I’m not a big fan of hot cross buns, so I usually don’t bother buying them, let alone making them. I may eat one once a year during Easter, but that’s about it. Last weekend, while browsing through a Taiwanese cookbook, I chanced upon these newfangled hot cross buns, em, haha, not really, but they looked like hot cross buns with the cross on top. They were really just a variation of the popular cocktail buns from Hong Kong.
The Cocktail Buns I’d made previously were from a Hong Kong cookbook, both the filling and the topping did not contain any egg. However, this version from the Taiwanese cookbook used egg in both the filling and the topping, so the filling was slightly just that bit moister but the topping was not as distinct after baking. They were as tasty as the cocktail buns though, so I’m having them as my hot cross buns with an Asian twist for this Easter…
Hot Cross Buns with Cream Fluff Filling.
Here, I’ve made two versions, one without coconut, and the other one with coconut which is what the original recipe from the book has. Both are good, so it is up to your individual taste whether you like coconut or not to choose which one you are going to make…
Makes 8 buns
1/2 portion Sweet Bun Dough, either water-roux version or scalded-flour version
desiccated coconut, for coating (optional)
reaminder of the beaten egg from making filling and paste, for eggwash
Cream Fluff Filling:
60g butter, softened
50g icing sugar
20g egg, beaten
70g milk powder
Mexican Paste Topping:
20g butter, melted
16g (about 5 teaspoons) icing sugar
10g egg, beaten
20g plain or cake flour
1. To prepare the Cream Fluff Filling: Cream softened butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the beaten egg, then fold through the milk powder. Cover and set aside until needed. Just before using, divide into 8 equal portions of about 25g each.
Cream Fluff Filling.
2. To prepare the Mexican Paste Topping: Mix sugar with melted butter. Mix in egg then flour. Transfer paste into a small freezer/snack bag with a tiny cut, about 2mm, at one corner for piping.
Mexican Paste Topping.
3. Prepare the Sweet Bun Dough (either water-roux version or scalded-flour version) as directed up to step 3. Take one of the 8 small divided balls and roll out with a rolling pin into a flat round disc; with edges thinner than the centre. With a small palette (or bread) knife, spread about 25g of the cream fluff filling onto the centre of the dough disc. Try not to get any filling onto the edges of the dough or it will be very difficult to seal.
4. Gather the outer edges of the dough disc and wrap up the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal in the filling. Place sealed edges down on a lined or lightly greased baking tray, or use loaf tins to bake as I’ve done here (pic #1). Repeat with the other 7 dough balls.
5. If you are making the coconut flavoured buns, place the desiccated coconut on a plate. Spray the surface of each bun with a little water using a spray bottle. Then grab the base of each bun, the sealed end, and dip the top into the desiccated coconut to coat.
6. Let rise, lightly covered, until double in size. When ready, brush with eggwash (no need to eggwash if you are making coconut coated buns). Then pipe a cross on top of each bun with the Mexican paste (pic #2).
7. Bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown (pic #3).
Taste: Soft, fluffy and light buns with delicious fluffy creamy filling
Consume: Best served warm but also good at room temperature
Storage: May be kept in airtight container for a couple of days at room temperature in cool weather, or up to a week in the refrigerator; re-heat in the oven or microwave before serving
Recipe Reference(s): Filling and topping recipes from ‘奶鬆麵包’ recipe in the Chinese cookbook ‘簡易家庭麵包製作’ by 王志雄 and 游純雄