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3 deliciously different ways to enjoy hot cross buns this Easter

A toasted, buttered hot cross bun is a much-loved Easter treat, and if you happen to have any leftover buns, there are some wonderfully indulgent use-up recipes to try, too. But how about something totally different, inspired by your favourite food from around the world? With Italian, Chinese and Indian food among our favourites, we asked three top chefs to each create a mouthwatering recipe inspired by their heritage cuisine and featuring our iconic hot cross buns. The results are adventurous, but we can guarantee they deliver on flavour and wow factor. Give one or all of them a go and see for yourself!

  1. Create a dreamy Italian-inspired pudding

    Think of Italian food and you may think first of pizza and pasta, but Italian desserts are up there with the best – think creamy vanilla panna cotta, fruity semifreddo and citrussy polenta cake. Inspired by the flavours of her nation’s traditional desserts, chef Nina Parker has created this beautiful recipe combining a moreish frangipane base and a vanilla and raspberry studded bread and butter pudding featuring, you’ve guessed it, hot cross buns. ‘You can use fresh or stale hot cross buns for this decedent dessert, making it great for any leftovers on Easter Monday,’ says Nina.   ‘The frangipane filling, rich with almonds, is a total winner when combined with the textures of the classic Easter bun. Raspberries are not in season yet, so I have used frozen, and they add a wonderful bit of tart sumptuousness to balance out the sweet filling.’ We don’t think this pud will hang around long!

    Nina Parker's hot cross bun Italian pudding recipe
  2. Wow with these Chinese-style bao buns

    Next up in the popularity stakes is Chinese food, and with its vast array of flavours and textures, it’s easy to see why it still hovers near the top spot of our favourite cuisines. Chef Jeremy Pang has centred his creation around a Hong Kong and Macau street-food dish of fried pork chop in a baked bolo bao bun, also known as a pineapple bun – yet, intriguingly, you won’t find any pineapple in these sweet, brioche-like bakes.

    ‘I’ve come up with a special Easter version of the recipe that works a treat with any sweet or savoury hot cross buns,’ says Jeremy. You can even try this recipe with chocolate hot cross buns – this is one Easter lunch you’ll want to try!

    Jeremy Pang's chop cross buns recipe
  3. Serve this nostalgic British/Indian fusion dish

    Following closely behind Chinese cuisine is ever-popular Indian food and chef Rohit Ghai has invented a mash-up of classic British and Indian flavours to produce a genius hot cross bun chicken tikka sandwich. ‘Chicken tikka is a staple on curry house menus across the country,’ explains Rohit. ‘So I thought what better homage than to incorporate the flavours of this rich curry, which balances tikka spices and sweet tomato, with the sweet, spice and tangy cheese of the hot cross buns.’ This recipe requires the chicken to be marinated for 3-4 hours, but the resulting authentic flavour is well worth the wait. Serve this for a family lunch or at an Easter buffet and everyone will be asking for the recipe.

    Rohit Ghai's cheese hot cross bun chicken tikka sandwich recipe