MEET HOT V. No, not me, but my buns.
“May I know why you call it Hot V?” a friend asked me sheepishly a few days ago. So here’s the story. This Easter, I baked my first hot cross buns ever, producing seven different batches of a dozen each before they were good enough to sell.
Hot Cross received a warm reception among friends, as warm as the six-spice mix in the buns.
No compliment, however, could have been warmer than the one from my mother, who, being family, always speaks her mind—honest, to-the-point, never ever glossed over with politesse, which is what I need anyway. That’s what family is for, right? They get to sample all the R&D attempts, warts and all, from my kitchen.
From Mom, the only two complaints I’ve ever received on my hot cross were: too much spice, too tight and dense a crumb—that’s from poor judgment in proofing. Don’t under-proof, Viv! The eye still needed more training in my first few attempts, the finger too, the poking, prodding floured finger!
Funny I’ve never heard her grumble “too sweet”—a common refrain with her—given all the fruits in them, except once. With that one errant bun filled with too much fruits, I had displayed a lack of care in mixing the fruits with the dough. So I do my best, when dividing the dough bulk, to give each dough ball equal portions of fruit to dough, plastering a little more fruit on this dough ball, or a little more dough on that other fruit-filled one.
But I’ve digressed from Hot V. Let me return. I had started selling my hot cross just a week leading up to Easter, so that by the time Easter was over, and the hot crosses had to say so long and goodbye, there was this bittersweet feeling: “Oh, you mean that’s all, folks?”
So, I merrily went on to bake more hot crosses after all the Easter bunnies had already shed their Easter bows and hopped off home. I look back on it, though, with a sort of disdain. It just feels wrong, irreverent even, to bake them off-season, but I’ve been yearning a taste of them recently, and dreamed up this little remix. Take the crosses out, replace them with a “v”—not too tall, not too tiny.
So there! Hot V. It’s a play on Hot Cross, and it’s got a whisper of me.