Enter April, all things carrot, hot cross and cinnamon spice seem to spring into life. Since Passover and Easter tend to coincide, I wanted to combine two of the classic confections of both religions, namely charoset (Sephardic style) and hot cross bun respectively, into one delicious raw treat. Since this is unleavened/yeast-free, it is suitable for Passover as well!
I’m stoked about the texture of this non-baked raw bread dough. It is fluffy yet toothsome, and comes fairly close to the dense hot cross buns of my childhood. The recipe is loosely adapted from Chia Sesame Dough from the Moon Juice cookbook, which is used for their raw donuts. I think the magic comes from psyllium husk and figs. I am not sure what function tocotrienols lends itself to, apart from being a superfood (vitamin E).
The elements of Jewish charoset are represented by beet juice (as a substitute for manischewitz / sweet red wine), dried fruit and nuts. The elements of hot cross buns are represented by the cross, dried fruit and spices. I think it would be nice to incorporate apples in the future so as to represent the Ashkenazi Jews as well – and perhaps a light-colored bun!
Charoset Hot Cross Buns (Raw, Vegan)
Easter/Passover no-bake Charoset Hot Cross Buns, made with dried fruit, oats, tocotrienols and psyllium husk for a raw bread that "springs" into life!
- 48 g (1/4 cup) pitted Medjool dates
- 40 g (1/4 cup) dried Turkish figs
- 20 g (2 tbsp) dried golden berries or sultanas
- 20 g (2 tbsp) dried tart cherries or cranberries
- 45 g (3 tbsp) beetroot juice or filtered water
- 18 g (1 tbsp) maple syrup
- 48 g (1/2 cup) oat flour
- 32 g (6 tbsp) desiccated coconut
- 24 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
- 15 g (6 tbsp) tocotrienols
- 10 g (1 tbsp) ground chia or flax seed
- 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)
- 200 g (2 medium) shredded apple
- 21 g (3 tbsp) psyllium husk powder
- raw honey
- 2 tbsp cashew butter or coconut butter
- 2 tsp plant-based milk
Coarsely chop the dried fruit. In a bowl, mix the dried fruit and soak in beet juice or water and maple syrup for 15 minutes to soften.
In a food processor, combine the dry ingredients. Add the softened dried fruit and pulse a few times to combine. Do not overblend as we want the dough to have some texture. Add in the psyllium husk powder and apple and pulse a few more times. Transfer the mixture out into a bowl.
Divide the dough into 50 g portions. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten slightly between your palms. Cut a cross shape into the top of each bun. Place the buns on a dehydrator screen and dry at 46°C for 4 hours until dry to the touch. Use a brush to glaze with raw honey. Mix together the cashew butter and plant-based milk to form a thick paste. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe crosses on the dough. Store the hot cross buns in the refrigerator for up to one week.