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Author Notes: The softest buttery brioche, plump boozy raisins and lashings of brandied caramel with hits of slightly bitter dark chocolate. It all makes these sticky buns fantastic for a Christmas treat and very hard to resist.
I came across Drizzle and Dip’s recipe for Hot Cross Cinnamon Sticky Buns with its distinct Easter feel in April this year. It looked delicious and I immediately saved it, knowing that I would want to make a Xmas version, adding numerous splashes of brandy and definitely some dark chocolate for an added bit of Xmas decadence. —heinstirred
- .25 cups warm water
- 10 grams instant dry yeast
- 50 grams butter, and extra for greasing
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (heaped)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups flour (and extra for dusting)
- Plumping the Raisins:
- .33 cups boiling water
- .33 cups brandy
- .5 cups Muscovado sugar
- .25 cups light brown or caramel sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 2 tablespoons candied citrus peel, finely diced
- 100 grams 70% dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks or blitzed in the food processor (not too fine)
- 1 cup raisins
- 40 grams butter, at room temp
- 115 grams butter
- .75 cups muscovado sugar
- .75 cups cream
- 1 tablespoon liquid glucose
- .25 cups golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
- .5 cups raisins
- Make the dough:
- Combine the water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Set aside for 5 minutes to dissolve and become frothy.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with only 3 of the 4 cups of flour.
- Fit a paddle attachment and mix on a low speed until just combined.
- Change to a dough hook attachment and mix. While mixing, slowly add the remaining 1 cup of flour, and continue to mix for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
- Grease a mixing bowl with butter and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the top with some more butter, cover with plastic cling wrap and set aside in a warm area to rise until doubled in size. (this can take about 1 – 2 hours)
- Plump all the raisins:
- Place the raisins for the filling and topping in a bowl.
- Cover with the boiling water and brandy and let it steep for about 30 minutes.
- Strain into colander and let it drain.
- Divide into the quantity needed for the filling and sauce.
- Make the filling:
- Combine all the ingredients except the butter and plumped raisins and mix. Set aside
- Assemble the buns:
- Punch the risen dough down and tip onto a floured surface, sprinkle with more flour so the rolling pin does not stick and roll into a rectangular shape about 45cm long and 30cm wide.
- Dust off any excess flour and spread the softened butter for the filling over the entire surface.
- Sprinkle the sugar and chocolate filling evenly over this.
- Scatter 1 cup of raisins over the sugar mixture and gently press the filling down.
- Starting from the longest edge, roll the dough and filling up until you have a long log. Brush off any excess flour as you roll and keep the join seam underneath.
- Let the log rest where it is while making the topping
- Caramel Sauce:
- Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat, and then add all the other ingredients except raisins.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has come together and is golden brown with a nice sheen (about 3–4 minutes).
- Pour ¾ of the glaze into baking pan (about 22cm x 32 cm), swirl this around to evenly coat the bottom. Set the rest of the sauce aside.
- Sprinkle the raisins over the sauce evenly.
- Trim the edges of the log and then cut it into 16 even pieces.
- Place the 16 cut slices of log on top of the caramel and raisins, allowing some space in between for proving.
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C and bake the buns for 35 minutes until golden brown.
- Check the buns halfway through. If they are browning too fast, cover loosely with tin foil to prevent over browning.
- Remove from the oven and spread the remaining glaze over the buns.
- Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack.