Or if you are more adventurous and want to make your own chocolate easter eggs, then how about trying these colourful chocolate eggs. Dyed egg shells filled with chocolate! Time consuming and quite fiddly but very effective!
If you want to steer away from the chocolate and do some real baking then why not try making this lovely German Easter Bread – Osterzopf – a bit like brioche and flavoured with lemon.
Happy Easter everybody! The sun is out and it looks like it is going to be a glorious Easter Sunday! Easter is also the perfect time to bake, if you are a chocolate fan you won’t be short of ideas and if you like making bread then chances are you will be making some hot cross buns this weekend. Last year I made hot cross buns but I also made a German Easter bread which is a bit like brioche, it is called Osterzopf. This year however I didn’t have the time to make bread and needed something much quicker, I therefore turned to Hot Cross Scones, just like Hot Cross Buns but in a scone form! Perfect for those of you that don’t have the time to wait around for bread to rise! I used this recipe from Delicious Magazine but took my influence from the cross from a simnel cake by using marzipan and grilling it to give it some colour.
You will need:
225g self raising flour
75 g butter
40g brown sugar
75g small sultanas
50g cut mixed peel
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 large egg beaten
Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, sultanas, peel and spice and mix in. Add the milk and egg and bring together to form a soft dough. Knead gently to bring the dough together and roll out to 2cm thickness. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the scones, don’t twist the cutter or the scones won’t rise evenly. Brush the tops of the scones with milk. Add flour crosses if using. Bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 15 minutes.
Now for the cross, you can either do as the recipe suggests and use plain flour and water. If you are doing this then mix 50g plain flour with 1-2 tbsp water. Roll out, cut strips and place the cross on the scones. Do this before baking. When the scones come out of the oven dissolve 2 tbsp caster sugar in hot water and brush over the tops of the scones to give them a glaze.
If you are using marzipan crosses:
You need marzipan, apricot jam and a beaten egg yolk.
Roll out the marzipan until it is quite thin and cut into strips. Warm some apricot jam in a pan and brush over the tops of the scones to glaze them and also help the marzipan stick. Arrange the marzipan strips on top of the scones to form a cross and trim the edges. Brush the marzipan crosses with beaten egg yolk.
Place the scones under a heated grill to brown the marzipan, watch them very closely, this will happen quickly and you don’t want them to burn. Be careful when removing them as they will be very hot. Allow to cool.
Enjoy your almost hot cross buns, quick and easy hot cross scones!
After having the most amazing time in Australia, I am now back in England and back into normal life once more! Coming back to the cold weather was rather a shock but I’m embracing the chance to wear my winter wardrobe again. Having my kitchen back and having an oven has been very exciting after several months without one and means one thing…back to baking! In Australia I may not have been able to bake but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to sample some lovely cakes from some of Australia’s wonderful bakeries, I didn’t realise quite how much they love baking! A little while ago I posted about some of the bakeries I visited in Sydney to give you a little idea. I also kept a photo blog of our travels while we were away, you can take a look here at The Adventures of Russ and Lotts, my boyfriend reckons my camera was glued to my hand most of the time but there was just so much to take photos of!
With mother’s day shortly after we got back it was the perfect reason to get back into baking, and not just to bake one thing but to go on a little bit of a baking frenzy! We had 8 guests over for tea in our tiny little flat, so there was lots to do! I did a similar thing last year, I blogged about the afternoon tea here. This year I made a selection of finger sandwiches, fruit scones, cheese scones, syrup and sweet potato scones, mini lemon drizzle cakes and a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting!
The lemon drizzle cakes I made at last minute, so made up the recipe as I went along!
I made 3 types of scones, served with butter, clotted cream and blackcurrant jam. I thought that I would share with you the recipe for the syrup and sweet potato scones that I made. While it may sound strange to use sweet potato in a scone, and I was a bit sceptical too at first, it really works. The texture of the scone was great and they didn’t taste of potato at all! The recipe comes from Harry Eastwood’s book Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. It is an absolutely beautiful book with some gorgeous recipes in it. The idea of the book is to create cakes that are natural and healthy by using a variety of vegetables to make the cakes! Obviously everyone is familiar with using carrot in cake and I like to make chocolate and beetroot cake, I’ve even made a cake with mashed potato before but this book has so many great ideas, I can see I am going to be doing a lot more baking from this book!
250g white spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
40g unsalted butter
3tbsp golden syrup
200g peeled and finely grated sweet potato (it takes some grating!)
zest of 1/2 lemon
Preheat the oven to 200C and lightly grease a baking sheet. Put all of the dry ingredients into a bowl with the butter and rub the butter in to form fine breadcrumbs (alternatively use a food processor). Add the golden syrup to the mixture and add the sweet potato and zest. Bring all the ingredients together. Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it. Roll it out to 4 cm thick and use a 6cm cutter to cut out 7-9 scones. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until they are golden and have risen nicely. Serve with jam and cream. Delicious!
Surely nobody knows how to make a good scone better than Mary Berry. So where else to turn to for a scone recipe than Mary Berry’s Baking Bible? I have been in a bit of a savoury mood lately so fancied making some cheese scones – a lovely savoury treat! And I knew they would go down well with my boyfriend who is always asking for more savoury baking. He pretends he doesn’t share my sweet tooth, but when presented with a cake he can never resist! Mary Berry suggest serving the scones with soup so I decided to make a Roasted Courgette soup to go with the scones for a lovely weekend dinner.
Preheat the oven to 220C and grease a baking tray.
Mix the flour, salt, mustard powder, cayenne pepper and baking powder. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour until you get very fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 100g of the cheese.
Break the egg into a jug and make it up to 150ml with milk. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients until you get a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly. Roll out the dough to a 1cm thickness and use a cutter to cut the dough into circles of whatever size you want. I misplaced my cookie cutter so used a wine glass, which was a nice size! Or if you are making a round, roll out the dough to a 15cm circle and mark into 6 wedges.
Brush the scones with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake the scones for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and eat fresh!
To make the courgette soup I used 2 courgettes, 1 onion, vegetable stock, 2 small potatoes, flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, black pepper. Slice the courgettes and the onion and roast in the oven with some olive oil and black pepper until starting to go brown and nice and soft. Meanwhile boil 2 small potatoes until soft and make up some vegetable stock. In a blender add the cooked courgette, onion, potato and vegetable stock. How much you add really depends on how thick or thin you like your soup! Blitz it until quite smooth. Add some chopped parsly and lemon zest and season to taste. Blitz again. Pour into a saucepan and heat up. Serve with some cheese and warm cheese scones.
The Soup Walk
My sister decided that we should go on a soup walk. This being a walk in the countryside, talking a stove and some tins of soup (and cheese scones!) and making some soup half way!n So we did and here she is enjoying her soup walk!