I would like to make Nigella's Hot Cross Buns but I do not like dried fruit. Could I use chocolate chips instead and, if so, would the method be the same? I'm wondering whether the hot liquid would melt the chocolate chips?
Hot cross buns are spiced sweet bread rolls that include dried and candied fruits and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday (this year on 14th April 2017). Nigella's recipe for Hot Cross Buns (from FEAST) suggests using mixed dried fruits so you can use any mixture that you prefer, though if using larger fruits, such as dried apricots, then they should be chopped into small pieces first.
It would be possible to use chocolate chips as an alternative and we would suggest using 100-125g of dark or milk chocolate chips, though you need to add them at a different stage. Mix up the dough, leaving out the dried fruits, knead it and then let the dough rise overnight in the fridge. The following morning when you knead the dough again, add the chocolate chips and mix them in while you are kneading. It is easiest to pat the dough out into a rectangle, scatter over the chocolate chips and then fold the dough in half and half again to enclose the chips and carefully knead until the chips are distributed through the dough, adding back any chips that drop out while you are kneading. Shape the buns, prove and bake them following the instructions in the recipe.