Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

Easter weekend is finally here. Four days holiday for most people. Enjoying the good weather, lawns are mowed, kitchens prepare treats for the weekend, while teenagers prepare for upcoming exams. Whatever you and your family are doing my  Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies Easter bake is sure to bring about a smile.

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

The base of these brownies is a chocolate biscuit. Rather like a slightly harder version of the soft, squidgy brownie on top. So the advantage is that with a firmer base these brownies are easier to pick up and hold. While developing this recipe my thoughts were directed by practicality.

Single Easter Mini Egg Brownie
Easter Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

No matter how practical these brownies are, they absolutely had to be fun, as well as tasty. Since the addition of pretty, pastel Cadbury’s mini eggs was a necessity. So also were the party streamer, piped coloured chocolate drizzles. Resulting in a beautiful, yet fun, Easter treat.

FF Colourful Easter Brownies
Colourful Easter Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

An Edible Easter Mini Egg Work Of Art

While this may look like a complicated bake, it absolutely isn’t. First of all the biscuit base is made, then baked. Once cooled the brownie topping, is poured over. Followed by a generous sprinkle of chocolate mini eggs, another quick bake. Finally after cooling you can let your creativity run wild, decorating your bake.

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

A quick note: This bake will look and taste just as good if you’d prefer not to use coloured Candy Melts. Since this is your bake, feel free to add coloured sprinkles, chocolates or whatever you like. Most importantly, have fun!!!

Recipe: Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies makes 24

For the Biscuit Base

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

150g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

1 Large Free Range Egg

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

For the Brownies

200g/7oz Plain Chocolate – minimum 70% Cocoa solids

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate – minimum 35% Cocoa solids

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

4 Large Free Range Eggs

225g/8oz Dark Brown Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/4tsp Salt

75g/3oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Decoration:

1 x Family Pack (326g) of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs or the rough equivalent weight in smaller bags/tubes

75g/3oz of each of the following :

White Chocolate, Rainbow Dust Candy Melts – Pink/Blue/Purple Candy Melts -available from Party Animal Online

Any additional decorations that you like – I found a bag of really small mini eggs from Sainsbury’s.

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4, 350F.

Making The Chocolate Biscuit Base

First of all grease a 33cm x 23cm x 5cm (13″ x 9″ x 2″) tin with a little butter. Line the base and sides with baking parchment.

  • Starting with the biscuit base, add the butter, salt and sugar to a large bowl. Beat until fully combined and free from lumps.
  • Next add the egg and vanilla, continue mixing until smooth.
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the same bowl. Starting at a slow speed mix the ingredients until combined.
  • Finally tip the biscuit base dough into the baking tin. Spread the dough, using the back of a spoon until it evenly covers the base of the tin.
  • Place the tin into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • While the base is baking, make the Brownie topping.

Making The Brownie Topping

  • Break up the chocolate (or chop) into individual squares, dice the butter and place both into a heat proof bowl.Place the bowl over a simering pan of water (a double boiler) ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Stir continuously until both the chocolate and butter are two thirds melted.
  • Carefully remove the bowl from the pan and continue stirring until the contents are completely melted.
  • Into another large bowl add the eggs, vanilla and sugar.
  • Mix together to combine.
  • While still slowly mixing pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the larger bowl.
  • Mix until completely combined – try not to incorporate too much air whilst mixing.
  • Sift the flour, bicarb. and salt into the bowl.
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold all the ingredients together.
FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Creating and baking the layers of the Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
  • The biscuit base, once baked may still be a little soft to touch, however it will be darker than the uncooked dough.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Adding The Brownie Batter Topping

  • Pour the brownie batter over the biscuit base. Tilt the tin to ensure even coverage.
  • Follow by sprinkling 200g of mini eggs on to the brownie batter.
  • Place the tin back in the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes.
  • The brownie batter is baked when it has a sheen and does not wobble in the centre.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • As soon as it is completely cooled remove the entire bake from the tin and place on a solid surface.
  • Cut centrally through the length and width with a sharp knife. Now cut each half into 12 even sized portions.
FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Portioning and decorating the Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

Decorating The Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

  • Place 75g of each coloured Candy Melt or chocolate into a separate heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Heat the first bowl for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between until the chocolate is fluid.
  • Spoon the liquid into a small, disposable, piping bag. Be careful, it will be very warm.
  • Snip the very end of the bag off and pipe whatever pattern you wish over the top of the bake.
  • Continue, in exactly the same way with the second colour.
  • Follow this by adding extra mini eggs or decorations, hold a few back.
  • Prepare and pipe the third colour, allowing some to cover the newly added eggs.
  • Finally finish with white chocolate, piped all over the bake and sprinkle any remaining decorations.
FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Happy Easter!

Place to one side to allow the chocolate to set.

Easter Mini Egg Brownie Bake
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

 

Serve with a big smile and my preference, a glass of cold milk.

If you have enjoyed this Easter recipe for Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies you may also like these:

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake.

Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

Mini Vanilla Egg Nest Cupcakes 

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Mini Vanilla Egg Nest Cupcakes

 

Since most of these recipes are designed specifically for Easter and for using left over chocolate, I hope that you will make them throughout the year. Although, that may not be a good thing for our bodies? Maybe the fun is in making them only during the Easter Holidays.

I wish everyone who reads this a very Happy Easter, please see Important Stuff.

Sammie xx

No party of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

This month I am linking up with Stuart at Cakey Boi  and Kat at The Baking Explorer  who is hosting this month’s Treat Petite .

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

 

 

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Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

These Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns really do take the humble, yet delicious and traditional Easter Bun to another level. As their spiced aroma escapes the kitchen, it fills the whole house with warmth. Turning a house into a welcoming home. While neighbours, out in their gardens, stop, wondering whose house the aromatic aroma originates from.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

Homemade – You Know What’s In These Buns

Easy to make and bake, these Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns are so worth the little effort required. These are not the small, pappy, squidged into a ball, cheap supermarket versions. Instead they are filled with fruit, in a good sized bun, that also contains a small amount of wholemeal flour. Indeed, one bun is a substantial breakfast.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns deliciously good for you.

Since these Easter buns are homemade, we know every ingredient they contain. Yet, what they don’t have is any artificial ingredients. Also they work out much cheaper to make, than bought ones. Plus, the extra smell when you split and toast them, is priceless!

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Anyone hungry?

The absolute thrill for me, when developing a new recipe, is my family’s reaction. Good or bad, I know it can be trusted. Words like “yummy”, “can I have another one please?” and “have you taken the photographs yet?” all feed into my sense of recipe security. As I’m going to be sharing the recipe with my readers, it needs to be robust and reliable. Hence only tried and tested recipes make their way on to this blog.

Recipe: Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns makes 12

  • 150ml Tap Water
  • 150ml Whole Milk – slightly warmed to body temperature
  • 2 Large Free Range Eggs
  • 10g Fast Action Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green pot or sachets
  • 1tbsp Honey
  • 450g/1lb Strong White Flour – I use Shipton Mill
  • 50g/2oz Strong Wholemeal Flour
  • 10g Salt – I use Maldon
  • 50g/2oz Unsalted Butter cut into small cubes
  • 200g/7oz Mixed Dried Fruits – Sultanas/Raisins/Currants
  • 4tsp Cinnamon
  • 1tsp Ginger
  • 50g/2oz Plain White Flour and 50mls Tap Water for the crosses.
  • For the glaze:
  • 3tbsp Runny Honey plus 1tsp water

Method:

Making And Proving The Enriched Dough

  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer add the water, milk, eggs, honey and yeast.
  • Next, on top of the liquids add the strong white and wholemeal flour.
  • Then add the salt and butter.
  • Fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and then lock the bowl into place.
  • Lower the dough hook and start mixing on a slow speed. Continue mixing at this speed for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes has elapsed gradually increase the mixer speed to moderately high. Again mix for a further 5 minutes, then stop the mixer and lift the dough hook.
  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it until you can see light through it. This is known as the windowpane test. If the dough tears continue mixing, checking every couple of minutes until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once it has finished kneading, turn the speed on the mixer to low and add the spices and fruit. Mix for a further 2 minutes to incorporate the fruit and spices.
  • Following this, stop the mixer, raise the dough hook and scrape any dough into the bowl using your fingers.
  • Unlock the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place somewhere draught free.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
The dough has more than doubled in size.

For detailed set by step photos please see Hot Cross Buns

Shaping The Individual Buns And Giving Then A Second Prove

  • Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, it will be quite sticky. Knead the dough lightly to form a ball and then weigh it. I place baking parchment on flat, digital scales. Note the weight and then divide it by 12, leaving the parchment on the scales.
  • Now cut the dough in half. As each bun is weighed this doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Follow by forming each dough half into a log shape. Cut each dough log into six.
  • Weigh the first piece of dough and adjust as necessary to obtain the correct weight.
  • Hold the dough in one hand while using the other to turn and tuck the underneath in, creating a tight ball shape. Place the ball on to the baking tray. Continue until all 12 balls have been made.
  • Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and place in a draught free place until doubled in size.

Making And Piping The Crosses

  • While the buns have their second prove, make the paste for the crosses. Place the flour and water into a bowl, mix until lump free. Spoon the white flour paste into a small piping bag, secure the top with a peg/rubber band and stand the bag in a glass until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Before and after proving Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
  • Once doubled in size, snip off the very end of the piping bag.
  • Pipe straight lines of paste. First of all piping across the tray and then down the tray.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Pipe each separate row continuously for neat crosses.

Baking And Glazing The Hot Cross Buns

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. When baked they will be golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove from the oven. Remove the buns from the tray on to a cooling rack, with a clean baking tray underneath.
  • Measure the honey and water into a small microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave until bubbling. Remove carefully as it will be hot.
  • Stir the honey and water to mix.
  • Use a pastry brush to cover each hot bun in honey.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Sticky, cooling, Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns.

Wait for the buns to cool before eating. Then serve as is or toasted and buttered with a big smile.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns delicious fresh from the kitchen.

The buns will keep for 3 days if toasted. Also they freeze extremely well for up to one month.

If you have enjoyed this Easter recipe for Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns then you may also like other Easter bakes:

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Chocolate Mini Egg Browies

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

It would be very easy to double up on this recipe and share homemade Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns with friends, neighbours and family over the Easter period.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Easter is nearly upon us. Shops are filled with fluffy bunnies, chocolate chicks and all manner of chocolate eggs. While surveying the vast selection, I found Galaxy Chocolate Golden Mini Eggs. Utterly perfect for decorating an Easter celebration cake. Especially my Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake.

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

The reason for Easter

Easter Sunday is the Christian celebration of new life. Although Jesus had died two days prior, hanging on a cross. Yet when His friends went to visit Him the following Sunday, the tomb where He had been placed was empty. Shocked and outraged, one of the women spoke to the gardener, wanting to know where He had gone. The response came “Why look for the living among the dead.”

As the prophecies had foretold, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, had risen from the dead. He had overcome death. Forever. So that we, may have life, in Him. Hence the chicks and eggs, bunnies and lambs in the shops, represent new life. Gold, for me on this cake, represents the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus. He who could not be contained by death. Even though He was brutally punished and died wearing a crown made from thorns. Is now alive, bearing the scars of death, yet as alive as you and I. Please see Important Stuff.

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

While celebrating over Easter, take a moment, to think about what it means to you. As you make and bake this cake, remember the love, His love, that He offers you. Even now, as Easter is treated as an extra holiday. Consider the real truth behind it. With Jesus their is always hope, without Him, who do you place your hope in?

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake what does Easter mean to you?

Recipe: Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake serves 8-10

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened

225g/8oz Light Brown Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Eaxtract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/4tsp Salt -I use Maldon

5 Large Free Range Eggs

100ml Buttermilk

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

75g Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

2tsp Baking Powder

For frosting and decorating:

3-4tbsp Salted Chocolate Spread – I use Hawkshead Relish new MUDD spread

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter

400g/14oz Plain Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tbsp Hot Water – from a recently boiled kettle

2 x 80g bags Galaxy Mini Golden Eggs

Optional – gold/copper sprinkles

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F

Grease 2 x 20cm/8″ sandwich tins with butter. Line the base of each tin with baking parchment.

Making and baking the chocolate sponge cakes

  • First of all, place a sieve over a bowl. Then sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the bowl. Set the bowl to one side. Dry ingredients.
  • Next, place the eggs and buttermilk into a jug. Whisk lightly using a fork. Wet ingredients.
  • Place the butter, brown butter and salt into a large bowl. Beat until well combined and free from lumps.
  • Next add the vanilla extract. Continue to beat until incorporated.
  • Take the jug of wet ingredients and pour on to the butter mixture. Then add the sifted dry ingredients.
  • Beat the ingredients in the bowl gently, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Continue to beat the ingredients until fully combined.
  • Divide the chocolate sponge batter equally between the two prepared cake tins.
  • Place the cake tins into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.
FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Making and baking the chocolate sponge cakes.
  • The cakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch and a cake tester comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cakes are baked remove them from the oven.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 20 minutes and then tip them out on to a cooling rack.
  • Once cooled carefully remove the baking parchment from the base of each cake.

Making the frosting and decorating the cake:

  • While the cakes are cooling the buttercream frosting can be made.
  • Place the butter into a large bowl, or the bowl of a free standing mixer with paddle attachment.
  • Next add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Now whisk or beat the butter until it is softer and pale.
  • Add all of the icing sugar to the bowl and 2 tablespoons of very hot water.
  • Start mixing very slowly and then as the butter and icing sugar start to combine increase the mixing speed. Continue until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Fit a large icing bag with a large closed star, or drop flower piping nozzle. I have a Wilton  #2D piping nozzle.
  • Fill the piping bag with the whipped buttercream.
  • Place the bottom of the cake on to a plate.
  • Spread the Salted Chocolate Spread over the cake. Follow by piping the buttercream so that it covers the spread. Start at the outside edge of the cake, piping in circles until the centre is reached.
  • Place the top of the cake evenly on to the bottom.
FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Filling and frosting the cake.
  • Pipe buttercream on to the top of the cake, in the same way the base was covered.
  • And then pipe 6 swirls, slightly set in from the edge of the cake. See the photograph below.
FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake fully decorated.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with the mini golden eggs.
FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Finally the cake is ready to be served.

Serve with a smile to friends and family. Alternatively gift the cake to someone special.

This cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Refrigerate is the weather is hot.

If you have enjoyed this Easter recipe for Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake you may also like these:

Vanilla Mini Nest Egg Cupcakes

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Hot Cross Buns

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Hot Cross Buns easy and delicious to make at home.

Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

While celebrating Easter is especially important to me, having a real, everyday relationship with Jesus is more important. Rather than dealing with life on my own, He is always there. Because of what He endured on the cross and in His life, Jesus  understands. So as well as being my Saviour, He is also my friend.

Have fun making, baking and creating you feast.

Sammie xx

Hawkshead Relish supplied me with a complimentary jar of Salted Chocolate Spread. This is not a sponsored post. All views, opinions, content including photographs are my own. The entire content of this post is covered by Copyright and I.P. laws. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Oh boy do I have a treat for you. As Good Friday is tomorrow I decided to create one more Easter recipe, a twist on the traditional Hot Cross Buns that we all love to eat this time of year. May I present my Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns!

FF Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Having been sent some medjool dates from The Medjool Date Co. I wanted to incorporate them into different recipes. So in a moment of inspiration today I decided to use them in these Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns. How glad am I, that I had that moment of inspiration!

Now there are dates and there are medjool dates from Jordan. Once you have tried these medjool dates it is impossible to use any others – well for me it is! Big, sweet, but not tooth achingly so, good for you and they taste amazing. While I have been cooking and baking with them a few, maybe more than a few have been eaten along the way.

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Creating A New Recipe

Knowing I had ordered some stem ginger in syrup from Waitrose a couple of weeks ago, instead of opting for crystallised ginger, I used their stem ginger. Finely diced it is the only ginger in the Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns. Using warm syrup from the stem ginger jar, to glaze the buns, still hot from the oven is the final touch.

These Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns are so utterly delicious eaten just as they are, sliced and buttered, or toasted and buttered. They make a fantastic alternative to traditional Hot Cross Buns and are great for those who dislike raisins/sultanas, or cinnamon.

RT Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns perfect buttered with a hot cup of tea.

I love baking our own hot cross buns for Good Friday. We always have them toasted, with butter and large cups of tea or coffee. For our family it is the start of Easter. The day we remember that Jesus Christ gave His life for us all on the cross at Calvery. In fact I’ve always wondered why it is called Good Friday? As truly thinking about what Jesus went through, for me, brings me to a place of deep conviction – please see Important Stuff if you’d like to know more.

Recipe: Makes 12 Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

140ml/scant 5fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temperature)

120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temperature)

2 Large Eggs – I use free range

1tbsp Honey

10g/1.5 Sachet Fast Acting Dried Yeast

10g/ approx 1tsp Salt

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

150g/5oz Medjool Dates – pitted and chopped to medium dice

2 Balls of Stem Ginger – removed from the syrup and finely diced

1/2tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

For the crosses:

50g/2oz Plain white flour

50ml/2fl oz Water

Approx 30mls of syrup from the stem ginger jar to glaze the baked buns

Method:

This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer, if you wish to make by hand, I suggest you look to the original recipe in Paul Hollywood’s book ‘How to Bake’ ISBN 9781 4088 19494.

Making The Spiced Sweet Bun Dough

The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.

  • Add both the milk and water to the bowl.
  • Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
  • Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
  • Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.

For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the chopped dates, finely diced stem ginger and nutmeg. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.

When the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the chopped dates, finely diced stem ginger and nutmeg . Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky – don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Once the stand mixer dough has doubled in size, lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

Shaping the Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

see Hot Cross Buns for full step by step photos.

  • First of all grease a large baking tray with butter.
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • It will be quite sticky, so ensure you have floured your hands well.
  • Cut the dough in half and then cut each half into 6 even pieces.
  • Shape each piece into a ball and place on the baking tray – the dough was very sticky so some of my balls weren’t perfect!
RT Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Once shaped place each bun in rows of 3 on the baking tray.
  • When all 12 buns have been shaped, cover the baking tray with a clean tea towel.
  • Leave the buns in a warm, draught free place, until doubled in size.
  • While the buns are proving, make the flour paste for the crosses. Add the water to the flour and mix until you have a smooth paste.
  • Place in a small, disposable piping bag and secure the top with an elastic band.
  • 10 minutes before the buns are ready to bake preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F.

 

 

RT Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns doubled in size and ready to be piped.
  • Snip the end off the piping bag, so there is a small hole.
  • Pipe down the line of buns and then across the line of buns.
RT Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Perfectly crossed buns, ready for the oven.

Baking And Adding A Glaze To The Buns

  • Place the Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. They are baked when they are golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
  • As soon as the buns are baked remove from the oven.
  • Take the buns off of the baking tray and place onto a cooling rack.
  • Remove approx 30mls of syrup from the stem ginger jar.
  • Place into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 20 seconds.
  • Brush the warm syrup over the buns whilst they are still hot.
  • Leave to cool until at least warm.

 

RT Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns glazed with syrup.

Biting into my very first, warm, Ginger Date Hot Cross Bun is an experience I will never forget!

So light and fluffy.

So tomorrow morning on Good Friday, we have a choice of traditional Hot CrossBuns which I also baked today, or these delicious Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns.

Breakfast will truly be a feast, as much as making these has been fun!

If you’ve enjoyed these Easter Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns you may also want to try these other recipes:

Hot Cross Buns

RT Hot Cross Buns
Traditional Hot Cross Buns.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

RT Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
100% Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

RT Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Whatever you make or bake this Easter, I wish you a very happy time. I love seeing your bakes, so please pop a pic onto Twitter or Instagram and tag me in.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

Medjool Date Co. provided the dates for this recipe. All opinions, content and photographs are my own. I did not receive payment for writing this recipe. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

I have entered these Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns to the March Tea Time Treats Linky Party hosted by The Hedge Combers and Lavender and Lovage

Tea Time Treats Linky

 

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Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

Since Easter is fast approaching I decided to take advantage of the range of chocolate eggs available and bake with some. These Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies are the perfect large cookie. Soft, chewy, buttery cookies with whole Smarties mini eggs baked into the batter.

FF Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

I am thoroughly enjoying the lead up to Easter this year. Especially as last year I was unwell and in hospital over Easter, see Living With Seizures which really sucked. Although I still have seizures every day, at least I am at home, with my family.

Baking up a treat

Baking these Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies is a great way to share with our children, nephews, nieces, family and friends. I love seeing the excited look of anticipation. What has mummy baked today. Also, in spite of my health issues, it gives me real joy to see the pleasure a treat brings to someone else.

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Watch out, these Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies are very tempting!

As well as these delicious cookies, Smarties mini eggs have also made there way into Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies so I am definitely feeling the mini egg love this Easter!

I absolutely love Cadburys mini eggs and may well have polished of a packet or three whilst in hospital last year! They will feature in a recipe I have planned, but the colours of the Smarties mini eggs really grabbed my attention. Especially as they keep their shape while baking, yet soften a little. Resulting in a combination that works beautifully in this cookie recipe.

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies perfect for every Cookie Monster, including me!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I am a self confessed Cookie Monster. While I find no shame in admitting this, you should know this recipe makes 12 Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies. Absolutely perfect for cookie lovers like me!

Mindful of moderation

Due to their size these cookies are most definitely not a one bite and they’re gone. In fact I had one for my lunch today with a hot cup of tea and I have to say, I was one very happy bunny (see the Easter pun there 😉).

Obviously these are intended as a treat and that’s part of the reason I give so much of my baking away. It wouldn’t be very healthy if we ate all of every batch of say Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes that I bake.

So by sharing the love, I also share the calories, that are balanced out in our home with lots of fruit and vegetables.

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies a delicious treat.

Recipe: Makes 12 Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

225g/8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter- at room temperature

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 Large Free Range Egg – plus

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Pinch of Salt

2 Packets Smarties Mini Eggs (2x100g)

Method: Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F

Making the cookie dough

  • First of all, place the sugar and butter in a large bowl and whisk/beat for 5 minutes until pale and creamy – whisking for 5 minutes here and then after adding the eggs is very important to the finished texture of the cookie.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and continue whisking/beating for a further 5 minutes.
Smartie Monster Mini Egg Cookies
This is how light and fluffy the mixture should look now.
  • Sift in the flour, bicarb. and salt.
  • Add both packets of Smarties mini eggs
  • Fold all the ingredients together until you have uniform cookie dough.

Shaping the cookies

  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of cookie dough onto baking parchment lined baking trays.
Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookie dough mounds.
  • I place 4 scoops per baking tray as these cookies do spread.
  • With clean damp hands, use your fingers to press down and flatten the mounds.
Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
These cookies are ready for the oven!

Baking The Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

  • Place the cookies in the preheated oven and bake for exactly 15 minutes.
  • Once baked the cookies will be golden but still very soft. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the baking tray. The cookies harden on cooling.
  • When cold store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. There is no way that they ever last that long in our house!!
Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

These Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies are utterly irresistible and so satisfying to eat, due to their size.

They are sure to be a hit with whoever you share them with.

If you have enjoyed making these Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies here are some more cookie recipes:

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

FF Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake
Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

If you make any of these, or my other recipes I’d love to know how you get on. Please leave a comment and/or post a photo on Twitter/Instagram? I love seeing your makes and bakes.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy Easter.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

Also entered for the month of March Simply Eggcellent over at Belleau Kitchen

simply eggcellent linky

 

 

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Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Easter is nearly here and the shops are filling up with all sorts of chocolate goodies. Chocolate bunnies, Easter chicks and eggs in every size, shape and colour. So, deciding to have some Easter baking fun I made these Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies.

Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Because I used Smartie mini eggs their bright colours show up so well on top of the brownies. Also Smartie mini eggs are hidden within each brownie, keeping their shape once baked.

Each of these Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies are deliciously fudgey as you bite into them, with extra crunch and chocolate when you find a hidden egg.

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Since our children were little we have made up an Easter egg hunt for them. Sometimes friends and cousins get involved too, now they are a bit older. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me is the sharing that happens after the egg hunt is finished.

The children and sometimes adults, sit down with their spoils from the hunt and make sure everyone has the same number of eggs. Because I can never remember where they were hidden the numbers aren’t always even! So a good tip is to have a few eggs stashed in the cupboard, ready to even out the numbers so it’s fair.

And, if they do manage to find all of the eggs, you’ve got a secret stash of chocolate hidden away 😉.

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

What Easter Means To Me

While we celebrate Easter for it’s true Christian meaning, see Important StuffI’ve never found being a Christian to be boring.

We certainly have lots of fun in our home and making these Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies, really is good fun! I had specific instructions from one daughter to make them larger than the Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites and I had the idea to bake them with whole, Smarties mini eggs, hidden inside.

Each Chocolate Mini Egg Brownie is drizzled in white chocolate before topping with more Smarties mini eggs. Easter is most definitely not the time in our house, for chocolate restriction!

In fact I’m not sure there ever is an appropriate time for that – but that’s a whole different subject!

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Recipe: Makes 16 Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

200g/7oz Plain Chocolate – minimum 70% Cocoa solids

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate – minimum 35% Cocoa solids

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

4 Large Free Range Eggs

225g/8oz Dark Brown Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/4tsp Salt

4 Packets of Smatie Mini Eggs – 4 X 100g packets

75g/3oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100g/4oz White Chocolate – optional

Method: Preheat oven to 170C/150 fan, gas mark 3 1/2, 325F

Making The Brownie Batter

  • Line a 22.5cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″) deep baking tin with aluminium foil
  • Break up the chocolate (or chop) into individual squares, dice the butter and place both into a heat proof bowl.Place the bowl over a simering pan of water (a double boiler) ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Stir continuously until both the chocolate and butter are two thirds melted.
  • Carefully remove the bowl from the pan and continue stirring until the contents are completely melted.
  • Set the chocolate aside to cool.
  • Into a separate bowl add the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk lightly to combine the ingredients.
  • When the chocolate has cooled to just warm pour it into the egg mixture slowly, whilst gently stirring.
  • Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl and add two packets of the Smartie Mini Eggs.
Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Gently fold all the ingredients together.
  • Pour the brownie batter into the tin.
Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Pour the brownie mixture into the lined tin.
  • Give the tin a couple of sharp taps against the worktop. This will help bring any trapped air bubbles to the surface.

Baking The Brownies

  • Place the tin into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Halfway through the baking time carefully tap the tin against the oven shelf, this helps the brownies stay fudgey and not rise, like a cake.
  • The brownies are baked when the outside edge has set and the top has the familiar, sugar cracked look. There should still be a bit of wobble at the centre.
  • As soon as they are baked remove the tin from the oven and allow the brownies to cool in the tin.
Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Look at the classic brownie top on the Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies?
  • Once cooled remove the brownies from the tin and peel away the sides of the foil.

Decorating The Easter Brownies

  • First of all break up the white chocolate and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap in short 20 second bursts, stirring after each heating period.
  • When the chocolate has almost melted, remove and keep stirring until completely melted.
  • Using a teaspoon drizzle half of the chocolate over the brownie slab.
  • Next add as many Smartie mini eggs as you dare, the melted chocolate will help them stick.
  • Now drizzle the other half of the white chocolate over the eggs and the brownie.
  • Leave to set in a cool place.
Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
  • As soon as the chocolate has set cut the large brownie into quarters. Then cut each quarter into quarters and you will have 16 delicious Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies!
Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies cut into 16 squares.
  • Use a palette knife to remove each fudgey brownie from the foil.
  • Store any spare brownies in an airtight container for up to 5 days – there’s no way they last that long here!!
FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

I like to serve these Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies with a few extra eggs, so that everyone can have the same number of eggs on top of their brownie. While watching their surprise when hidden mini eggs within the brownie. 😉

Whatever your plans this Easter, I hope that you take a minute to remember the reason it is celebrated?

Jesus gave His life that we may all know Him, true forgiveness, unconditional love and peace. With Him life may not be perfect, but the journey is much easier.

If you’ve enjoyed these Easter Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies then you may like these recipes too:

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

Caramac Drizzle Rolo Caramel Brownies 

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Caramac Drizzle Rolo Caramel Brownies

Whatever you make and bake, I would love to see your pictures. Please tag me in on Twitter/Instagram.

Sammie xx

Entered for Marchs’ We Should Cocoa over at Tin and Thyme  and Lancashire Food

we should cocoa brownies

 

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Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

Easter Sunday will soon be upon us and traditionally Lamb is the meat served for the big Sunday roast. And that is exactly what I am going to give you here today, albeit with a few tweaks to ensure you have the very best Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb Leg as your table centre piece.

GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Perfect for your Easter Sunday table – Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

So to ensure a great roast I turned to my favourite Organic meat supplier Graig Farm Organics.

I have been buying meat from this Welsh organic farm for almost three years. Because the quality of the meat is consistenly excellent. Since Graig Farm is a place where animals are reared using traditional methods and looked after with care and respect.

Graig Farm meat is a reflection of the time and care that has been put into raising the animals. Also it is always utterly delicious, full of flavour and cooked properly, the best meat I have ever tasted!

FF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

Since a lovely friend had given me a jar of homemade Redcurrant Jelly I thought it would work perfectly as a glaze on this Roast Lamb. And trust me if you enjoy a glazed Ham at Christmas, you will love this Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb!

British Bakeware have also recently added this Oval Roaster with lid to their fantastic range of British manufactured bakeware. So it seemed the perfect vessel for cooking the Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb in. As you will see, it was the perfect size.

GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
The Oval Roaster – perfect for this recipe.

British organic meat roasted in a British manufactured roaster!

Recipe: Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb serves 6 generously

2kg/4.5lb Leg of Lamb – trimmed and tied

1 Onion

Few Sprigs of Rosemary

3tbsp Redcurrant Jelly

Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Method: Preheat oven to 150C/130C fan, gas mark 1-2, 300F

Preparing the leg of lamb

  • First of all take the lamb out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
  • Remove all packaging and pat dry with kitchen towel
  • Place the lamb in in a roasting tin that is just big enough.
GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
This roasting tin is a perfect fit for the leg of lamb.
  • Make incisions through the skin of the lamb with a sharp knife.
  • Poke small sprigs of rosemary into these holes.
  • Sprinkle over sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 

GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
The Rosemary imparts such beautiful flavour to the lamb. 
  • Also, cut up one onion and place under the leg of lamb.
  • Put a lid on the roasting tin, or cover with foil, ensuring the foil doesn’t touch the lamb.

Roasting the lamb

  • Place in a preheated oven and cook for 4 1/2 hours.
GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Baste the leg of lamb a couple of times during it’s cooking period.
  • After the cooking time has elapsed remove the roasting tin from the oven.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F.

Applying the Redcurrant Jelly glaze

  • Remove the lid/foil from the roasting pan and spoon the Redcurrant jelly all over the roast lamb.
GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Spoon the Redcurrant Jelly over the Roast Lamb.
  • Leave the lid/foil off and place the roasting tin back into the lowest part of the oven. Also this will free up the top of the oven for crunchy roast potatoes!
  • Roast the lamb for a further 20-30 minutes, until the glaze has become deliciously dark and sticky.
  • Once cooked remove the roasting tin from the oven.

Resting and serving the lamb

  • Remove the Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb from the tin, set on a platter, cover in foil and leave to rest for 30-40 minutes – plenty of time to finish cooking the crunchy roast potatoes and other vegetables.
  • Before serving remove any string.
  • Finally, I served our delicious lamb on a platter surrounded by delicious, golden roast potatoes, with a side dish of freshly steamed vegetables.

There is nothing that says celebration to me more than a beautiful roast, on a platter, in the centre of the table.

As Christians on Easter Sunday we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ, from the dead. He offers new life to all who seek Him see Important StuffThat, most certainly, is worthy of a celebration.

GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb the perfect roast to celebrate with.

Spring as a season heralds the beginning of new life.

Finally, Winter has passed and as blossom appears on the trees and birds build nests for their eggs, let’s take a moment to consider what a wonderful and beautiful world we live in.

Do you celebrate Easter?

If you have enjoyed this Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb, you may like to try these:

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder 

FF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken 

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Slow Roasted Cider Pork 

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork

So whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

All content, opinions and views are my own. I was not paid for this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Wednesday this week was a truly dreary, dark and very cold day. All types of weather threw themselves at the ground; hail, snow, rain, sleet and it was windy too. Especially as it is March, I want to see evidence of Spring. Most of all flowers and lambs. Finally, I an attempt to cheer us all up I made these very pretty and extremely delicious Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes.

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Does the image of pink, raspberry buttercream topped cupcakes, adorned with large daisy flowers and butterflies cheer you up?

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

While the weather was so chilly and dreary, I was also feeling a little blue too, having just received news that a very close friend is extremely poorly. And so baking these cupcakes was therapeutic on both counts.

Do you find baking relaxing?

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

    Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Using Naturally Flavoured Icing Sugar

Although these are called Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes, which is true, the cake part is flavoured with Nielsen – Massey Vanilla Extract, for the buttercream I have used a favourite flavoured icing sugar.

Sugar and Crumbs sell an amazing range of naturally flavoured icing sugars. While making my Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes I used their Raspberry Ripple flavoured icing sugar. Since the day that last cupcake was eaten, in Kylie’s own words “I just can’t get you outta my head” I have wanted more. Especially more of the delicious tasting buttercream and more cupcake to swirl it onto!!

And so these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes were the perfect excuse to indulge my passion again.

Importantly, this time I wanted to leave the option of using flavoured buttercream as a choice. If you do buy some flavoured icing sugar, you can certainly make the buttercream any flavour you like, as the vanilla sponge will go with any flavoured frosting. Alternatively, if you want to stick with vanilla buttercream that tastes awesome as well.

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Personally I think the pink icing, along with the decorations, really set these cupcakes apart. Although ‘Springtime’ was at the forefront of my mind whilst creating these beauties, with Mother’s Day being this coming Sunday, they would also make a perfect gift for any Mum.

Recipe: Makes 18 Large Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

For the Cake:

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temp.

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – or you can substitute for Vanilla Extract

3 Large Free Rang Eggs

3tbsp Milk – whole or semi skimmed

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

1/8th tsp/pinch of Salt

For the Buttercream:

350g12oz Icing Sugar – I used 250g Sugar and Crumbs Raspberry Ripple flavour and 100g/4oz Plain Icing Sugar. (Confectioners Sugar)

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter

Pink Food Colour – I used Wilton pink food colouring gel (available from cake decorating shops, Amazon and similar from Lakeland UK)

2tbsp Very Hot Water

Dr Oetker rice paper daisies, various sprinkles (available from most supermarkets)

Rice paper butterflies – from Amazon

Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan oven, gas mark 3, 325F

Making The Vanilla Cupcake Batter

  • First of all, line 2 cupcake tins with 18 muffin or deep cupcake cases – the ones I used were a Christmas present from Lakeland.
  • Into a large bowl add your butter and sugar.
  • Whisk or beat until pale and creamy – approx 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 eggs, milk and Vanilla Bean Paste.
  • Sift into the bowl the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Note: This is called the all-in-one method.
  • Whisk or beat until all of the ingredients are combined – take care not to over mix and this will make the cupcakes tough, not light and springy.
  • Place a heaped dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake case.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Baking The Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Place the cupcakes into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes,
  • The cupcakes are baked when they have risen and are a golden colour. They should spring back when pressed lightly on the top.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Allow to cool completely before icing.

Making The Pink Buttercream

  • Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
  • Sift the icing sugar into the same bowl.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of hot water.
  • Add the food colouring, I use a cocktail stick and simply insert the tip into the food colouring gel and then add to the bowl.
  • Starting slowly, whisk the buttercream ingredients until light, creamy and uniform in colour.

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Piping Swirls Of Buttercream On To The Cupcakes

  • Place the icing bag into a tall sturdy container, I use a jug.
  • Use a spoon or spatula, fill the icing bag with all of the buttercream.
  • Practise on a plate, if piping for the first time.
  • Squeeze the bag so that all the buttercream is together.
  • Keep an even pressure with one hand squeezing the bag and using the other hand to guide the piping tip, pipe swirls onto the cupcakes.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
  • Finally add the decorations.
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes Gifting Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

I bought some cupcake pods, little plastic containers, perfect for holding one cupcake in and a great way to give individual cupcakes away as a gift. Since they were from Amazon and work out to about 10 pence per pod. Also they can be washed up and used again, which is great recycling and means you can share even more cupcakes with others!

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes 

Since piping the swirls onto the cupcakes gives them a beautiful, professional finish. means use whatever cupcake toppers and sprinkles that you have to hand. The beauty of these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes is that they are individual to your own sense of taste and style.

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

If you like the Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes you will love these recipes:

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes so pretty.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes the perfect way to say I Love You.

Strawberry Sweatheart Cake

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake swirled with roses and sprinkled with love

Enjoy baking and experimenting with piping different swirls!

Sammie xx

No part of the post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

Who really enjoys a toasted, buttery, Hot Cross Bun, in the run up to Easter? While my previous post shows you how to make the regular version I wanted to make a wholemeal version. Because some people, for various reasons, can only eat 100% wholemeal bread. Since they shouldn’t have to miss out on all the Easter food fun I developed this recipe for 100% Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns perfect just as they are!

Everyone can enjoy these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns, eaten just as they are or split and toasted with a light spread of butter. And the added beauty of these buns is the spicy, cinnamon aroma, filling the house as they bake and then again when they are toasted. Also these buns are packed full of fibre. So they are tasty and good for you!

FF Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

Also, while toasting a hot cross bun, there was a knock on the front door. Our postman had a parcel to deliver. And as I stood there signing for the parcel, he revealed that the smell of a toasted bun was his favourite smell in the world.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns a healthy breakfast or snack.

Making Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns is as straightforward as for the regular ones. While switching the flour from strong white bread flour, to 100% wholemeal flour, not bread flour, I also upped the yeast content and with a few more tweaks, these gorgeous buns were made.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun
The cross on this Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun is there as a reminder.

Why The Cross On Top Of The Bun?

The cross on the bun, is there to symbolise and remind us of The Cross on which Jesus died, only to surprise a lot of people, when He was fully alive two days later. So it is good, that the small symbol of a cross on a bun, reminds us that Jesus came for a reason. To love the unloved, to heal the sick, to befriend those that society cast out. And remember, out of two of His followers, one was a tax collector and the other a prostitute!

So amidst all the chocolate and bunnies, lovely though they are, take a moment to remember you are loved.

In the bible the book of John chapter 3 verse 16 says:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that who so ever believes in Him shall not be lost (perish), but have everlasting life.”

One small verse packs quite a powerful punch. You and I are the who so ever. Know that you are loved. And whatever your circumstances, you are loved more than you could ever imagine.

If you would like to know more, please read Important Stuff.

Now to show your body some love by making these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.

Recipe: Makes 12 Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

For the bun dough

500g/1lb 2oz Wholemeal Flour (not bread flour) – I use Duchy Organic from Waitrose

160ml/scant 6fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temp)

120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temp)

2 Large Eggs – I use free range

1tbsp Honey – I use runny honey

14g/ 2 Sachets Fast Acting Dried Yeast – I use Allinsons

10g/ approx 1.5tsp Salt

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temp. – plus extra for greasing the baking tray.

3tsp Cinnamon

150g/5oz Sultanas or Raisins

For the crosses:

50g/2oz Wholemeal flour

60ml/2.5fl oz Water

Apricot jam or honey to glaze approx 2tbsp

Method: This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer. Alternatively you can make these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns by hand.

The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.

Making The Wholemeal Bun Dough

  • First of all, add both the milk and water to the bowl.
  • Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
  • Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
  • Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.

For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.

As soon as the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky – don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours. As soon as the dough has doubled in size it can be tipped out and shaped.

Shaping The Buns

  • Grease a large baking tray  (40cm x 28cm x 2.5 cm) with butter.
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and weigh. Divide the weight by 12 and this will give you the weight of dough needed for each individual bun.
  • Alternatively, cut the dough in half and then cut each half into 6 even portions.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Lightly form the dough into a ball.
  • Cut the dough in half using a large knife or metal dough scraper.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

  • Roll each portion into a ball. Tucking the seam at the bottom.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Place each dough ball on the baking tray, spacing evenly apart.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and place in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx. 1 hour.
  • While the buns are proving make the paste for the crosses. Mix the flour and water together in a small bowl and then spoon into a small piping bag or plastic sandwich bag.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

  • As soon as the buns have doubled in size, snip the end off of the piping bag (corner of a sandwich bag) to leave a small hole.
  • 10 minutes before the buns are ready to bake preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan gas mark 7, 425F.
  • Pipe crosses on to the buns.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
 

Baking The Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

  • Place the buns into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns are baked when they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Once baked remove the Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • As soon as the buns are baked remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Place the apricot jam into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt.
  • Brush the warm buns with apricot jam using a pastry brush.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns ready to be shared with loved ones!

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns packaged into a tin, ready to be given away.

Eat toasted with butter or just as they are.

Store in an airtight tin for up to 3 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to one month.

If you have the capacity, why not bake a double batch of these delicious Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns and give some away?

If you enjoyed this recipefor Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns you may also like these: then you may want to take a look at these:

Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

FF Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Easter is a time when our family comes together and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Saviour. And sitting together, around the table, giving thanks before a meal is important. Giving thanks for the food we share and the provisions we have however is not only for Easter. Rather, it is an important daily practise in our lives. So is sharing the love that Jesus shows us. Whether it be through words, or more practically. And that is why I am so passionate about sharing food outside of our normal circle on this blog.

So whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Hot Cross Buns

It is that time of year when the spicy scent of Hot Cross Buns hits you as you enter the supermarket. Somehow though, I’m always a bit disappointed with the slightly squished, supermarket Hot Cross Buns. Yes they may be convenient, but, I’m here to persuade you to try the homemade version.

FF Hot Cross Buns

The Benefits Of Making Hot Cross Buns At Home

The beauty of making and baking your own Hot Cross Buns is that you can add exactly what you like to them. Oh and leave out all the additives that you don’t need.

Our eldest daughter and myself are both allergic to orange, in any form. It brings on really nasty migraines (see here if you’d like to know more). So although orange is a traditional addition to these buns, by making them at home I can leave it out.

Hot Cross Buns
Delicious split and spread with butter, these Hot Cross Buns are sure to be a hit.

Not Just For Easter?

Speaking of our daughter, for one entire year, when she was a toddler, a Hot Cross Bun would be what she ate for breakfast. In fact she suffered very badly with tonsillitis and had to undergo a tonsillectomy when she was two and a half. We already had another little ‘un and I’d just found out I was pregnant with our son. Times were busy!

Anyway, her operation was during her Hot Cross Bun phase. So I buttered one, wrapped it up and took it to the hospital. I honestly didn’t think she would eat anything after undergoing her procedure, but sure enough, chicken nuggets and chips for tea. Then, the very next morning she devoured her Hot Cross Bun!

She is 16 now and has just shared a bun with me. It got 10 out of 10 which, from a life-long lover of Hot Cross Buns, was all I needed to hear.

Hot Cross Buns
I was going to pop some of these Hot Cross Buns in the freezer, but I don’t think they’ll last that long!

Sharing This Recipe

I really do enjoy making food that my family and friends love. It was one of the reasons that I started feastingisfun, so I could share my own recipes with others.

Now I never actually believed anyone, other than family, would read this blog. But it seems you do and you enjoy it. Not only that but it has helped people, in a number of ways. Last Sunday I know of two people who specifically made recipes from this blog – and they turned out well. That puts a huge smile on my face.

Also others have been able to connect with me, as I understand, due to my own health issues (see Living With Seizures) and have found comfort in knowing they are not alone.

Sharing recipes, fun, love, encouragement and always a hug when ever needed.

The inspiration for this Hot Cross Bun recipe comes from both my daughter and the great baker Mr Paul Hollywood. I did actually start by looking at his recipe. However, me being me, I wanted to add some bits, change others, adapt the recipe for a bread maker/stand mixer. So in fact the recipe and method are mine, but thank you Paul for getting me off the starting blocks.

Recipe: Makes 12 Hot Cross Buns

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

140ml/scant 5fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temp)

120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temp)

2 Large Eggs – I use free range

1tbsp Honey

10g/1.5 Sachet Fast Acting Dried Yeast

10g/ approx 1tsp Salt

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

3tsp Cinnamon

150g/5oz Sultanas or Raisins

For the crosses:

50g/2oz Plain flour

50ml/2fl oz Water

Apricot jam or honey to glaze approx 2tbsp

Method: This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer, if you wish to make by hand, I suggest you look to the original recipe in Paul Hollywood’s book ‘How to Bake’ ISBN 9781 4088 19494.

Making The Spiced Fruit Dough

The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.

  • Add both the milk and water to the bowl.
  • Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
  • Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
  • Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.

For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.

When the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky – don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Once the stand mixer dough has doubled in size, lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

Shaping the Buns

Grease a large baking tray with butter.

  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Hot Cross Buns
Shape the dough into a ball and using a dough scraper or large knife, cut the dough in half.
  • Roll each half into an even log shape.
Hot Cross Buns
Cut each half into 6 equal pieces.
  • Using your hands form each portion into a ball with the seam underneath.
  • Place the dough balls onto the greased baking tray, evenly spaced apart.
Hot Cross Buns
Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx 1 hour.
  • While the buns are proving, mix 50g of white flour with 50ml of water.
  • Spoon into a small piping bag, or a small plastic sandwich bag.
Hot Cross Buns
When you are ready snip the end/corner off to give a small hole.
  • 10 minutes before the Hot Cross Buns are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F.
  • As soon as the buns have doubled in sized snip the end of the piping bag and pipe crosses on them.
Hot Cross Buns
When the buns are double in size pipe the crosses on.

Baking The Hot Cross Buns

  • Place the buns in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. They are baked when they are golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckle.
Hot Cross Buns
The smell that fills the air whilst these Hot Cross Buns are baking is wonderful.
  • Immediately transfer the Hot Cross Buns onto a cooling rack.
  • Heat the 2 tablespoon of apricot jam, in a microwave proof bowl, on medium stating, in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Brush the hot jam over the buns whilst they are still warm.
  • Leave to cool completely.
Hot Cross Buns
As they cool the jam soaks into the Hot Cross Buns.

These are absolutely THE best Hot Cross Buns I have ever tasted, let alone smelt whilst they were cooking.

Although there are a few steps, most of the hard work is done for you by kitchen machinery. I for one, would not be able to bake the quantity of bread and other items, if it weren’t for a little help in the kitchen.

Hot Cross Buns
Homemade Hot Cross Buns you can’t beat them.

We ate one of these Hot Cross Buns split and buttered, not even toasted and they tasted AH-MAZE-ZING. Please try, just this once, to make your own Hot Cross Buns.

I am available via the comments section of this site or alternatively over on Twitter @sammiefeasting. It is true, I have been known, whilst on holiday in Devon, with a really dodgy signal, to give advice to someone baking these Crusty Baguettes so please don’t worry, ask.

Who will you share your homemade Hot Cross Buns with?

If you have enjoyed this recipe you may also like these:

Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

FF Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Sammie xx

A great tray for baking all of these Hot Cross Buns would be British Bakeware Extra large baking 40cm x 28cm x 2.5cmx

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