Extra butter, to serveCHOCOLATE PASTE
1| Lightly grease an 18 x 26cm slice tin with oil.
2| Put yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl. Using a fork, whisk until yeast dissolves. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes in a warm place until foaming.
3| Meanwhile, sift flour and spices into a large bowl. Rub in butter, using your fingertips, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the centre, and add yeast mixture, egg and water, and stir to combine. Turn out dough onto a clean surface. Knead for 1 minute or until almost smooth. Return to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30-45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
4| Turn out dough onto a clean surface. Add chocolate baking chips and knead until well combined. Divide dough into 12 equal portions and roll each into a smooth ball. Put balls in prepared tin, spaced 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes or until slightly risen.
5| Preheat oven to 200°C.
6| To make chocolate paste, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until smooth and spoon into a small zip-lock bag. Snip off tip from 1 corner of bag and pipe a cross onto each bun. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 12 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer and golden brown.
7| Put gelatine, extra sugar and water in a heatproof bowl and stir with a fork until dissolved.
8| Put buns, cross-side up on a wire rack. Brush tops with gelatine mixture and set aside for 5 minutes to allow to set. Cut each bun in half, spread with butter and serve warm or cold.
Keep dried yeast well sealed and store in the fridge to maintain freshness.
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