Easy Easter baking

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From traditional European treats to an Aussie classic, celebrate Easter in style

For Christians, Good Friday marks the end of 40 days of Lent, while Easter Sunday, marking the resurrection, is the time to celebrate! But no matter if you celebrate Easter or not, here are some lip-smacking recipes perfect for parties and family reunions.

HOT CROSS BUNS

“Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.” This old English nursery rhyme, associated with the end of Lent, is a favourite childhood memory. These buns are a crowd favourite and usually eaten on Good Friday.

Easter Baking.Indian Link

Ingredients                 

2 cups plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
¼ cup currants
3 ½ tsp dry yeast
30g melted butter
½ cup water for dry yeast
1 ½ cup lukewarm water and milk mixture
2 tsp spice mix (cinnamon, nutmeg)
Ginger, small piece
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
¼ cup self-raising flour (for the cross)

Method

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

Add sugar to lukewarm water, mix until it dissolves. To activate the yeast, add to sugar water mixture. This will make the mix frothy and yeast will activate within 15 minutes.

Add this yeast, water and milk mixture, along with currants, to the flour.

Knead the dough, this will be sticky at the start. Add melted butter and remaining ingredients. Keep dough aside for 30 minutes to rise.

Once it has doubled in size, punch it down and knead it again.

Divide the flour into 9 equal portions, give them a round shape and arrange them on a baking tray with some space in between the buns.

Let them rest for 30 minutes. You will see the dough rise and the sides might touch each other.

Mix self-raising flour with 1 tablespoon of water to form a paste, and add it to a piping bag. Mark a cross on the buns with the paste.

Bake the buns for 10 minutes at 225 degrees and a further 6-7 minutes at 200 degrees.

Check the readiness by inserting a toothpick. If it doesn’t stick to the dough, the buns are ready.

Serve fresh with butter or fruit preserve. 

BLACK FOREST CAKE

Impressive and rich, Black Forest cake is always a crowd favourite; this family recipe will never let you down.

Easter Baking.Indian Link

Ingredients

For cake (Double layer)

1 ½ cup condensed milk
1 cup self-raising plain flour
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup / 100g butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup milk

For filling

2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ cup morello cherries, chopped
10-12 maraschino cherries for garnish

Dark chocolate

Bowl for whipping cream and electric mixer attachments, kept for 1 hour in freezer

Easter Baking.Indian Link

Method

Melt the butter and beat it with sugar until mixed.

Add condensed milk, vanilla essence.

Beat together until you get a smooth mixture. Add the dry ingredients with milk and mix with electric mixer.

Grease two pans evenly with butter. Divide and pour the mixture equally in two pans and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Using an electric mixer set on high speed, whip the cream with sugar, until medium to stiff peaks form, for about 1 minute. Do not overbeat.

Spread 1/3 cream mix on one cake and top with chopped cherries.

Add the second layer of cake and spread 1/3 of whipped cream evenly on the cake.

Grate a dark chocolate block with mandolin slicer.

Spread the chocolate on the sides and top of the cake.

Add the remaining whipped cream to a piping bag and decorate the cake.

Refrigerate for 4-5 hours.

Garnish with maraschino cherries and serve.

UPSIDE DOWN PLUM CAKE

Australia is blessed to have a bounty of sweet plums at this time of year. Enjoy the seasonal produce with this delicious cake recipe.

Easter Baking.Indian Link

Ingredients

¾ cup condensed milk
1 cup self-raising plain flour
¼ cup wholemeal self-raising flour (can replace with 1/3 cup plain self-raising flour)
¼ cup / 50 grams butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
¼ cup brown sugar (for glaze)
350gm Satsuma plums (or any variety of plums with red flesh)

Method

Cut 4-5 plums in thin slices, and the rest into small pieces.

Heat the sugar with an equal quantity of water. Let it cook until it forms a thick and brown glaze.

Line a spring form cake tin with baking sheet, including the sides.

Spread plum slices in concentric circles, glazing them with sugar.

Melt the butter; beat together with sugar until mixed.

Combine with condensed milk and vanilla essence.

Beat till you get a smooth mixture. Add the dry ingredients and the milk. Mix with an electric mixer.

Pour the mixture evenly into the cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool for 15 minutes.

Place cake on a plate upside down. Garnish with fresh plum slices. Best served with ice-cream.

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Gaurav Masand
IT professional by mind, photographer by heart. Loves travel and food photography. Blogs at secondrecipe.com