Preheat oven to 180degC. Grease a medium-sized baking dish with butter (I used a 27 x 18cm rectangular baking dish)
Cut each bun horizontally into 1cm-thick slices (about 3 slices per bun). Spread each piece with butter and marmalade. Arrange in baking dish, overlapping, until the baking dish is full.
Scatter chopped chocolate over hot cross buns. Whisk eggs, first measure of cream, milk, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar together and pour over hot cross buns and chocolate. Push the buns down gently to soak in the custard.
Sprinkle remaining brown sugar over the top and drizzle with last measure of cream. Bake for about 25 minutes until the top has formed a crust and the custard is just set. Allow pudding to stand for at about 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with custard, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream plus roasted fruit if desired. Or….you can keep it in the fridge for pudding for breakfast the next day! It’s such a treat warmed up for breakfast with custard or cream!
To make maple-roasted pears, quarter 4 just-ripe pears length-ways (don’t bother peeling, coring or removing stem). Place in a medium baking dish, sprinkle with a good pinch of cinnamon and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup. Pour ¼ cup water into the baking dish. Roast for about 40 minutes at 180degC, basting the pears a few times throughout.