Easter Treats

Easter Treats:

Offaly's Yvonne Carty from Hey Pesto has some ideas for some festive Easter treats. 

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12 

What you need:

  • 450g strong flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 *7g sachet dried yeast
  • 150ml milk, made up to 200ml with warm water
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 75g mixed peel
  • 75g Butlers milk chocolate, chopped
  • Zest & Juice of 1 orange
  • To decorate:
    • 4tbsp plain flour
    • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
    • Water

What you do:

  • Make your dough by mixing together the flour, sugar, cocoa, mixed spice and yeast in bowl of your Kenwood.
  • In a jug mix the warm milk mix, melted butter and beaten egg. You want this mix to be lukewarm so it will activate the yeast.
  • Pour this mix into the dry ingredients and knead using the dough hook ( or you could do by hand if you’re feeling energetic!)
  • Once the mix comes together add in the mixed peel, chocolate, orange zest and juice and continue to knead for another 5 mins.
  • When the dough mix is smooth and springy transfer it to an oiled bowl. Cover lightly with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and knead for a minute or two (by hand this time!)
  • Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners. I knew I’d eventually find a use for the lovely ones that have been languishing in my baking cases box for the last two years.
  • Divide the mix into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball and place one in each hole of the muffin tray.
  • Cut a cross in the top of each bun using a scissors . Cover the tray and leave to rise for another 20 mins.
  • Heat your oven to 200C/180Fan/Gas6
  • To top the buns mix the 4 tbsp. of flour with enough water to form a paste.  Put the paste into a plastic bag, snip of the corner of the bag and pipe into the cross on each bun.
  • Bake in a hot oven for 12-15 minutes. To check  they’re cooked tap one of the buns on the bottom and you should hear a hollow sound
  • To get that lovely sticky glaze on top melt the 2 tbsp. sugar with a tablespoon of water and then brush over the top of each bun.

 

Hot cross buns

These hot cross buns are best enjoyed warm with lots of butter. The Chief Taster is in the UK on business so I’ll have to make another batch when he gets back to see what he thinks of the chocolate twist. Any excuse I know….

Buttered bun

 

Easter Chocolate Cake 

No Servings: 10 slices

Oven: 180 C/170 Fan/Gas 4

  What you need:

  • For the cake
    • 110g dark chocolate
    • 2 tbsp rum
    • 170g butter
    • 170g caster sugar
    • 3 large free range eggs, separated
    • 1 tbsp caster sugar
    • 50g ground almonds
    • 110g cream flour, sieved
  • For the chocolate decoration
    • 350g  dark chocolate
    • 4tbsp demarara sugar
    • 1 tsp peppermint essence
  • For the icing
    • 170g  butter
    • 250g icing sugar
    • 50g cocoa
    • 2 tbsp rum

What you do:

  • Firstly make the cake:
    • Butter the inside of two 18 cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment
    • Melt the chocolate and the rum together in a bain marie and leave the cool slightly
    • Cream the butter and the sugar together until pale and fluffy.- I use my trusty Kenwood for this
    • Add in your egg yolks, one at a time,  making sure they are well mixed in.
    • Then add in the cooled chocolate and the almonds. Finally fold in the flour.
    • In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff then add in the tablespoon of sugar
    • Carefully  add this meringue mix into the chocolate mix using a metal spoon.
    • Divide the cake mix between your two sandwich tins and bake for 20 min.
    • Leave to cool in tin for 10-15 mins. Then remove from tin and cool completely on wire rack.
  • Then make the chocolate shards for around the cake
    • Line a baking sheet with cling film.
    • Melt the chocolate. Mix the sugar and the peppermint together and stir into the melted chocolate.
    • Spread the mix over the baking sheet and leave to set.
    • Once the chocolate is set break into different size pieces and use to form edging of cake
  • To finish the cake, make your icing:
    • Combine butter, sugar and cocoa in food processor. Add enough rum to loosen the mix and give a smooth icing. (you can use milk if you’d prefer)
    • Sandwich the two cakes together with the icing. Then spread over the top and sides.
    • Arrange the shards around the edges before icing sets.

Decorate the top of the cake as desired – there’s a great variety of mini chickens, rabbits and eggs available at the moment.   I would  advise getting help from the younger members of the family for this task!

easter cake - butlers

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