Wednesday, 7 December 2011

chocolate orange honey buns - we should cocoa

it may seem as though i've just gone back on my word re Christmas baking but what the heck... you only live once, what can i say...?

oh yes... the house is filled with the glorious sticky aroma of oranges and sweet sweet honey... there's even the hint of cinnamon thrown in there for good measure... the fire is roaring in the log burner... the dog is upside down on her bed... and I am baking the most wonderful chocolate orange honey buns for this months we should cocoa challenge hosted by Choclette over at Chocolate Log Blog, who's theme, as if you haven't guessed, is orange...

... as a kid my grandpa Henry, who's family owned a fruit wholesalers on the Humber docks, used to come down to visit in the holidays and bring with him trays of fruit.  They were those old fashioned trays where each piece of fruit would be individually wrapped in fine tissue paper, you rarely see it now but it was a lovely thing and made eating each orange or apple like opening a present... and always, without fail, my grandma Jennie would have placed a Terry's Chocolate Orange amongst the fruit.  One for me and one for my brother.  I simply love the chocolate orange combination and still regard a Terry's Chocolate Orange as a special treat to be savoured... each individual segment a thing of beauty.

these honey buns are adapted from a recipe by the brilliant Valentine Warner and they are simply adorable...

Chocolate Orange Honey Buns

for the buns
150g plain four
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
20g caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet of fast action yeast
3 large free-rage eggs, lightly whisked
75g diced butter - softened
100g co_operative Fair-trade Ghanaian dark chocolate with spices and orange oil - finely chopped

for the syrup
500g caster sugar
4 long strips of orange rind
the juice of one orange
500ml cold water
100g runny honey - I used a Mexican Orange Blossom Honey
4 tablespoons orange liqueur

- mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, add half the eggs a whisk together until sticky

- gradually add the remaining eggs, alternating them with the btter and mix to a soft dough, then beat with a wooden spoon until soft

- add the chocolate pieces and beat until mixed through

- spoon the mixture into a 12 hole muffin tray... i've used some heart shaped silicone moulds and some mini round cupcake trays... leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size

- make the syrup by heating the sugar and water in a pan with the orange peel - bring to the boil and let it bubble for 3 minutes

- take it off the heat and add the honey and the liqueur and let it cool

- meanwhile bake the honey buns in a hot oven (200C) for 12-14 minutes then set aside to cool

you can bottle the buns in the liqueur and eat them gradually over Christmas but I would put 4 or 5 aside, drench them in syrup and eat them fresh... they are sublime!

eat and of course, enjoy!



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