Cardamon, chocolate and pistachio hot cross buns

This is a luxurious version of hot cross buns for those who are not fond of the dried fruits and spices in the traditional version. These buns have a wonderful warmth from the cardamon, melting rich chocolatey insides and a refreshing orange glaze topped off with pistachio. Yum!

50g butter

50g brown sugar

6 cardamon pods, crushed

50g pistachios, finely chopped

zest of one orange

150g dark chocolate, chopped

200ml milk

1 egg

400g bread flour

50g cocoa powder

10g dried yeast

Add the butter, sugar, crushed cardamon pods and orange zest to a small saucepan and combine over a low heat. 

Add a pinch of salt and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is lukewarm.

Remove from the heat and add the milk and egg. Whisk well.

Add the flour, cocoa and yeast to a separate mixing bowl and stir through.

Pour the milk mixture into this dry mixture and stir to form a rough dough.

Turn the dough out onto a dusted work surface and knead for 10min until smooth and elastic.

Lightly oil a mixing bowl and transfer the dough to it. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place. Leave the dough to prove for 1 – 2 hours until doubled in size.

In the meantime, chop the chocolate into pieces that are more or less the size of rice grains.

When the dough is ready, place it on a surface dusted with flour and knock out the air by kneading it for a minute or so.

Sprinkle the chopped chocolate onto the dough and start kneading. Push the pieces of chocolate that fall out back into the dough.

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

Place the buns 1cm apart on the prepared tray, leaving room between them to expand.

Cover with a damp tea towel and prove for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

Mix 30 – 45ml of flour with some water to make a thick batter. Pour the batter into a piping bag or make your own by using the corner end of a plastic bag and simply snipping off the tip of the corner.

Pipe a steady line across an entire row of buns. Keep doing this until all the buns have crosses on them.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Transfer the buns to a cooling rack.


100g icing sugar

zest of one orange

10ml orange juice

3 cardamon pods

Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan and heat over a very low heat, stirring constantly.

Paint the glaze onto the warm buns and sprinkle with the pistachio nuts.

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