Hot Choc Buns

Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs, with one or two a penny hot cross buns (Poor Robin’s Amanack (1733) )

Hot Choc Buns

Hot Choc Buns

I always like to make an effort to bake something traditional and seasonal to mark special times of year and so last Easter, I  decided to try my hand at Hot Cross Buns. Only trouble is, my husband and I both can’t stand dried fruit, so as usual I opted for chocolate instead!

My first attempt was using a gluten-free recipe, which we both loved, but didn’t keep fresh for very long.  This year, I opted instead for the ‘gluten-full’ version as I was keen to try my skills at kneading dough. We loved this too!

Hot Choc Buns

(Serves 12)


625 grams strong white flour
1 1/2 tsp. fast action yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1tsp salt
50 grams of butter plus extra butter for greasing.
1 egg
275 ml milk
100 grams white chocolate
100 grams milk chocolate
1 tsp. cinnamon

For the topping

75 grams white chocolate
1 tbsp. golden syrup
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon


  1. Add the flour, salt, cocoa and cinnamon into a large bowl.
  2. Rub in the butter to the flour mixture.
  3. Make a well and add in the honey, sugar and yeast.
  4. Beat the egg and add into the mixture.
  5. Heat the milk in a microwave for about a minute (until it is slightly warmer than room temperature) Add the milk into the mixture and mix together to form a dough.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and flatten as much as you can.
  7. Add half the white chocolate and milk chocolate and work into the dough.
  8. Flatten the dough out again and work the rest of the chocolate into the dough.
  9. Knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  10. Shape the dough into a ball shape.
  11. Grease the large bowl with butter and add the dough into the ball.
  12. Cover with a clean tea towel and place the bowl in a warm place for an hour to prove.
  13. After an hour, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knock back ((??)) the dough.
  14. Shape it into a ball and place back into the bowl, cover with the tea towel and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.
  15. After 30 minutes, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide the mixture in two, roll out each of the two parts and divide each part into 6 equal pieces.
  16. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten slightly to make a bun shape.
  17. Cover the 12 buns and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  18. Grease a baking tray with butter (I greased two smaller baking trays as my oven isn’t that big) and add the buns to the tray(s).
  19. Completely cover the buns with cling film and leave to rise for 40 minutes Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8. (I put my oven on about 15 minutes before I put the buns in the oven.)
  20. Place the buns in the oven for 10 minutes.
  21. While the buns are baking, place the golden syrup into a bowl and stir.
  22. Heat the golden syrup up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  23. As soon as the buns are ready, brush the golden syrup over the buns, then place them on a wire rack to cool.
  24. After they have cooled, melt the white chocolate. To melt, I chop up the chocolate, place it into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 20 seconds at a time until just melted. In between each 20 second interval, I stir the chocolate making sure the mixture does not get too hot.
  25. Once melted, add to a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
  26. Leave the chocolate to set  and serve!

Suzy says:

  • The buns taste good straight from the oven. But please remember to cool slightly before eating- ‘hot’ should not be taken too literally!
  • If you do not like cinnamon then feel free to leave this out.
  • Use dark chocolate, if you prefer it to milk. The chocolatier the better!
  • The buns taste good with butter spread over them.
  • The only difficult part to this recipe is the kneading of the dough as it is quite stiff.

………….No jokes please about buns in the oven!!

Bon appetit!

Mini White Chocolate Cheesecakes and Ice-Cream

Because you don’t live near a bakery doesn’t mean you have to go without cheesecake  (Hedy Lamar)


White Chocolate Cheesecakes

Mmmm cheesecake! Who doesn’t love cheesecake? In fact, for me Christmas just doesn’t feel right without it. When I was growing up we spent every Christmas at my aunt’s house and she always made Delia’s fresh lemon cheesecake with frosted grapes. It is a fabulous dish and I looked forward to it every single year. I will always remember the anxiety it caused my aunt, who hoped that the cheesecake set and it wasn’t a flop. It never was! This cheesecake was also the first ever dish I made for my husband (boyfriend at the time). I think a way to a man’s heart is definitely through his stomach!

The following recipe does not use gelatine so no need to worry about the dish flopping over. Instead of using a digestive biscuit base, in line with lots of recipes I have seen, I made a gluten-free flapjack base, which seems to work quite well too. When I tried making the cheesecakes in a 12 cup mini sandwich tin, I had leftover mixture so I decided to make white chocolate cheesecake ice-cream with it.

Mini White Chocolate Cheesecakes and White Chocolate Cheesecake Ice-Cream

Ingredients (makes 12 mini cheesecakes or one big cheesecake)

For the flapjack bases

250 grams oats (gluten-free oats for those who would like to make this a gluten-free dish)
100 grams melted butter
50 grams of caster sugar
3 tbsp. honey

For the cheesecake mixture

200 grams white chocolate
325 grams of cream cheese (Philadelphia works well)
100 grams caster sugar
500 ml double cream
1 tbsp. honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C /gas 5/375F
  2. For this recipe I used a 12 cup loose based mini sandwich tin. If you do not have this you can use a lightly greased 20 cm loose based tin instead.
  3. To make the flapjack mix for the bases, place 250 grams of oats in a bowl.
  4. Add the melted butter, caster sugar and 3 tbsp. of honey to the oats and stir until all the oats are covered.
  5. Add a heaped tbsp. of flapjack mixture to one of the bases and press down with the back of a teaspoon or an end of a rolling-pin. Repeat for the other 11 bases. You should have a thickness of about 1/2 cm in each base or more if preferred.
  6. Place into the preheated oven for 10 minutes. (I had some flapjack mixture leftover so I scattered this in a spare tin and placed it in the oven along with the sandwich tin. This will be used to cover the ice-cream later on so this is important.)
  7. After 10 minutes, take both tins out of the oven and leave to cool.
  8. In the meantime, on the lowest hob setting, melt 200 grams of white chocolate and 100ml of cream in a saucepan. Stir until the mixture is completely blended. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
  9. Place the cream cheese in a bowl.
  10. Add the remaining cream, chocolate mixture, sugar and honey and beat until well blended. At this point the mixture should have thickened.
  11. Add the cheesecake mixture to each of the 12 bases and level off the surface.
  12. Cover the tin with cling-film and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  13. Take the cheesecakes out of the tin and eat!
  14. With any leftover cheesecake mixture,  place in to a container and then in to the freezer over night to make the ice-cream. To serve, spoon some ice-cream in to a bowl and scatter over some of the leftover flapjack mixture. This is not as soft as normal ice-cream so you may have to take it out of the freezer and leave before you can spoon it out.

As this mixture uses double cream and white chocolate, I even made some white chocolate cheesecake truffles from the leftover cream and cream cheese.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles

Ingredients for the Truffles

200 grams white chocolate
100 ml double cream
75 grams cream cheese
1/2 tbsp. honey


White Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles

White Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles

Leftover toasted oats from the flapjack recipe above or you can crush some digestive biscuits as well.

The method on how to make truffles can be found in my first blog post here:    Instead of adding the Baileys to the truffle mixture, add the cream cheese and honey. After the mixture is chilled and hardened, you can roll it into balls and cover them with the leftover toasted oats.

Please give this a go and I would love to know how you get on.


Baileys Truffles

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. (Julia Child)

This has been such an exciting week!  I have joined twitter (@SuzyJMills), signed into Pinterest and am now writing my first blog post, it’s daunting….but I hope you will enjoy.

meMy name is Suzy, welcome to my food blog!!!!

I draw inspiration for my recipes from everyday life, reading magazines, recipe books and online journals, adding in my own tweaks to suit my culinary palate.

In a way I can relate to the above quote. I didn’t start getting serious about cooking until I was 29. Even then, my inspiration originated from simple beginnings – I can recall the first time I realised I wanted to learn more, prompted by the chocolate moulds and recipe book my husband got for his birthday. I love chocolate and I love Baileys and when I looked through the recipe book and I saw a recipe for truffles that used exactly these ingredients, I just had to make them. This made me very happy. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple, far more straightforward than other truffle recipes I have seen since. This is why I have called my blog Simply Suzy. I love making simple and tasty treats and I want to share these recipes with you.

I have to say, after 5 years, Baileys truffles are still my favourite thing to make and I could probably make them in my sleep! I have played around with the recipe and used dark, milk and white chocolate, either grated or melted over the mix. I have experimented with different brands of chocolate. I tried Cadburys and Galaxy, but finally ended up using chocolate from Aldi. You can use whichever chocolate you like of course. I found that using cheaper supermarket brand chocolates means you normally need less cream in the recipe, but they can still be used.

Baileys Chocolate Truffles

Truffle mix (makes 20-30 truffles)

200 grams of milk, white or dark chocolate
4 tbsp. double cream or 6 tbsp. if not using liqueur.
2 tbsp. Baileys (or any other liqueur you wish to use)


200 grams dark, milk or white chocolate to cover truffles


1. Chop up 200 grams of chocolate and place it in a non-stick pan.
2. Add 4 tbsp. cream to the pan and heat the mixture on the lowest setting.
3. Keep stirring the chocolate until just melted, making sure the pan does not get too hot. Take off the heat.
4. Add the liqueur or extra 2 tbsp. of cream and stir until incorporated.
5. Pour into a clean bowl and leave until cooled.
6. Cover and keep in the fridge overnight.
7. The mixture should be quite hard at this point. Roll a teaspoonful of mixture into a ball and place into another bowl. (I use food gloves for this as it can get quite messy)
8. Repeat this process until the mixture has gone.
9. Stick in to the fridge again to harden. At least 2 hours.

Here is where you can be creative.

10. Grate the chocolate leftover for decoration into a bowl. (This can be a different chocolate to the truffle mixture.)
11. Take the mixture out of the fridge and re-roll to melt slightly and drop it into the grated chocolate. Roll around until the truffle is fully covered and leave on baking paper.

Instead of using grated chocolate, you can melt chocolate over the truffles as well. Again after rolling the truffle in the melted chocolate, place them on to baking paper to set. To melt, I chop up the chocolate and place it into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 20 seconds at a time until just melted. In between each 20 second interval, I stir the chocolate making sure the mixture does not get too hot. There will be more on tempering chocolate in a later blog. Watch this space!

12. After the chocolate has set, you can put in to a presentation bag to give to someone as a present or leave out on the table for people to scoff during a party

Baileys Chocolate Truffles

Baileys Chocolate Truffles

For me, food is a way of life. I love spending time in the kitchen and creating recipes I can call my own. I enjoy making the naughty and the nice, especially cakes and ice-cream, but I have also created healthy recipes that are equally delicious and will be sharing these with you too.

Thank you for reading my first blog. I hope you like this recipe. I would love to hear from you so please let me know how you get on.