Freshly spiced, fruit-loaded hot cross buns made by the Auckland restaurant Ima are in hot demand. Chef Yael Shochat shares her recipe with new convert Jesse Mulligan.
Thirteen years ago, Yael says she came across "a really good recipe" for Easter buns.
When the Ima team started making them "the people just went nuts because they're different".
This year, Ima will bake 1,500 hot cross buns on the Thursday before Easter Friday.
And while they don't come cheap – $5.50 each (less if you buy 6 or 12) – these are no ordinary buns.
"They're sweetened with honey, all the spices are ground fresh, we use Sri Lankan cinnamon and lots of fruit… but [people especially like] the cross - that pastry cream cross made with real vanilla bean.
"Supermarket hot cross buns are like a cinnamon toast with a bit of fruit in it and crosses made with flour water … it's really not the same product. The margins on [our hot cross buns] are much lower than the one you get in the supermarket."
Recipe: Yael Shochat's Hot Cross Buns