Serve these Cocoa Chai Hot Cross Buns with hot cocoa, tea, or coffee. These are also delicious sliced in half with a few banana slices sandwiched in the middle.
Cocoa Chai Hot Cross Buns [Vegan]
- 1 cup soy milk
- 3 tbsp vegan margarine, melted
- 2 cups strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 5 tbsp brown or caster sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp chai tea leaves (ground)
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp apple sauce
- a pinch of stevia (or just more agave)
- Warm the milk and the margarine in a small pan over medium heat until the margarine has melted. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, cinnamon, yeast, cocoa powder and sugar, along with the salt. Use a mixer to start combining the dry ingredients, then slowly pour the warm milk and melted margarine while the standing mixer does its job. Let the standing mixer work the dough for 5 minutes, then lightly flour a clean surface and knead with your hands for another 5 minutes until it's smooth and elastic.
- Cover the ball of dough with a clean cloth and let it rest in a warm place for an hour, until it's doubled in size.
- Line 2 baking tins with baking parchment. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, knock it back by kneading for another 2 minutes. Cut the dough in half, roll each half into a sausage shape and cut each 'sausage' into 6 parts. Roll the 12 pieces into small balls, then place them in the baking tins and leave them to rise for another 45 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk 50g plain flour and 3 tbsp agave syrup until you obtain a thick paste. If it's too thick, add a little more agave or a tiny bit of water. Using a piping bag with a small nozzle, draw a cross over each bun.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 20-22 minutes.
- Let the buns cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Whisk the apple sauce with a pinch of stevia or a tsp of agave syrup and brush over the top of the buns.
*I know applesauce might sound like a really weird substitute for traditional egg glaze, but trust me, it works, and the buns don't even taste of applesauce afterwards. Pinky swear. *If you don't have chai tea on hand, just use a tsp of mixed spices (cloves, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg).