1. For the buns: Line two rimmed baking trays with greaseproof or parchment paper.
2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, yeast, spices, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and stir well to mix.
3. Add 400 ml of the water and the butter, and mix until the water is incorporated. Beat until well-blended and the consistency of thick cake batter, adding a little more water if the mixture is too thick.
4. Gently stir in the candied peel and chopped chocolate. Place the bowl in a warm place and leave for about 25-30 minutes until the mixture is slightly swollen.
5. For the crosses: Combine the flour, cornflour, and sugar into a small bowl and gradually whisk in enough water to make a smooth pipeable paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a flat nozzle, e. g. #45 basketweave tip.
6. Take 12 mounds of the dough mixture and arrange between the baking trays, spaced apart.
7. Pipe crosses on top of each bun with the prepared paste. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
8. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160° fan) | 350F | gas 4. After rising, bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden, risen, and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and place the tray on a wire rack to cool.
9. For the glaze: When ready to serve, brush with the warmed marmalade.
1 hour 10 minutes
- For the buns:
- 425 g | 3 cups plain flour
- 75 g | 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tsp active dried yeast
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 60 g | 1/4 cup golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 small unwaxed lemon, zest only, finely grated
- 425 ml warm water, at ~43°C | 110F, plus extra as needed
- 120 g | 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp mixed candied peel, chopped
- 100 g | 3/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
- For the crosses:
- 125 g | 1 cup plain flour
- 3 tsp cornflour
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- For the glaze:
- 150 g | 1/2 cup thin cut marmalade, warmed