Rocky road eggs one day. Hot cross muffins the next. Easter is definitely around the corner. This clever twist on the traditional hot cross bun came to me via my very generous friend Grace. Courtesy of Delicious magazine. Circa March or April 2010. A beautiful recipe. Incorporating the fruity spicy flavours of an Easter bun in a muffin. Quick and easy to whip up on a lazy Sunday morning. Two bowls. One jug. One wooden spoon.
Don’t these little beauties look wonderful with their shiny sugar syrup glaze and lemon icing cross? I’m certainly no pastry chef. And yes the recipe is as straight forward and uncomplicated as it looks. No yeast required. I substituted mixed spice for the nutmeg and cinnamon in the original recipe. Simply because that’s what I had in my pantry this weekend. And added a tablespoon of rum to the buttermilk for good measure. Next time I’m considering adding a little glace citron to the mix. This one’s a keeper. Guess what we’re having for brunch on Easter Sunday morning.
Hot Cross Muffins
Adapted from a recipe in Delicious Magazine
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup currants
2 ½ cups self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 ½ teaspoons mixed spice
2/3 cup sunflower oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon rum
1 cup caster sugar, plus extra 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
PREHEAT oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray and line with paper cases.
SOAK dried fruit in just enough boiling water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain well, then pat dry with paper towel.
SIFT flour, soda and spice into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, rum, eggs and sugar until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir in the fruit. Divide the mixture among muffin cases, then bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
MEANWHILE, place the extra 2 tablespoons sugar in a pan with 2 tablespoons water and simmer over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Brush the glaze over the muffins.
SIFT icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough hot water to make a thick icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, Serve.