I got fairly sick of hot cross buns this year too - spending a day making endless batches will do that to a person - and so by the time the weekend was over I wanted something light and non-fruity, but with a hint of real chocolate (not the Easter egg kind).
These fluffy brioche buns were the result. They're most excellent with a generous splodge of cream cheese and a dollop of marmalade - and with a long weekend coming up, you should think about adding them to your repertoire.
Chocolate Brioche Buns
The instructions below detail how to make these with a stand mixer - it can be done by hand, but it's a bit more labour intensive. I've designed this recipe so the buns are ready for breakfastIf you don't want the buns for breakfast, the dough will rise in about an hour at room temperature.
275ml milk (I use Zany Zeus 'blue')
500g high grade flour
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g unsalted butter, soft but not melted, diced
80g good quality dark chocolate, melted (I use Whittaker's 60 per cent cacao)
100g good quality dark chocolate, smashed into little bits (I use Whittaker's 60 per cent cacao)
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp milk
Sugar glaze: 1/4 cup boiling water mixed with 1/4 cup brown sugar
Scald the milk and set aside to cool to lukewarm. Add the eggs and stir to mix.
Put the flour, yeast, salt and sugar into the bowl of a freestanding mixer and stir until combined, then pour in the egg and milk mixture and mix well.
Using the dough hook, mix on low-medium speed (about 3 or 4) until the dough is shiny and elastic, about 5-8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary (turn the mixer off first!).
Keeping the mixer on medium speed, drizzle in the melted chocolate. When it has all absorbed, start add the butter, one piece at a time, until it is all mixed in.
Cover the bowl with plastic and put in the fridge overnight, during which time it will double in size.
In the morning, tip the dough out on to a lightly floured worktop. knead in more choco
Cover with a cloth for 15 minutes, while you make a cup of tea and heat the oven to 180C.
Shape the dough into 10-12 balls and place on a lined baking tray. Brush each one with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and cooked through. Brush with the hot sugar glaze and remove to a rack to cool (though they will probably all be eaten before that happens).
The chocolate and egg component make this the perfect opportunity to link up with two of my favourite bloggers, Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Dom of Belleau Kitchen. This month both Karen's Tea Time Treats and Dom's latest invention, Simply Eggcellent, have a chocolate theme. Click the links to find more chocolatey, eggy goodness.