Hot Cross Buns


Ingredients for 12 hot cross buns

  • 2 x 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 455g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ whole nutmeg
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 2 pieces stem ginger
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 55g sultanas or raisins
  • 30g dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons mixed peel
  • runny honey , to glaze
  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 55g unsalted butter

Prep:2H30M                                                         NOT  TOO TRICKY      


PROCEDURE :                                                 

1. Add the milk and 50ml water to a small pan and place over a low heat for a few minutes, or until slightly warm – you should be able to dip your finger in without scalding it.

2. Meanwhile, add the butter to a separate pan and place over a low heat for a few minutes, or until melted, then set aside.

3. Transfer the warmed milk mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the yeast. Set aside.

4. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the salt, spices, a few good scrapings of nutmeg and the sugar. Finely chop the stem ginger and stir it into the mix.

5. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add it to the bowl.

6. Using a fork, mix well until you have a rough dough, then transfer to a clean flour dusted work surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until soft and springy.

7. Return the dough to a flour dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.

8. Transfer the dough to a clean flour dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist, then sprinkle over the dried fruit and mixed peel and knead into the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease and line a large baking tray.

10. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into balls. Evenly space them out on a lined baking tray as you go.

11. Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

12. Meanwhile, place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.

13. Gently pat down the risen buns then use the batter to carefully trace a cross over the top with a piping bag or spoon.

14. Place the buns into the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

15. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, brush over a little honey and leave to cool.

16. Slice open the sticky hot cross buns, spread with a little butter and serve – delicious.


For the pudding:

50g almonds

2 big apples

200g candied peel

1 nutmeg

1kg raisins

140g plain flour

100g breadcrumbs

100g light muscovado sugar

3 eggs

2 tablespoons of brandy or cognac

250g butter

For the brandy and ginger butter

175g butter

grated zest of half an orange

5 tablespoons of icing sugar

4 tablespoons of brandy or cognac

2 pieces of ginger

Prep:20 mins                                               

Moderately easy


1. Get everything prepared. Chop the almonds. Peel and chop the apples. Chop the candied peel. Grate three quarters of the nutmeg. Mix all the ingredients for the pudding, except the butter, in a large bowl.

2. Grate a quarter of butter into the bowl, then stir everything together. Repeat until all the butter is grated, then stir for 3-4 minutes - the mixture is ready when it subsides slightly after each stir. Ask the family to stir too, and get everyone to make a wish.

3. Generously butter two 1.2 litre/ 2 pint bowls and put a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each. Pack in the pudding mixture. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper, pleating it to allow for expansion, then tie with string (keep the paper in place with a rubber band while tying). Trim off any excess paper.

4. Now stand each bowl on a large sheet of foil and bring the edges up over the top, then put another sheet of foil over the top and bring it down underneath to make a double package (this makes the puddings watertight). Tie with more string, and make a handle for easy lifting in and out of the pan.

5. Boil the puddings for 8 hours, topping up with water as necessary. Remove from the pans and leave to cool overnight. When cold, discard the messy wrappings and re-wrap in new greaseproof, foil and string. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.

6. To make the brandy butter, cream the butter with the orange zest and sugar. Gradually beat in the brandy or cognac and chopped ginger. Put in a small bowl, fork the top attractively and put in the fridge to set. The butter will keep for a week in the fridge, or it can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

7. On Christmas Day, boil the pudding for 1 hour. Unwrap and turn out. 

Marsamallow squares


5 cup(250 g) miniature marshmallows

1/2 tsp (2,5) vanilla

4 oz (100 g) butter, diced

6 cups (175 g) tosted rice cereal


7 x 11 in (18 x 28 cm) oblong pan


wooden spoon

metal spoon



  1. Grease a 7 x 11 in (18 x 28 cm) oblong pan. Place 3/4 of the marshmallows, with the butter and vanilla extract, in a medium saucepan.
  2. Place over a medium heat and cook until the butter and marshmallows have melted. Roughly chop the remaining marshmallows.
  3. Mix the toasted rice cereal with the marsmallow mixture, then stir in the extra marshmallows. Spoon the mixture into the pan; press down with the back of a spoon.
  4. Allow to cool in the pan and then cut into squares


 Ingredients for four people

  • 350ml milk

  • 250g flour

  • 30g butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

  • salt


Put the flour in a bowl, add salt, a teaspoon of sugar and the baking powder.

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Slam the egg whites and the egg yolks with electric mixer.

In another bowl mix milk and melted butter and add the egg yolks, the flour, the baking powder and the egg whites. Mix the ingredients. 

Bake in a pan. 

Prep: 35 minutes

Difficulty: easy



Ingredients for 10 cupcakes:

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g butter
  • 110g sugar
  • 140g flour
  • 30ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Ingredients for the buttercream:

  • 125g icing sugar

  • 25g butter

  • 15ml milk

  • Half teaspoon of vanilla essence

Procedure for cupcakes

Mix in a bowl sugar, flour and baking powder; put in another bowl melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Join the compounds and mix with milk. Put the ingredients in a mold for muffins and bake the cupcakes for 12-15 minutes to 180 degrees; bring out.

Procedure for buttercream

Mix butter, milk, sugar and vanilla to form a smooth cream. With the spatula cover the cupcakes. Serve.

Prep: 40 minutes

Difficulty: easy