6 hot cross buns
250ml (8fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
250ml (8fl oz) single cream
1 orange, zest only
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
15ml (1 tbsp) cointreau, optional
3 large eggs
4 tbsp caster sugar
75g (3oz) 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1: Heat oven to gas 3, 160°C, fan 140°C. Cut the hot cross buns in half and fit the bottom halves snugly in a baking dish (approx 1.5 litres or 2 1⁄2pints).
2: Put the milk, cream, orange zest, vanilla and Cointreau, if using, into a saucepan and gently warm. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a bowl, then gradually add the warm, creamy mixture, whisking all the time.
3: Scatter two thirds of the chocolate over the buns, then pour over half the creamy mixture. Leave to soak for a few mins, then pop on the top half of each bun and push down. Pour over the remaining creamy mixture and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
4: Scatter the remaining chocolate over the pudding and bake for 35-45 mins until the top is golden and the custard gently set. Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving.