Get the whole family baking up a storm in the kitchen, with these Easter treats for everyone to enjoy. Here’s Food & Drink Editor Paloma Lacy’s top picks…
Self-isolation is here to stay for some time but we can brighten our days with plans for delicious recipes to meet all your Easter dining needs. Here are a few set to tickle the taste buds of everyone in your household over the long weekend and preparing them might just while away a few hours in a day.
Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes. Cooking time: 30-35 minutes. Serves: 12
- 75g (3oz) oat bran
- 25g (1oz) granola
- 75g (3oz) cocoa powder
- 100g (31/2oz) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 250g (9oz) cooked, peeled beetroot in natural juices, drained
- 3 large eggs
- 200ml (7fl oz.) sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 250g (9oz) caster sugar
- 125g (41/2oz) white chocolate
- 4 tbsp cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180*C/fan oven 160*C/Gas mark 4. Line 12 holes in a muffin tin with paper cases.
- Sift the cocoa powder and flour into a large bowl and stir in the oat bran and baking powder. Place the beetroot, eggs, sunflower oil and vanilla bean paste into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Stir into the flour mixture with the caster sugar and beat until well combined. Divide between the paper cases and bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a simmering pan of water. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Beat in the cream cheese until thick and glossy. Divide between the cupcakes and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the granola to serve.
Look out for ready cooked beetroot in the fresh fruit and vegetable aisles of the supermarket – make sure you choose beetroot in natural juices not dipped in vinegar.
Hot Cross Buns
British chef Tom Aikens recently opened Muse, an intimate fine dining restaurant in Belgravia, but in his spare time there’s nothing he loves more than cooking simple family recipes, and these hot cross buns are a particular favourite with his two daughters.
Preparation time: overnight. Cooking time: 16 minutes. Serves: 8
- 540g strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 15g milk powder
- 60g caster sugar
- 2 large pinch fine sea salt
- 10g dried yeast
- 220ml water
- 4 whole eggs
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 60g raisins
- 30g mixed citrus peel
- 100ml water
- 40ml vegetable oil
- pinch of salt
- 200g strong white bread flour
- 70 caster sugar
- 25ml whole milk
- 25ml water
- To make the dough, mix together all the bun ingredients in a bowl, except the raisins and mixed peel. Work the dough until it comes loose from the sides and becomes smooth and elastic.
- Transfer to an air-tight container and prove in the fridge overnight.
- The following day poor the dough back into a big mixer bowl and work in the raisins and mixed peel.
- Roll into small balls and store in the fridge until ready to use, you can also freeze the mixture.
- To make the cross mixture, whisk together all the ingredients. Use straight away or store in the fridge. It will keep for two days.
- To bake, take out of the fridge or if frozen defrost in the fridge over-night. Spray/dampen with a little water, cover with a lid and prove on top of the oven until double in the original size. Space the buns on a lined tray, brush with egg wash and pipe the cross mixture on top. Bake at 170°C for 16 minutes and turn halfway through baking.
- Once baked, brush with the glaze as soon as they come out of the oven.
- Eat warm, cold or toasted. Delicious served with jam and butter.
Pineapple White Chocolate Cake with Salted Brown Sugar Glaze
Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 30-40 minutes. Serves: 6
- 200g unsalted butter
- 200g golden caster or granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100g white chocolate chips
- 435g of pineapple chunks – fresh or tinned
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Salted Brown Sugar Glaze
- Reserved juice from 435g tin of Del monte Pineapple Chunks in Juice
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 170c and line a round, 20cm-diameter loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
- Cut the butter into chunks and place in a large bowl with the sugar. Whisk with an electric whisk (or in a stand mixer) until fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add in the vanilla extract, then whisk again while adding in the eggs, one at a time.
- Fold in the ground almonds, flour and baking powder.
- Stir in the white chocolate chips then spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Level the mixture with the back of a spoon.
- Arrange the pineapple chunks on top of the cake and push in very slightly.
- Place the cake in the oven to cook for 35-40 minutes – until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- While the cake is in the oven, make the salted brown sugar glaze. Pour the reserved pineapple juice from the drained pineapple into a small saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer for 8-10 minutes, until reduced by half and slightly thickened.
- Add the brown sugar and stir together until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the salt.
- Turn off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature. It will thicken further as it cools.
- When the cake is done, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- Remove from the tin and remove the baking parchment. Brush or drizzle the salted brown sugar glaze on top (you can warm the glaze back up if it’s thickened too much).
- Arrange a few thyme sprigs on top and serve.
Written By: Paloma Lacy
Food lover, turned food writer, Paloma has spent the past 10 years in search of the Capital’s finest eateries, reviewing restaurants for a range of publications, including South London Press and London Weekly News. A South London girl at heart, she believes its boroughs boast some memorable dining experiences set to satisfy even the most discerning palate. London is alive with brunch, lunch and dinner choices to suit every pocket, from the humble neighbourhood spot, right through to the starrier end of the market.