Hot Cross Buns are now my signal of choice that Easter is on its way. Little beats a freshly baked hot cross bun slathered with butter (a toasted hot cross bun slathered with butter, perhaps?).
Late last year, I worked my way through Pump Street Chocolate's Bakery series. I sampled their festive Gingerbread 70% Dark Chocolate bar along with their Panettone 70% Dark Chocolate bar. Before that, it was the 66% Sourdough & Sea Salt Chocolate bar that had me hooked on bakery-chocolate mashups.
Another bar in the bakery series I couldn't miss was the seasonal special of Hot Cross Bun 58% Dark Chocolate.
The bar comes inside a beige pouch, with press-seal top and what looks like a shiny foiled coating inside. A large Pump Street Chocolate logo appears at the top, with a sticker containing the product name beneath this.
The tactile resealable (and 100% compostable) pouch is sealed with a golden sticker detailing the batch number and year of crop.
A sticker beneath the logo lists the cocoa origin of Crayfish Bay Organic Estate in Grenada. It's a 200-year old, 15-acre estate in St. Marks, northwest Grenada specialising in cultivating organic cacao.
On the reverse is an introduction to Pump Street Chocolate, followed by a sticker with a description of the chocolate bar, ingredients (in English, German, and French), and nutritional information.
Pump Street Hot Cross Bun 58% Dark Chocolate bar ingredients:
Cocoa beans, cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, flour (wheat), butter, eggs, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice berries, coriander seeds, mace, currants. Cocoa solids: 58% minimum.
The 70g chocolate bar boasts just shy of 27% sugars and is made in a facility that also handles dairy, gluten, nuts and seed products.
Pump Street Hot Cross Bun 58% Dark Chocolate Review
The aroma that wafts out of the pouch once you break the seal is a mix of hot cross buns and rich cocoa. There's a medley of spices that dance away together with toasted bread notes.
The spices - led by cinnamon and nutmeg - mask the intricate characteristics of the cocoa, but I can just about pick up faint notes of molasses and leather in there.
The bar itself follows the same mould used by Pump Street for its other bars. It's a 70g bar divided into 16 rectangular segments. As you'd expect from a bar of the calibre, the finish is flawless and the snap is clean and crisp.
The chocolate is keen to melt on the tongue, and as it does, it explodes with flavour right from the start.
To begin, the cocoa releases slightly bitter and earthy notes. Then the spices wake up and as they spring into life, the flavour of freshly baked hot cross buns comes to the forefront. It sits somewhere between freshly baked and toasted hot cross buns, and is deliciously satisfying. The bitterness is pushed to the sidelines and you don't notice it again until the very end.
The bar serves up the perfect balance of creaminess and sweetness, and sits at the milder end of dark chocolate. Texturally, it's perfectly smooth except for the occasional punctuation of sweet and juicy currants.
The flavour of hot cross bun leads into the aftertaste where it lingers for a long while afterwards. The mildly bitter edge is also notable, as is the rich and slightly smokey cocoa notes that also linger.
Pump Street promises a hot cross bun chocolate bar and it wholeheartedly delivers this here. It's a superb example of the magic that happens when the chocolatiers are let loose inside Pump Street Bakery.
Pump Street Chocolate Hot Cross Bun 58% Dark Chocolate Review
RRP: £6.25 | Pump Street Chocolate | Shop now
When Pump Street make a bakery themed bar, the odds are it's a goodie, and this Hot Cross Bun chocolate bar is a case in point. It evokes clear images of freshly baked hot cross buns without masking the qualities of the Grenadian cocoa. This bar is a very fine example of the magic that can happen when Pump Street's chocolatiers spend time in the Bakery.
Where to Buy Online
It's a limited edition bar so is occasionally difficult to source.
Do you have a favourite Pump Street chocolate bakery bar? Share your top tips in a comment below.