minutes, until cooked and light, golden brown in colour.

2. Remove the pastry from the oven and allow to cool.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the mascarpone and the creme fraiche until smooth and combined. Add the vanilla extract and the icing sugar (start with 2 tablespoons and taste it before adding a third!) and whisk to combine.

4. Dollop heaped spoonfuls of the mascarpone mixture onto the cooled pastry and spread it out with a spatula, leaving a 1 – 2 cm gap around the edge.

5. Arrange the berries into the shape of a Union Jack: use the strawberries for the centre cross, raspberries for the smaller arms and blueberries for the blue background.

6. Enjoy!

And now for the Banoffee! The banana cupcake recipe is a slight variation on the one from the lovely Marian Keyes’ Saved by Cake, and the cream cheese frosting recipe is my usual one.

BANOFFEE CUPCAKES

125g butter, softened

125g caster sugar

125g self raising flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4 – 5 ripe bananas, mashed

1 x 397g tin of ready-made caramel/dulce de leche

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 3) and line a muffin/cupcake tray with 12 cupcake papers.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the caster sugar together until they’re fluffy and light in colour.

3. Add the beaten eggs and mix well to combine.

4. Add the mashed bananas to the mixture and mix gently.

5. Add the sifted flour and fold into the mixture.

6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes (the banana seems to make the cakes take a bit longer to cook!), checking after 15 minutes and removing when the cupcakes are lightly golden in colour and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

7.  Once the cupcakes are cooked and having completely cooled, you need to hollow them out to fill them with caramel.

8. Take a sharp paring knife and cut a cone-shaped circle out of the middle of each of your cupcakes.

9. Place a dollop of caramel into the hole.

10. Replace the top of the cupcake so that it acts like a lid to hold the caramel in.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

125g butter, softened

225g cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups icing sugar

1. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 3 – 4 minutes, until light, fluffy and combined.

2. Add the vanilla and half of the sifted icing sugar and beat for 2 – 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3. Add the remaining sifted icing sugar and beat again for 2 – 3 minutes.

4. Place the frosting into a piping bag and attach a large, open star tip. Pipe swirls of frosting onto your cupcakes and decorate however you like. I added some red, white and blue sprinkles and used the cupcake toppers from my decorating kit.

5. Enjoy!

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

8 May

Like me, you’ve probably seen millions of variations of these babies floating around the internet, and I figured it was high time that I jumped on the bandwagon. Mine are a variation of the ones by the lovely Return of the Yummy and Bakerella, and I’d really just been waiting for an excuse – and what better excuse is there than a picnic on a long weekend? Yesterday was the May Day public holiday in the UK, which means we had a three day weekend! I could get used to this…

Cookies and cream has always been one of my favourite ice cream flavours, so the idea of turning it into a cupcake was too intriguing for me to pass up. You can use any chocolate cupcake recipe that you like – I used my go-to recipe, which I’ll link you to further down. Otherwise, the sky’s the limit!

These really are some of the most amazing, tastiest cupcakes I’ve ever made. The Oreos on the base give each chocolate cupcake a rich, biscuity crunch, and when topped with a  creamy vanilla frosting laced with Oreo pieces, the cookies and cream dream is complete. Just pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy. I mean, what’s a long weekend without a little indulgence?

COOKIES & CREAM CUPCAKES

Your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe – I used this one, but I halved it as I only wanted 12 cupcakes instead of 24!

2 x packets Oreo cookies

1. Follow the recipe and make your chosen chocolate cupcake mixture.

2. Line a 12 hole cupcake/muffin tray with cupcake papers and place an Oreo cookie into the bottom of each paper.

3. Carefully spoon your cupcake mixture over the top of the Oreos in the cupcake papers, filling to 2/3 full.

4. Bake for the specified time in the oven, until cupcakes are cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

COOKIES AND CREAM FROSTING

200g butter, softened and cubed

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

8 cups icing sugar, sifted

10 Oreo cookies, crushed/chopped

Extra Oreos, for decorating

1. Beat the cubed butter on high speed for 5 minutes until light and creamy.

2. Add the milk, vanilla and half of the sifted icing sugar and beat for 3 – 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat again for 3 – 4 minutes, until light, fluffy and a spreadable consistency.

4. Add the chopped/crushed Oreo cookies and beat on low speed for 1 minute to thoroughly combine.

5. Pipe or spread the frosting onto your cupcakes and decorate however you like; I finished mine off with Oreo cookies that I’d cut in half.

Enjoy! xx

Mars Bar Slice

29 Apr

For a variety of reasons, I’ve been feeling horribly, inescapably homesick over the last couple of weeks. And sometimes, when you’re far away and the cure – going home – is impossible, you need to bring a bit of home to wherever you are.

Mars Bar Slice is pretty much a childhood staple where I’m from, and there’s no question why. It’s gooey, crunchy and chocolatey, with just a hint of caramel flavour from the Mars Bars. It’s incredibly fast to make, there’s no oven baking time, and it’s deliciously, unapologetically calorific. It was one of the first things I ever made with my grandmother when I was a very small girl, and it immediately takes me back to sunny afternoons in her garden, drinking lemonade and eating home made picnic fare on a blanket under the lemon tree.

Sometimes you just need a taste of home, you know?

MARS BAR SLICE

 50g butter

1 tbsp golden syrup

4 x 54g Mars Bars

60g Rice Bubbles (or Rice Krispies, if you’re not from Australia or New Zealand)

200g milk chocolate

20g Copha/Crisco/Trex/whatever vegetable shortening you can find

MAKES APPROX. 21 SERVES

1. Grease and line a rectangular baking tray with either foil or baking paper, then set aside.

2. Slice each Mars Bar in half lengthways and then cut into small pieces.

3. Cube the butter and then place it in a small saucepan with the golden syrup and the Mars Bar pieces, stirring continuously over a low heat for approximately five minutes, or until the mixture has melted together and is smooth, thick and glossy. It may take several minutes for the nougat from the Mars Bars to fully melt into the mixture – just keep stirring, it will happen! Remove from the heat when the mixture is ready.

4. Pour the Rice Bubbles/Rice Krispies into the melted Mars Bar mixture and stir to combine. The mixture will become very, very thick and sticky extremely quickly.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press it down and into the corners with either your fingers or the back of a metal spoon so that it sticks together and the surface is smooth.

6. Place the tin into the fridge for 20 minutes to cool and harden the mixture.

7. Meanwhile, get your ch0colate, break it into pieces and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.

8. Add 20g of chopped vegetable shortening to the chocolate pieces.

9. Microwave in 30 second blocks of time, removing the bowl and stirring before each new burst in the microwave. The chocolate and shortening should melt together and be shiny and smooth.

10. Remove the tin from the fridge and pour the melted chocolate over the base of the slice so that the surface is completely covered.

11. Return the tin to the fridge for a further 30 minutes so that the chocolate can fully set.

12. Once the chocolate is fully set, remove the tin from the fridge and carefully lift the slice out of the tin by slowly lifting the sides of the foil/baking paper. Peel away the foil/baking paper and place the slice on a clean chopping board.

13. Using a large knife (I run mine under hot water for a few seconds to heat the blade), cut the slice into square pieces and serve. It will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for several days – except you probably won’t be able to resist it long enough for it to get anywhere near going bad!

Enjoy! x

Chocolate and Raspberry Brownies

25 Apr

I know that I’ve used raspberries in a ridiculous amount of recipes over the past few months, but after seeing the latest cover of BBC Good Food magazine, I couldn’t resist this one …

I seriously couldn’t pass them up.

…except, well, I’m too cheap/forgetful to actually buy the magazine to use the recipe (whoops!). So, I ended up adapting a recipe in Marian Keyes’ Saved by Cake cookbook, which I hadn’t had a chance to use yet.

And let me tell you, these are gorgeous. Moist, chocolatey goodness with just the right amount of gooeyness-to-cakeyness ratio and a tart, raspberry tang to balance it all out. I don’t know what it is about them, but these brownies are that little bit more grown up than the originals…maybe it’s the addition of one of your five fruits a day which make them more justifiable? Whatever it is, you need these in your life. Immediately.

So, without further ado (I mean, y0ur taste buds must be quivering in excitement. It’d be positively offensive for me to make them wait!), I give you…

CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY BROWNIES

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

225g butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

200g soft brown sugar

170g plain flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

150g raspberries

MAKES APPROX. 16

1. Heavily grease and/or line a 20cm (8in) square cake tin (I couldn’t find a square one in the cupboard, so I had to settle for a round one…you can do this if you have to!) and preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (that’s 325 Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 3).

2. Melt the chocolate and butter together, either using the microwave (heating in 30 second blocks and stirring between each block of time) or in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. It should be lovely, smooth and glossy once it’s melted.

3. In  a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and brown sugar until they come together and the mixture is golden brown.

4. Now add the melted chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture, stirring gently until combined.

5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and then pour into the chocolate mixture.

6. Gently fold the flour into the chocolate until just combined, making sure that there are no flour pockets hiding in the mixture.

7. Add the raspberries and fold them very gently through the brownie mixture and pour the mixture into the tin.

8. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, then remove the tin from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for an hour or two before turning the brownies out onto a board. I cut the edges off mine to square it out into a normal brownie shape.

Enjoy! x

Hot Cross Buns – Traditional and Chocolate!

6 Apr

One of the best things about working in the education system is getting time off work during the school holidays. And time off work means one thing: lots of time for baking. Winner!

With Easter coming up this weekend, I had the perfect excuse to fire up the oven. Who doesn’t love hot cross buns, really? Even if you don’t like the traditional fruit version (although I find this mind boggling, they’re too delicious to pass up!), I’ve got a decadent chocolate variety which seems to be a crowd pleaser for adults and children alike. I realise that hot cross buns aren’t a Good Friday staple everywhere, so if you’re from a country that has sadly deprived you of this Eastery goodness, then I highly recommend you give them a go. Your taste buds will thank you on bended knee!

Don’t be too nervous about the whole yeast/dough/rising/time consuming fiasco, either. These really are incredibly simple to make; time consuming, yes, but ridiculously easy and so worth your patience.

Let’s kick off with a bit of tradition…

HOT CROSS BUNS

4 1/3 cups strong bread flour (or plain flour, if you can’t find this)

2 x 7g sachets dried yeast

1/4 cup caster sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit of your choice (I went with sultanas, currants, raisins and citrus peel)

Zest and juice of 1 orange

40g butter

300ml milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Extra flour, if necessary

FLOUR PASTE

½ cup flour

5 tablespoons water

GLAZE

2 tablespoons apricot jam

MAKES 12 BUNS

Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the dried fruit with the zest and juice of the orange.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the milk, heating for about  a minute, until lukewarm. Add the warm milk mixture, fruit mixture and eggs to the flour. Using a low speed and paddle attachment on your stand mixer  (or a flat bladed knife if you’re working by hand) mix until the dough starts to come together.


Switch to a dough hook attachment and set on low speed for 5 – 7 minutes, or use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough and then knead on a floured board for ten minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add extra flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too runny/too sticky.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

Line a large, deep roasting dish with foil or baking paper and set aside. Punch the dough down using your fists to its original size, then knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

Cut the dough in half, then roll each half into a long, smooth log and cut the logs into six even sized pieces.

Shape each piece into a ball and roll round in your hands to smooth them. Place the balls into the lined dish, about 1cm apart.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (that’s 375 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 5).

Now make the flour paste for the crosses. Mix the flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a bit of extra water if paste is too thick. Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses.

Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are cooked through and golden.

Finally, make the glaze. Place 2 tablespoons of apricot jam in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, until melted. Brush the melted jam over the warm hot cross buns as soon as they’re out of the oven. Serve the buns warm or at room temperature – preferably with lashings of butter, either way – and enjoy!

And now, just in case you’re not getting enough chocolate already over Easter, let’s crack on with a new take on the old classic. This recipe is an adaptation of the one listed above, so I’ve skipped several photos in the step-by-steps (what’s the point of repeating them?). I had no idea that these aren’t widespread in England; back in Australia (at least, the part that I’m from) chocolate chip hot cross buns are almost as prevalent as the traditional variety. If you’ve never tried one, they make a delicious and gorgeously indulgent treat. I mean, really. It’s Easter. The more chocolate, the merrier!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE HOT CROSS BUNS

4 cups strong bread flour (or plain flour, if you can’t find this)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 x 7g sachets dried yeast

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used white and dark varieties)

150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

40g butter

300ml milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Extra flour, if necessary

FLOUR PASTE

½ cup flour

5 tablespoons water

GLAZE

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons caster sugar

MAKES 12 BUNS

Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the milk, heating for about  a minute, until lukewarm. Add the warm milk mixture, fruit mixture and eggs to the flour. Using a low speed and paddle attachment on your stand mixer  (or a flat bladed knife if you’re working by hand) mix until the dough starts to come together.

Switch to a dough hook attachment and set on low speed for 5 – 7 minutes, or use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough and then knead on a floured board for ten minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add extra flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too runny/too sticky. In the last minute or so of kneading, add the chopped chocolate pieces to the dough.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

Line a large, deep roasting dish with foil or baking paper and set aside. Punch the dough down using your fists to its original size, then knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

Cut the dough in half, then roll each half into a long, smooth log and cut the logs into six even sized pieces.

Shape each piece into a ball and roll round in your hands to smooth them. Place the balls into the lined dish, about 1cm apart.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (that’s 375 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 5).

Now make the flour paste for the crosses. Mix the flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a bit of extra water if paste is too thick. Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses.

Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

Finally, make the glaze. Place the water and sugar into a small saucepan and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for five minutes. Brush the warm glaze over the hot cross buns once they’re out of the oven.

Serve the buns warm or at room temperature – preferably with lashings of butter, either way – and enjoy!

Happy Easter – however you celebrate, wherever you are and whatever you believe. x

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