It seems a crime that I've not had a single hot cross bun in the run up to Easter. How has this happened?! I'm baffled. But somehow this disastrous slip-up has occurred, and I am adamant that I should remedy it in style.
By 'style', I mean homemade. And by homemade, I mean by me. Risky business. I could end up with a stodgy ball of dough crammed with shrivelled fruit, a burnt 'glaze' adorning the carefully placed cross on top.
But in my mind I am picturing a deliciously springy bun, jam-packed with an aromatic fusion of dried fruit and spices, and a glorious white cross as its crowning glory.
Hmmm. It appears that the result was an amalgamation of the two. Though possibly leaning more towards the former proposed outcome than to the latter.
I followed Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall's recipe, though pinched an idea from Felicity Cloake to infuse the milk with spices before using. Unfortunately I can’t say that this oomphed up the flavour by much. I also found my hot cross buns lacking in sweetness. Their texture was nice enough, though I would have preferred a slightly squidgy-er exterior. Lets just say they were not quite the indulgent treat I was hoping for.
This is not to say I wouldn’t attempt to make a hot cross bun again. I am determined to achieve the glorious wonder of a homemade version that had been promised to me by all who had made them in the past. But in the future I will follow Felicity’s ‘Perfect Hot Cross Bun’ recipe.
I am kicking myself for not simply doing so from the start, she had after all tried and tested many different approaches before settling on her proposed method. And on comparison now of the two different recipes, I can see that Felicity combines a much richer mix of ingredients than Hugh, which I am certain would have yielded a more luxurious batch of hot cross buns. Silly me. Hindsight's a bugger.
But, all is not lost! I still have a tasty bun of sorts on my table. And I will be spreading these Easter treats as gifts amongst loved ones… Lucky them!
NB. Upon a second tasting I now retract that last paragraph. I will be hanging my head in shame at these poor specimens of a hot cross bun, which I will now have to distribute as Easter gifts due to lack of time and funds in order to find suitable replacements. Hmph.