HOT CROSS BUNS
Hot cross buns are quite labour-intensive, and need to be given time to rise and prove before baking. They’re an ideal project if you’re spending the day at home though, as you can leave them to rise for up to two hours at a time – we’ve recommended just one here though, for busy cooks! We’ve also left off the awkward pastry crosses and instead provided a far simpler alternative!
Hot Cross Bun Ingredients
- 500g strong bread flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 heaped tsp mixed spice
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g butter, softly melted
- 7g sachet easy-blend yeast
- 200ml milk, warmed
- 2 eggs
- 200g mixed dried fruit
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 1 orange, zest of
- 1 tbsp honey
How to Make Your Hot Cross Buns
- Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and mix in the salt, mixed spice and sugar.
- Pour melted butter in and combine, then sprinkle the yeast over the top of the mixture.
- In a separate bowl mix the eggs with the warm milk, then pour into the flour mixture. Using a blunt knife mix the ingredients into a moist dough, then cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for one hour – two if you have time.
- When the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and knead for about five minutes. Stretch the dough out, sprinkle the fruit and zest over it, and then knead again until the fruit is well-dispersed throughout. Place back into a clean bowl, cover, and leave to rise for another hour.
- Place the dough on a floured work surface and cut into 12 equal pieces. Shape them into buns and place on a baking sheet, then cover loosely with plastic wrap or place carefully inside a plastic bin liner. Leave to rise for 30-45 minutes, or until they have increased by half again in size.
- Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan oven/gas mark 7. With a sharp knife, cut a deep cross into each bun, allowing the knife to reach halfway down the dough.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and golden. Brush each with a little honey and allow to cool. Serve toasted, with plenty of butter!
CHOCOLATE EASTER EGG NEST CAKES
These little cakes are quick and easy to knock up, and make the ideal recipe for kids to get involved with. They’re also perfect for that last-minute panic – you can use pretty much any cereal you have in the house to knock these up, but our favourite is a combination of cornflakes and shredded wheat for a proper “nest”! You can also make “eggs” with almonds, if you need a quick store cupboard alternative.
Chocolate Easter Nest Cake Ingredients
- 120g plain chocolate
- 120g milk chocolate
- 2tbsp golden syrup
- 50g butter
- 75g cornflakes (or any other cereal)
- 36 chocolate mini eggs
How to Make Your Easter Nest Cakes
- Prepare a fairy cake tin by lining it with 12 paper cake cases – choose some colourful Easter patterns if you have them!
- Break the chocolate up into a wide bowl, and add the sugar and golden syrup. Sit this over a pan of simmering water (without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water) and stir occasionally until fully melted.
- With oven gloves, remove the bowl from the heat. Gently stir in the cornflakes until completely coated in chocolate.
- Split the mixture across your paper cases, and carefully push three eggs into the centre of each. Then put them in the fridge for about an hour to cool and harden, for quick, tasty Easter treats!