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!


  1. I would LOVE to be your honey bun if those were on the table in my kitchen! They look DELICIOUS!
    Great recipe and loved the tales of your family too.....

  2. They look delicious ...... and really cute when they are in the jar!

  3. Yum, these look great - I am constantly looking for Xmas pressie inspiration. How cute would one of these be in a small jar in a stocking... how long do you think they would last for?

  4. I just knew you'd catch that holiday spirit! There's something about a warm fire, impending holidays, and the scent of cinnamon that kicks it into gear!
    Remembering past holidays is a sure sign you've made it, Dom. These small buns of joy seal the deal ... bet that kitchen smelled wonderful!

  5. Bottled fruit, ok, bottled buns! Wow! Just love the idea, though I don't think they'd last long here.

  6. My mom always put a Terry's chocolate orange into my stocking and my own daughter has come to expect it too:D Love the whole chocolate orange combination!!

  7. Truly adorable . . . although there was a slight "awwww" moment as my dearly departed mother used to call me "honey bun" . . . awwwwww. :)

  8. Beautiful buns, love the big chunks of chocolate in them!

  9. I am drooling looking at these and wishing I could eat several of them right now! What a fantastic idea x

  10. Bottled honey buns, I daren't make them as I would have to eat them ALL in one go.
    This is something totally new to me and I can't believe how good they look. Brilliant! x

  11. Dom, these look utterly delicious. Chocolate cake/buns soaked in orangey sugar syrup... what's not to like?

  12. Dom what can I say? These are bloody brilliant. Orange, orange and more orange and I want one now, now, now! Love the gold plate too and so envious of that dog of yours - she says sitting with coat on as types!

    Thanks for this exceptional entry - I'm really quite awestruck.

  13. What a lovely gift these would make. They look completely gorgeous and should be slurped up with cream for pudding.

  14. They really are adorable. Brilliant entry, I know it's early in the month but this is probably going to be my favourite!

  15. I love honey in everything, this is something totally new to me, it would make for a delicious gift too.
    thanks for sharing.

  16. i actually have never heard of buns bottled up and soaked in liquer but oh gosh that sounds so incredible!

  17. oooh lovely! I saw something like this in Carluccios. Great recipe Dom x

  18. Gorgeous stuff - I could eat a lot of these. Funnily enough I've just been planning my entry for WSC this month and that's got honey too.

  19. Dom, I'm intrigued by the thought of "free-rage" eggs! :)
    Loved your description of the trays of fruit from your grandparents. Chocolate and orange is certainly a good combination. In our family we have always included a satsuma or equivalent citrus fruit in the Christmas stockings because in days gone by this would have been a special treat since citrus fruit were not available all year round as they are now.

  20. @mark... they're from Hen's who freely swear and curse to vent their deep seated anger... they're quite happy.

  21. For some reason I *really* like the word buns!

    They look so delicious, am imagining them with all that glorious syrup over them mmm! Great idea for the choc orange theme too!

    And Christmas is not Christmas without at least one terrys chocolate orange here!

  22. I think this is a really unique recipe..I love it!

  23. These look absolutely wonderful! I have to try making them. They make a great gift. GG

  24. The idea of bottled buns is amazing! They look and sound sublime :o)

  25. Christmas isn't Christmas without a Terry's Chocolate Orange in the stockings!!!

    Yummy, yummy buns Dom!

  26. Oh wow! Those look wonderful and what a combination of flavours.

    I really have to try to participate in a event this month.

  27. Wow, I'm impressed at how sweet they must be!

    I love the idea of getting a tray of fruit, and especially finding a Terry's choc orange in there - what a treat!


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