Whisk 1 tsp sugar with 150ml of the warmed milk. Add the yeast and whisk again. Leave to stand for around 10 minutes until a thick froth has developed on top of the milk.
Mix the remaining sugar with the flour, ground spices and salt.
Crack open the cardamon pods and grind the seeds with a pestle and mortar to a fine powder, then add this to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then place in a mixer bowl, add the butter, and rub in using the beater. Alternatively, rub the butter in by hand.
When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, make a well in the centre.
Add the orange zest, egg and remaining warm milk into the well.
Whisk the milk and yeast mixture again then add this to the mixer bowl.
Using the dough hook, slowly mix to a soft dough, then continue mixing for around 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively you can remove the dough and knead on a floured board for 10 minutes.
Towards the end of the kneading time, add the chopped apricots and nuts, and work into the dough evenly.
Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover with greased clingfilm, and leave to rise in a warm place for around an hour, or until doubled in size.
Turn the proved dough out onto a board and knead lightly again, before placing back into the bowl to rise again, for around 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, then place on an oiled baking sheet, cover with the clingfilm, and leave to rise one more times for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180CFan/400F/Gas Mark 6
Mix the 2 tbsp flour with water to form a thick but runny paste. Spoon into a disposable icing bag and snip the end off.
Carefully pipe a cross on each bun.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned on top and springy to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Heat the syrup gently in a pan and glaze each bun with a pastry brush while they cool.