Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Super Soft and Moist Black Chocolate Hot Cross Buns - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Another day has passed and it's April again.

This is the time of the year when we eat lots of hot cross buns and chocolate.

And so I baked these Super Soft and Moist Black Chocolate Hot Cross Buns... Another interesting hot cross buns that we can't buy at our everyday supermarkets and bakeries. Plus, these buns will also stay soft and moist even on the next day of bake! YUM!!!

It's a must-bake if you are a fan of hot cross buns and dark chocolate.

super soft moist black chocolate hot cross buns
Super Soft and Moist Black Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
made with very dark and intense chocolate

Why and what is black chocolate?

This recipe is actually an adapted version of my Super Soft and Moist Chocolate Hot Cross Buns that I baked at HERE and the only thing that I change is to substitute the regular Dutch processed cocoa powder with black cocoa powder. That's all! LOL!!!

Unlike the regular Dutch-processed brown-coloured cocoa powder, the black cocoa powder is extra-highly Dutch-processed (alkalised), thus resulting it to be black in its colour. The brown Dutch-processed cocoa powder is neutral in pH (7) whereas the black Dutch-processed cocoa powder is slightly more alkaline at pH 8.

Where can I buy it?

I bought mine via online. If you do a Google search with "black cocoa powder", I'm sure that you will find several online stores in your country or area that will sell and post the item to you. It is usually not expensive.

Due to the slight difference in pH, the highly Dutch-processed black cocoa powder tastes slightly more bitter. It also tends to absorb and retain moisture better than the regular cocoa powder. Thus, these buns need to be baked at least 17 minutes, 1-2 mins longer than baking the regular chocolate buns. In another words, these black chocolate buns are moister and darker with a hint of bittersweet aftertaste. In fact, this small amount of cocoa powder in this recipe is correctly balanced. So please do not modify the recipe by adding more black cocoa powder as the buns will lose its balance of maintaining their moisture causing them to be dry and also way too bitter to be nice!

Watch my video to see how I baked these extremely chocolaty hot cross buns. Regardless of which cocoa powder, I always bake my chocolate hot cross buns using chocolate with 70% cocoa so that they are always ultimately chocolate!!!

Music: Bensound

super soft moist black chocolate hot cross buns
Comparing with the regular "brown-colour" chocolate hot cross buns,
these black chocolate hot cross buns are black and darker.
super soft moist black chocolate hot cross buns
Moister, darker and less sweet with a hint of bittersweet aftertaste.
Extremely ultimately chocolate!!!

I'm actually happy that April and Easter are here as I have been longing for a break. For this Easter, my family and I will be traveling at Tasmania. So I will be taking a break from baking and blogging for the next 2-3 weeks.

Meanwhile, if you like my recipes, videos and baking tips. please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids or SUBSCRIBE my YouTube channel at here.

Unfortunately, I know that Facebook and Instagram have lost its popularity recently. Hence, it will be nice if you can show your support by subscribing to my YouTube channel at here so that you will be informed of my latest video / recipe promptly whenever it is published.

I would like to say again that every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE from you means a lot to me. I will know that I'm in the right track and continue to bake and share more in the future. Thank you so much for your support! And I will "see" you soon at the end of April.

Here's the recipe.

Makes 9 buns in one 20 cm (8 inches) square pan

For the bread dough:
220g water, lukewarm
300g bread flour with 12% protein
25g milk powder - please do not use milk to replace water and milk powder.
30g caster sugar
2g salt
10g black cocoa powder - see the above description
1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla seeds scraped from 1 bean
35g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp instant dry yeast
100g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips - I used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa

For the cross:
20g (2 tbsp) self-raising flour
30ml (2 tbsp) cold water

For the glaze:
25g (2 tbsp) caster sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) hot boiling water

extra butter or vegetable oil spray to grease baking pan
extra bread flour for dusting and shaping

For the bread dough:
If you are using a breadmaker to knead and prove the dough, add all ingredients except chocolate chips into the breadmaker according to this order. Use "dough" setting to mix and knead dough for 30 mins or until the dough is elastic and stretchy. At the last 3-5 mins of kneading (or some breadmakers will beep), add chocolate chips and continue to knead until the chocolate chips are well incorporated. Then, let the dough prove for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

If you are using an electric mixer with an hook attachment or your hand to knead, combine all ingredients except butter and chocolate chips in the mixing bowl and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Then, knead in the butter until incorporated. Continue to knead for at least 25 mins or until the dough is elastic. It is important that the dough has to be elastic and stretchy. Add chocolate chips and continue to knead for 3-5 mins until the chocolate chips are well incorporated. Cover the dough and allow the dough to prove in a warm and humid place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Grease square pan with butter or vegetable oil spray. Using your lightly floured hands, divide dough into 9 equal portions, about 80g each. Pull, stretch and shape all portions into smooth balls. Arrange the dough in the greased pan. Allow the bread to rise in a warm and humid place for another 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven 350°F or 180°C.

For the cross:
Mix water and flour until it forms a smooth and thick paste. And it's ok to mix the mixture all in a disposable piping bag. Transfer into a piping bag if required and snip off the end to make a fine hole. Pipe a cross on top of each bread bun and bake for 17-18 mins or until thoroughly baked inside and NOT over-baked but must be at least 17 mins
. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool slightly to warm.

For the glaze:
Before baking the bread, mix sugar and hot boiling water until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Do not add more water if the sugar is not completely dissolved. Set aside to let the glaze to cool to room temperature.

Brush a layer of glaze on the warm buns and it's ok to apply just a layer of glaze without using all of it. Allow the buns to cool further if required. Serve warm, cold, or toasted.

Store any leftover in an airtight container at room temperature when they are completely cooled so that they will stay soft and moist even on the next day. However, please consume these buns within the next day of bake because these super moist buns won't be super moist anymore on the day after next!

However, when the buns (even on the 4th day of bake) are slightly heated using a microwave with high power for 10-20 secs, they will be as soft and moist like they have been freshly baked!

Happy Easter and Happy Baking
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