About this recipe:We've modernised hot cross buns in our house - these involve chocolate! You can use milk or dark chocolate but Green & Black's do a dark chocolate with ginger and it works really well with the spice in the hot cross buns. We usually don't get a chance to make them until Easter Saturday and they disappear in no time.
Add the dried yeast and warm milk to a large bowl. Cover and set aside for 5 or 10 minutes, until it looks frothy.
Sift the flour into another bowl and use your fingers to rub in the margarine, until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add salt, sugar, spices and candied mixed peel. Pour in the yeast-milk mixture, and add beaten egg and chocolate pieces. Mix to form a dough (it will be sticky).
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5 - 10 minutes.
Rub some cooking oil around the surface of a large mixing bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Knead again for a few minutes, then cut into 12 even sized buns. Place in a deep-sided, lightly greased or lined 23cm (9 inch) baking tin. Cover with tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise again (about 30 to 40 minutes this time). Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / Gas mark 6.
For the crosses: mix the flour and water together to form a soft paste. Flavour with almond extract (optional). Spoon into a clear plastic sandwich bag. Seal and snip off one of the corners, then pipe crosses onto each bun.
Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
For the sugar glaze: dissolve 80g sugar in a small pan with 3 tablespoons water. Brush the buns with the glaze while they are still hot. Cool on a wiore rack until the glaze has set.