Seven ways to pimp your hot cross buns

Phillippa Grogan's hot cross bun ice-cream sandwich (recipe below).
Phillippa Grogan's hot cross bun ice-cream sandwich (recipe below). Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Chocolate chip. Raspberry ripple. Bohemian rhapsody. Will the desecration of the hot cross bun never cease? Not on our watch. This Easter, Good Food wanted to see just how irate we could make purists by upping the flavouring ante and shoving everything into a standard roll from cheese to mortadella. The results, predictably, were mixed. But better than you (or we) might have thought.

Mortadella

Lightly salty, mildy fatty pale ruffles of Italy's gently spiced lunch meat gets two thumbs up and extra points for the soft texture. Stack it high. Eat it publicly. The world needs to know.

Blue cheese

A no-brainer, right? Blue cheese and fruit toast: it's A Thing. But unless you pair the staunchest of buns (ours wasn't), with a big blue (ours was) the union is like watching two divas unconvincingly pretending they like each other on stage.

Hot cross buns sandwiched with mortadella - two thumbs up.
Hot cross buns sandwiched with mortadella - two thumbs up. Photo: Gemima Cody

Comte

Lightly fruity comte on the other hand (an aged cow's milk cheese from the alps), is a union for the ages. It's light and unbossy. The sweet crystals bursting through, a little grassy high five for everything in your bun.

Bacon

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The contrast of the highly salty, chewy meat against the sugary pops of currants and sultanas is extreme in a way fans of Canadian breakfasts would enjoy. Pro tip: you'll need a bun as fluffy as an english bap to get the texture-flavour balance on song.

Hot chicken

As unofficial scientists, we thought cayenne-peppered Nashville-style hot chicken, which famously comes on sweet soft bread as a sponge, might make friends with other corners of the spice draw. It tasted like a PR marketing exercise.

Chicken liver parfait

If you like a parfait-style, mildly boozy (Madeira or port, preferably) chicken liver situation that isn't too heavy on the offal, something you would serve with a fruit jelly on bread anyway, this was close enough to being a success to make it worth your time (after a sherry).

Ice-cream

Is there anything two fat scoops of ice-cream couldn't improve? Probably not. But Maggie Beer's fig and burnt caramel ice-cream (aka, the first thing we grabbed at the shops) punched a hole in our known universe when stuck twixt an oven fresh, buttered bun.