Tucking into oven fresh hot cross buns with family and friends is what Easter nostalgia is all about and when enjoyed with a glass or two of Roodeberg wine, it is match made in heaven.

Whether you bake your own piping hot buns or opt for store-bought trays, cherished hot cross buns are an Easter tradition that has stood the test of time just like Roodeberg.

Accomplished food writer Ilse van der Merwe of www.thefoodfox.com has created two delicious hot cross bun recipes with her signature twists to complement Roodeberg wines perfectly.

For the Roodeberg Classic Red Blend, Ilse adds cardamom and dark chocolate to her classic, fluffy buns.

“The depth of favour and complex bitterness of the cardamom and chocolate really pair well with the wine’s smooth, aromatic fruity layers with hints of sweet spice and dark chocolate,” says Ilse.

If you prefer a more simple yet equally delicious recipe, turn your store-bought hot cross buns into a stellar dessert with Ilse’s Nutella and raspberry spin on the old faithful  bread and butter pudding. It is a perfect combination with Roodeberg Classic Rosé.

“The fresh raspberries really pick up the berry notes in the Rosé,” adds Ilse.

As memorable as Easter weekend get-togethers, Roodeberg conjures up a lifetime of stories in every bottle spanning over 70 years. For many Roodeberg evokes fond recollections of people, places and occasions, and of sharing special moments with family and friends.

Roodeberg wines are available at leading stores countrywide. For online sales visit https://www.kwvemporium.co.za/.



[divider] Ilse van der Merwe’s Hot Cross Buns with Cardamom & Dark Chocolate[/divider]

@the_foodfox on Instagram          www.thefoodfox.com


This recipe uses a stand mixer to make beautifully classic, fluffy hot cross buns. Omit the cardamom and dark chocolate chips if you prefer a more traditional bun.



(Makes 12 large or 20 medium buns)

630 g (4½ cups) white bread flour, plus extra for kneading

150 g (2/3 cup) caster sugar

10 g (15 ml) instant yeast

7,5 ml (1½ tsp) salt

10 ml (2 tsp) ground “mixed spice”

10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon

4 cardamom pods, seeds ground with a pestle & mortar (husks removed)

60 g (¼ cup) butter, melted

375 ml (1½ cups) milk

1 extra large egg

130 g (1 cup) sultanas / golden sultanas

Zest of an orange, finely grated

80-160 g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks


For the stripes/crosses:

70 g (½ cup) flour

75 ml (5 Tbsp) water


For the glaze:

30 ml smooth apricot jam

15-30 ml water



In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and spices and mix well with the flat beater. Add the butter, milk, egg, sultanas and orange zest and mix for another minute. Change to the dough hook, scrape the sides, and continue to mix for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate chips and mix for 1 minute.

Turn the sticky dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead into a smooth ball – adding a little more flour if necessary. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave to proof for 1½ hours. In the meantime, line a large deep roasting tray with greaseproof baking paper.


Turn out the dough and punch it down, then divide it into 12 equal parts (for large buns) or 20 equal parts (for medium), shaping them into smooth balls by pinching any edges together at the bottom. Flatten each ball slightly, then arrange in the prepared roasting pan allowing some space in-between for rising. Cover with cling wrap and leave to rise for 30-45 minutes until almost double in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180° C. When the buns are ready, mix the flour and water for the stripes, place in a piping bag with a thin nozzle/hole, then pipe those classic hot cross bun crosses, easing the batter lines into the dips between the buns. Bake at 180° C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and fully cooked. Leave to cool in the tins (don’t be tempted to eat them straight away, they need some time to settle otherwise they will seem undercooked). Serve warm or at room temperature, or toasted, with lashings of butter (and optionally jam or honey).



[divider]Ilse van der Merwe’s Hot Cross Bun Pudding with Nutella & Raspberries[/divider]

@the_foodfox on Instagram          www.thefoodfox.com


This easy recipe turns store-bought hot cross buns into a delicious warm dessert. For a more classic bread pudding omit the Nutella and spread the buns with butter and marmalade or raspberry jam before pouring over the custard.



(Serves 6)

6 large hot cross buns (or 9 medium)

6 Tbsp Nutella (or butter and jam)

500 ml fresh cream

250 ml milk

90 ml (6 Tbsp) caster sugar

6 extra large eggs

5 ml (1 tsp) ground “mixed spice” or cinnamon

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

1 cup of raspberries, to serve

250 ml cream, whipped, to serve (or a few scoops of vanilla ice cream)



Spray a medium-large rectangular deep baking dish with non-stick baking spray (it should be large enough to fit your buns snugly). Cut each bun horizontally into halves, then arrange the bottom halves in the dish. Spread the top halves (cut sides) with Nutella (or butter/jam) and set aside. In a large jug, whisk the cream, milk, sugar, eggs, spice and vanilla until well mixed. Pour half of the mixture all over the buns in the baking dish, then top with the prepared top halves. Now pour the remaining half of the custard over the buns and leave to soak for 30-60 minutes, allowing the custard mixture to soften the buns. Preheat the oven to 160° C, then bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and still a little wobbly in the middle. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream and fresh raspberries.