It's almost Easter time and do I have a special treat for you my Dearest Darlingest Reader! Every year you all have loved the special Easter bun recipe which makes the softest bakery style buns using the tangzhong method. And every year I create a new flavour and this year's is Easter Bunny themed...Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns! These spiced carrot, walnut and pineapple hot cross buns are sandwiched with a layer of cream cheese icing giving it that unmistakeable carrot cake flavour but in a bun!
I will admit that I did have some reservations. I don't know if I've made these buns too complicated. In their defence a batch of these (only!) took a few hours. I promise it isn't a fiddly recipe with 7 separate, significant components like some French patisserie recipes can be. The tangzhong roux is so wonderful because just one tiny small step makes the softest bread that stays fresh for longer.
I've made so many different types of hot cross buns with this method over the years so if carrot cake hot cross buns doesn't tickle your fancy try Nutella swirl hot cross buns, Apple & Cinnamon hot cross bun, Finger Bun hot cross bun. These recipes don't use the tangzhong method but you could easily adapt them or do them as they are: Cinnamon Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns, Spiced Honey Buttered Hot Cross Buns..
Don't have bread flour? Use plain all purpose flour instead. Bread flour is scarce nowadays and you'll still get a wonderful result using regular flour.
Where to buy flour? Flour is scarce during this COVID-19 crisis but search for wholesalers or restaurants, even bakeries nowadays are selling flour, usually in large bags. In Sydney Two Providores in Marrickville is selling 12.5kg bags of flour for $20 and they also deliver for a fee of $25 or you can prepay and pick up.
Leftover Hot Cross Buns? If you have leftover hot cross buns (actually never really an issue here) you can freeze them easily. I cut them in half and then wrap them in two layers of parchment paper. Or make this luscious Hot Cross Bun and Easter Egg bread pudding.
Want to make this in the Thermomix? Take a look at my Thermomix Hot Cross Bun Recipe adaption here! The tangzhong roux step is super easy in a Thermomix.
I thought about ways to cut down the steps to make it less intimidating. I mean you could forego the crosses if you want but they are traditional and are really just mixing flour and water together. I'd say you definitely don't want to forego the glaze because it makes them visually appealing and you don't want to forego the cream cheese frosting if you're after the carrot cake flavour. If you do I'm afraid you'll gristle at me because it won't taste like carrot cake like that.
I try not to make things unnecessarily complicated. I love nothing more than finding a quick hack or an easier way to do things. There was a time back during my advertising agency days where I made things really complicated. I worked in media which is all about spending ad dollars and a large part of my life was presenting reports to clients. It was a bit of a snoozefest really.
Most clients didn't really care and they basically wanted a thumbs up or a thumbs down about a campaign's success. But we had to persevere with presenting these reports. I was known for a particular type of chart, the spider chart. Oh how I loved a spider chart.
Without exception my client's eyes would glaze over and I'd talk about the various points of data on spider chart. The only problem was that sometimes they were so complicated that I would forget the point I was trying to make but they were already checked out and more than once I managed to get out of it based purely on the fact that they didn't understand what was in front of them! They'd say, "Oh my god, not another of Lorraine's spider charts," at which point I was tempted to put in nonsense data to see if I could get away with it!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever lose your train of thought? Do you like carrot cake? Have you ever tried the tangzhong method?
If you make these please tag me on social media using #notquitenigella :)