Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Easter Sunday is tomorrow and I simply couldn’t resist one last Easter themed bake. So here are my Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes not a golden egg but a golden plate.

Delicious vanilla cupcakes, swirled with real chocolate buttercream, sprinkled with dark chocolate curls and mini eggs nestled in the centre.

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes have the perfect balance of cake, chocolate buttercream and Cadbury’s mini eggs.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes beautiful in tulip wrappers.

With ALL of the chocolate that is around over the Easter period I wanted a vanilla cupcake to provide balance. Don’t get me wrong I love a deep chocolatey cake, like my Chocolate Sparkle Cake but sometimes too much chocolate can be over powering!

I adore the crisp, vanilla shell on Cadbury’s mini eggs and wanted to echo that in the cupcake. Likewise, a lighter chocolate buttercream, piped on these cupcakes, works with the mini eggs, rather than swamping them.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes a little portion of edible happiness.

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes are an inexpensive way of making a few packets of mini eggs go a long way and are perfect to give as gifts. I personally love homemade gifts and these would be a very welcome gift indeed.

Wrapped in some cellophane, tied with raffia or ribbon, these portions of loveliness look so pretty. Good enough to eat in fact. My niece made a version of these and gave them to her teachers at Primary School as an end of term, Easter thank you. They were very well received!

Recipe: Makes 12 Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

100g/4oz Unsalted Buter at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/8/pinch of Salt

2 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain White Flour – self raising can be substituted but don’t add the extra baking powder.

1tsp Baking Powder

For the Chocolate Buttercream

300g/11oz  Icing Sugar – sifted

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter – softened

175g/6oz Milk Chocolate

2 packets of Cadbury’s mini eggs

Dark chocolate curls, or Cadbury’s flake (x2)

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/145C fan, gas mark 3

  • Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and whisk/beat until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk/beat until incorporated.
  • Next add 2 eggs, the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Whisk/beat slowly until all the ingredients are just combined.
  • Using a metal spoon stir the mixture 2-3 times to ensure everything is combined.
  • Place 12 cupcake wrappers into a cupcake pan.
  • Scoop just under a dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake wrapper.
  • Place the cupcakes into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are cooked when they are a golden brown colour and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • If using tulip cupcake cases, as I have, allow to cool completely in the tin, if not cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Transfer cupcakes in tulip wrappers to a cooling rack once cold.
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes ready for frosting.
  • Whilst the cupcakes are cooling the buttercream can be made.
  • Break up the chocolate, place in a microwaveable bowl and heat on medium power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted. Set to one side.
  • Whisk the sieved icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract until pale and smooth.
  • Add the cooled chocolate, whilst whisking. Continue whisking until you have light, fluffy, buttercream.
  • Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.
  • Fill the piping bag with the chocolate buttercream.
  • Pipe a single swirl around the outside edge of each cupcake.
  • Repeat, piping another swirl on top of the previous one.
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes the nests are almost ready for their eggs.
  • Sprinkle dark chocolate curls, or broken up Cadbury’s flake around the swirls of chocolate buttercream.
  • Add mini eggs to the centre of the cupcakes.
  • I kept my colours the same, for impact, however, they also look very natural when the colours are mixed – let you creative juices flow!
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes I kept my mini eggs all the same colour.

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes are such an easy bake, yet look a lot more complicated – I can keep a secret if you can 😉.

Just a quick note about the tulip cupcake cases: they can be quite expensive, so I buy mine in bulk from Amazon UK. The price per wrapper is much cheaper. Better still, get together with a baking buddy and split the package and cost. I bought 100 a couple of years ago and still have plenty left!!

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes presented on a golden plate.

A delicious gift for anyone at Easter time, taking around an hour to make, bake and decorate. These can still be made in time for tomorrow.

As I said at the start of this post, Easter symbolises new birth. For me, as a Christian, that happened when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. If you would like to know more please see Important Stuff.

How you ever considered the true meaning of Easter and what it means to you?

If you have enjoyed these Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes here are some other mini egg recipes:

Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

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

Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies served with a few extra eggs!

I love reading your comments, so please keep them coming and seeing all your makes and bakes on Twitter/Instagram. Please pop a photo up and tag me in?

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and blessed Easter.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

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Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Oh boy do I have a treat for you. With Good Friday being tomorrow I decided to create one more 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!

RT Ginger Gate Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns a complete taste sensation.

Having been sent some medjool dates from The Medjool Date Co. I wanted to incorporate them into different recipes. It only occurred to me today 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. Whilst I have been cooking and baking with them a few, maybe more than a few have been eaten along the way.

RT Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns brushed with warm ginger syrup.

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 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 temp.

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.

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 – grease a large baking tray with butter – see Hot Cross Buns for full step by step pictures.

  • 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.
  • Whilst 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.
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.
  • 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.
  • Remove the buns 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!

RT Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns look how light and fluffy they are inside.

So tomorrow morning, Good Friday, we have a choice of traditional Hot Cross Buns 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 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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Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder

I know that Easter is only a few days away and that traditionally lamb is eaten on Easter Sunday, but this Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder is so good, I would happily eat it all year round!

GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder tender, moist and falls off the bone.

By that I really mean whenever good, British lamb is in season. Graig Farm is where I buy our lamb from and I can honestly say it really is the best lamb I have ever eaten. Whether as Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb or this Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder.

Absolutely perfect for putting in the oven first thing, whilst, on Easter Sunday you go to church, or take part in an egg hunt. Minimal preparation and then when you come back home the smell, as you walk through the front door, so warm, welcoming and delicious!

GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder makes a delicious meal.

A whole shoulder of lamb will feed six people generously, so if you are cooking for more people, do as I did. I roasted two whole shoulders as I wanted to be guaranteed lots of leftovers. Whilst I was cooking one Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder it would take no more effort or energy to cook two and I wanted plenty of leftovers for another recipe I had in mind.

So whenever you are feeding a crowd, this is the perfect roast for feasting on. After slow roasting for 5 hours, you have beautiful, melt in the mouth meat. In fact I pulled our lamb apart using two forks, much like you would for pulled pork. The lamb comes clean away from the bone and is so moist, perfect with golden, crunchy roast potatoes or this Leek Colcannon.

GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder so tender it can be pulled apart using forks.

Recipe: One Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder will serve 6 adults

  • Each shoulder of lamb weighs  2.2kg from Graig Farm 
  • One onion, peeled and halved per shoulder.
  • Sprigs of rosemary.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Optional –  peeled garlic cloves.

Method: Preheat the oven to 155C/140C fan, gas mark 2

  • Place the shoulder of lamb into a roasting tin that just fits.
  • Using a sharp knife make slashes through the skin into the shoulder of lamb.
  • Push small sprigs of rosemary (and garlic, if liked) into the holes.
  • Sprinkle over with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place the onion halves under the lamb.
GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Two whole lamb shoulders fitted perfectly in my roasting tin.
  • Cover the roasting tin tightly with aluminium foil. Make a folded pleat down the length of the foil and then crimp tightly to the tin. The pleat allows you to pull the foil away from the lamb, so that they don’t touch, it also gives room for steam to circulate as the lamb is slow cooking.
GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
The pleat in the foil allows for expansion.
  • Place the lamb into the centre of the oven and cook for 5 hours.
  • NOTE: All ovens vary, the cooking time is a guide only,
  • The meat does not need to be basted. The natural fat and juices within the lamb baste it as it slow cooks.
  • After the cooking time has elapsed, remove the lamb from the oven.
  • Remove the foil and check the lamb is cooked by pulling at some of the meat with a fork. If it comes away easily the lamb is cooked.
  • If the lamb is not fork tender, cover again with foil and place back into the oven, checking half hourly until cooked.
  • Once cooked, if you like crispy lamb skin increase the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6 and place the lamb back into the oven, leaving the foil off. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until you have golden, crispy skin.
GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Beautifully cooked Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulders.
  • Once cooked remove the lamb from the oven.
  • Take the lamb out of the pan and place on a board, or platter, cover in foil to rest for 30-40 minutes. Enough time to finish the roast potatoes in the oven!
  • To serve, pull the lamb apart into chunks, using 2 forks.

This Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder tastes so mouth-wateringly good, you’ll be back for seconds – so maybe roasting two shoulders of lamb wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all 😉.

Whatever you do this Easter, I’d encourage you to take a moment to think about why we celebrate it – see Important Stuff.

If you have enjoyed this Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder you may also like these recipes:

Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

Leek Colcannon

GF Leek Colcannon
Leek Colcannon

Hot Cross Buns

GF Hot Cross Buns
Homemade Hot Cross Buns.

If you make this Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder from Graig Farm please leave a comment or pop a photo up on Twitter/Instagram. I love seeing what you cook and bake.

Do you have a favourite roast? Or do you struggle to cook a certain roast and you’d like help with it?

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

Graig Farm provided the lamb for this post. All opinions, views, recipe and content are my own. I did not receive payment for this post please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Easter is nearly here and with it the traditional Hot Cross Bunswhich I absolutely love. However, after seeing Waitrose selling a variety of different flavours, I decided to take on the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns.

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns a delicious twist on a classic.

I wanted to use the basic egg and milk enriched dough from my traditional Hot Cross Buns and experiment will cherries and almond flavouring.

As much as I absolutely love all things almond, especially flaked almonds, I decided to keep them out of these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross BunsI wasn’t sure how they would interact with the dough and I still wanted the buns to have a soft, pillowy, interior.

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns perfect eaten just as they are!

Leaving out the almonds was a great decision. These Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns are so light and very more-ish. Crunch would not have been a good thing!

Instead I used Sugar and Crumbs cherry bakewell icing sugar. Substituting it both for the honey in the dough mix and using it to glaze the buns, instead of apricot jam. This with the addition of some almond extract, gave the buns just the right hint of almond. The flavour is subtle and works so well with the fluffy, light bun.

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns so good you want to just bite right into one!

Now for the cherries. I used both glacé and dried cherries. They both add their own flavour and pretty colour to these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns. The dried cherries also give a lovely chewiness, similar to that of raisins. Whilst the glacé cherries add bursts of sweetness, similar to that of mixed peel (of which I am most definitely not a fan!).

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns leave the cross off and make these all year round!

Over all these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns have been a huge hit in our home. So much so, that I can see myself making them all year round, although I’ll probably leave off the cross!

They are an utterly delicious bun, not dissimilar in taste to old fashioned, bakery, iced buns. Perfect toasted with butter, or eaten, as I did, just like an iced bun, with a lovely cup of tea.

If you haven’t made bread dough before, or used yeast in baking, please don’t be daunted by the prospect. Ensure the yeast you use is fresh. Yep, even fast action dried yeast, which is what we use in this recipe, loses its potency. So if you have yeast that’s been sitting in the cupboard for more than 6 months I really would recommend buying new.

I bake regularly enough to get through a tin of fast action dried yeast, every 2-3 weeks. It’s a regular on my grocery order. Don’t worry if all you can by is sachets, that’s fine as we weigh the yeast for this recipe.

Likewise with flour, you need good strong, white, bread flour. I buy mine from Shipton Mill via Amazon UK. It works out a lot cheaper than buying the best organic supermarket brand. That said, I’ve already mentioned that I bake a lot, so buy a good quality, organic if you can afford it, brand from the supermarket. All flour has a use by date, check yours.

The reason I have emphasised using fresh ingredients is, whilst this recipe is relatively easy, it can be heartbreaking to make a yeasted bun, only to find it doesn’t rise. So if you check everything before you start, you are much more likely to have a deliciously, positive outcome. Which is what we all want. Right?

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns lets get baking!

Recipe: Makes 12 Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

140ml/ Scant 5fl oz Whole Milk – warmed slightly to body temperature

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

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tbsp Cherry Bakewell Icing Sugar – or plain icing sugar

10g/1.5 Sachets Fast Acting Dried Yeast

10g Salt

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

100g/4oz Dried Cherries

75g/3oz Glacé Cherries – chopped into quarters

1tsp Almond Extract

For the crosses

50g/2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1/2tsp Almond Extract

50ml/2fl oz Water

For the glaze

50g/2oz Cherry Bakewell Icing Sugar – or substitute plain icing sugar plus 1/4tsp almond extract.

Hot water approx 50mls/2fl oz

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, traditional hot cross bun recipe in Paul Hollywood’s book ‘How to Bake’ ISBN 9781 4088 19494.

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 icing sugar 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 dried cherries, glacé cherries and almond extract. 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 dried cherries, glacé cherries and almond extract. 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 Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns – grease a large baking tray with butter – see Hot Cross Buns for full step-by-step pictures.

  • 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!
W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns ready for their second prove.
  • Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and place in a warm, draught free place.
  • Leave until doubled in size.
  • Whilst the buns are proving, make the flour paste for the crosses. Add the water and almond extract 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.
W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Doubled in size and almost round, these buns are ready for their crosses.
  • 10 minutes before the buns are ready for the oven, preheat it to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • Snip the end off of the piping bag, so there is a small hole.
  • Pipe down each line of buns and then again across each line of buns.
W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Ready for the oven.
  • Place the 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 bottom with your knuckle.
  • Remove the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns from the oven.
  • Take the buns off of the baking tray and place onto a cooling rack.
  • Make the glaze by adding the very hot water to sifted icing sugar and stirring until completely dissolved.
  • Brush the glaze over the buns whilst they are still hot.
  • Leave to cool until at least warm, before diving in and taking your first bite!
W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns glazed and cooling on a rack.

These Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns may not have the traditional taste of the usual buns, but they are a complete and utterly delightful alternative!

For those people who are averse to raisins, sultanas or cinnamon, here is a bun they can thoroughly enjoy in the run up to Easter. In fact all year round.

Have you ever tried making hot cross buns?

Do you like the idea of the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns as an alternative?

I hope you have fun whatever you bake this Easter and also take a moment to consider what Easter really means, see Important Stuff.

If you have enjoyed these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns here are some more traditional recipes for you.

Hot Cross Buns

W Hot Cross Buns
Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

W Hot Cross Buns
100% Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

Whatever you make or bake over this Easter period, please pop a photo onto Twitter/Instagram? I love seeing your pictures and reading your comments.

Wishing you all a happy, safe Easter.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting

This recipe has been submitted to Baking Queen 74 for March’s Perfecting Patisserie.

March Perfecting Patisserie

 

 

 

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Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

With Easter 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 Smartie mini eggs baked into the batter.

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies perfect for Easter sharing.

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

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. 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, Smartie 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 Smartie mini eggs really grabbed my attention. What I also love is that they keep their shape whilst baking, yet soften a little. This combination 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. I find no shame in admitting this. However, you should know this recipe makes 12 Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies. Absolutely perfect for cookie lovers like me!

These are most definitely not a one bite and they’re gone cookie. 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 Smartie Mini Eggs (2x100g)

Method: Preheat oven to 165C/150C fan, gas mark 3

  • 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 Smartie mini eggs
  • Fold all the ingredients together until you have uniform cookie dough.
  • 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!
  • 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 and once Easter has passed, I’m sure they would be perfect, made using the cookie dough, with Smarties added to them.

Do you have a favourite Easter recipe?

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

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

Smartie Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Smartie Cherry Bakewell Cookies
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Walnut Fig Oat Cookies

Smartie Walnute Fig Cookies
Walnut Fig Cookies

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. I decided to have some fun and make Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies.

Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies being guarded by two Smartie hens!

I used Smartie mini eggs as their gorgeous colours show up so well on top of the brownies. There are also Smartie mini eggs hidden with the brownie, which kept their shape and crunch during baking.

These Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies are deliciously fudgey as you bite into them, with extra crunch and chocolate when you find a hidden egg. Utterly scrumptious!

Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Each of these Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies is like an Easter Egg Hunt Adventure.

Ever since our children could walk we have made up an egg hunt for them. Sometimes friends and cousins get involved too, now they are a bit older. What never ceases to amaze me though, 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. This rarely happens, as I can never remember where they were hidden, so 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 😉.

Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies perfect for the adults whilst the children hunt for eggs!

Whilst 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, Smartie mini eggs, hidden inside.

Each Chocolate Mini Egg Brownie is drizzled in white chocolate before topping with more Smartie 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!

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/155C fan, gas mark 3 1/2

  • 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.
  • Place the tin into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Halfway through the cooking time carefully tap the tin against the oven shelf, this helps the brownies stay fudgey and not rise, like a cake.
  • The brownies are cooked 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.
  • Once cooked 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.
  • 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 deliciously drizzled with white chocolate and topped with extra mini eggs!
  • Once cooled 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!!
Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies served with a few extra eggs!

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. Little do they know there are hidden 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 Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies then you may like these recipes too:

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Smartie Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes perfect for sharing.

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake such a sunny colour and delicious flavour.

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

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

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. Well 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

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. The quality of the meat is consistenly excellent. 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. It is always utterly delicious, full of flavour and cooked properly, the best meat I have ever tasted!

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

British Bakeware have recently added this Oval Roaster with lid to their fantastic range of British manufactured bakeware. This 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/135C fan, gas mark 1-2

  • 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.
  • Cut up one onion and place it in and under the leg of lamb.
  • Place a lid on the roasting tin, or cover with foil, ensuring the foil doesn’t touch 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/185C fan, gas mark 6.
  • 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. This will free up the top 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, see Spring has sprung.

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:

Hot Cross Buns 

BN Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

GF Roast Chicken Noodle Soup
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

Leek Colcannon

GF Leek Colcannon
Leek Colcannon a fantastic alternative to roast potatoes.

Please tag me in on Twitter/Instagram? I love seeing what you are cooking, baking and making.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

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

At time of publishing Graig Farm currently have 10% off their Organic Leg of Lamb.

 

 

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Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

It is Monday and although the sun is shining, a cold wind is whipping through the air. This beautiful Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake was made to cheer us all up on chilly days.

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake such a sunny colour and delicious flavour.

I absolutely adore the combination of lemon and blueberries together, in fact my Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are one of my favourite recipes.

This time however, I wanted to make a Bundt cake and actually mix the blueberries into the cake batter, breaking them up as they were whisked in. Of course I saved a few whole blueberries, to put in the batter and bake into little pods of jam within the cake.

What I hadn’t bargained for was, the extra moistness the broken blueberries would add to this cake. With plenty of fresh lemon zest added this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake delivers moist, flavourful, cake perfection, in every bite!

LemonBlueberry Bundt Cake NW
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake every bite is utterly delicious.

After baking the beautiful Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake for little baby Florrie and her mum, I wanted to make another cake with a sunny, Spring theme. So I chose my Blossom Bundt by Nordic Ware and set about creating the recipe.

I always prefer to use lemon zest in a cake, as it imparts a wonderful, zingy, lemon flavour. The lemon juice, from the zested lemons, has its own starring role. Added to icing sugar to form the glaze for this cake, it is the first taste to hit your tongue as you bite into this cake, jolting your tastebuds awake!

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake after one slice you’ll be coming back for more!

Bundt tins are a great investment, especially if you aren’t very confident with your cake decorating skills. These beautifully shaped tins do all the work for you. This Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake would still have looked pretty and tasted delicious with a light dusting of icing sugar.

With a little care and proper preparation a Bundt tin will give you years of beautiful cakes, with no extra effort required by the baker!

That doesn’t mean you can’t choose to decorate them though! This is the first Bundt cake that I have fully glazed with a thicker icing. My Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake is fully glazed, with a thinner, lighter icing – still completely delicious.

I knew I would need a thicker icing to cover the dark blueberries near the surface of the cake. What I hadn’t envisaged was the thickness of the icing, along with it’s pretty yellow colour, actually looked just like custard as I was spooning it onto the cake!!

We all had a giggle at the similarity – that’s what baking and experimenting with decorating is all about for me. Fun!

Let’s get on with making this cake!

Recipe: Makes one Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake serves 10-12

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

250g/9oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

5 Large Free Range Eggs

2 Lemons – Zested and Juiced

300g/11oz Fresh Blueberries

250g/9oz Plain White Flour

2.5tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

Cake release spray – I use Wilton’s or extra butter & flour for preparing your Bundt tin

450g/1lb Icing sugar

Optional – Yellow Gel Food Colouring I use Wilton food colouring gel

Apperiels, white pre made sugar flowers – these are readily available in supermarkets and online.

Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan

  • Into a large bowl add the sugar, butter and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk or beat until pale and fluffy – approx 5 minutes
  • Into a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt together (dry ingredients).
  • Add one third of the dry ingredients and two eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, whilst whisking/beating on a slow speed.
  • Repeat the last step.
  • Add two thirds of the blueberries to the batter, the zest of two lemons, one egg and the final third of the dry ingredients. Whisk/beat on a slow speed until just combined.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
The cake batter should be smooth with broken up blueberries throughout.
  • Prepare the Bundt tin by spraying well with Cake Release, or brush with melted butter, ensuring you completely cover all the groves in the pan – then add 2tbsp of plain white flour and rotate the tin ensuring the entire inside has a flour coating. Tip any excess flour out of the tin and dispose.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
My Blossom Bundt Tin prepared with cake release spray.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the Bundt tin, pressing down as you do so to ensure the batter fills all the little dips and grooves.
  • Only fill the Bundt tin 3/4 full. Any excess batter can be baked as cupcakes once the main cake is cooked.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Press the remaining third of the blueberries into the top of the cake.
  • Place the Bundt tin into the middle of the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
  • Once cooked remove the cake from the oven.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Allow the Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake to cool in it’s tin for 10 minutes.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
After 10 minutes turn the Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake out onto a cooling rack.

See how beautiful this cake is?

A light dusting of icing sugar and this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake would be perfect to serve alongside a nice, hot cup of tea or coffee.

To Glaze the Bundt Cake

  • Ensure the cake is completely cold before icing.
  • Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly to form a very thick paste – additional water can be added. The icing should hold a figure 8 for a few seconds.
  • Using a cocktail stick add a tiny amount of yellow gel icing, mix thoroughly, add more colouring until the desired colour is achieved. Mine really was the consistency and thickness of really good custard.
  • Place the Bundt cake on a rack over a tray – I used a roasting tin, as you will see.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Yellow, lemon flavoured, thick icing.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Carefully spoon the thick, lemon icing over the cake.
  • Starting at the top of the cake, spoon over the thick icing evenly.
  • Allow gravity to work and let the icing slowly drip down the cake.
  • Fill in gaps with more icing until the whole cake is completely covered.
  • I did spoon some of the icing, from the tray underneath, back over the cake to fill in gaps – just beware of cake crumbs!
  • As soon as the cake is completely covered and has settled – the icing is no longer moving – carefully place the cake onto a board/cake stand.
  • Add any further decorations whilst the icing is still slightly wet.
  • Set the cake aside to dry.
  • Take lots of photographs and give yourself a big pat on the back for creating such a beautiful Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake covered in a delicious lemon glaze.

This Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake is certain to cheer up anybody’s day and they get a vitamin C boost as well!

It may sound silly, but looking at this cake makes me smile. In some ways it is a reflection of my personality, sunny whatever the weather.

I really hope I have inspired you to make this cake. Please send me a photo on Twtter/Instagram I absolutely love seeing your cakes and bakes?

Have fun whilst you are baking and if you feel a little blue just take a look at this cake. Spring is on its way and with it, warmer weather and more sunshine – hopefully!

If you enjoyed making this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake and have been bitten by the ‘Bundt Bug’ here are some other recipes for you to make and enjoy:

Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake 

NW Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake
The Crispearls give this moist Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake a crunchy topping.

Lime Coconut Blossom Bundt Cake

NW Coconut Lime Blossom Bundt
Coconut Lime Blosson Bundt deliciously pretty.

Florrie’s Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake 

Florrie's Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake perfect for celebrating the safe arrival of a baby girl.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

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Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

Who doesn’t enjoy a toasted, buttery, Hot Cross Bun, in the run up to Easter? My previous post shows you how to make these delicious buns. Some people, for whatever reason, can only eat 100% wholemeal bread, so I decided, they shouldn’t have to miss out on all the Easter food fun and so 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.

The beauty of these buns is, you get that wonderful, cinnamon, spicy aroma, that fills the house whilst they are baking and then you get it again when they are toasted.

In fact, having just toasted a hot cross bun, for my breakfast a couple of years ago, there was a knock on the front door. The postman had a parcel to deliver. As I stood there signing for the parcel, the postman revealed that he could smell the toasted bun and that it was his favourite smell in the world!

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

These Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns are just as easy to make and bake as the regular ones. I switched the flour from strong white bread flour, to 100% wholemeal baking flour – not bread flour. I 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.

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. 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. Don’t forget, 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, maybe take a moment to remember you are loved.

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. No matter what your circumstances, you are loved more than you could ever imagine.

If you would like to know more about this, 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

500g/1lb 2oz Wholemeal Flour (not bread flour) – I used 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

14g/ 2 Sachets Fast Acting Dried Yeast

10g/ approx 1tsp 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. You can off course 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.

  • 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 Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns – Grease a large baking tray  (40cm x 28cm x 2.5 cm) with butter.

  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
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 half into a log shape and cut into 6 even portions.
  • 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.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Whilst the buns are proving mix the flour and water together, for the crosses and place in a small piping bag or plastic sandwich bag.
  • Once 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.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Pipe the crosses onto 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.
  • 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.

Gorgeous 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.

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

The feedback I have from these buns has been excellent. I tried one myself and they truly are moist, not heavy or dense and packed with delicious fruit and cinnamon flavour. What more could I ask for?

I’m sure friends, family, work colleagues or even your postman would appreciate such a delicious gift!

Do you have special dietary requirements?

I am going to be working on a gluten free/dairy free version of these buns in the next few days.

If you enjoyed this recipe then you may want to take a look at these:

Wholemeal Cob Loaf

Crunchy Seeded Bread

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

I hope you have fun making and baking, but especially feasting with others.

Sammie xx

 

 

 

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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.

Hot Cross Buns
Fresh homemade Hot Cross Buns – yum!

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.

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!

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.

The backbone of this blog is sharing.

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

The inspiration for this Hot Cross Bun recipe comes from 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 temp.

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.

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 Hot Cross 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.
  • Whilst the buns are proving, mix the 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.
Hot Cross Buns
When the buns are double in size pipe the crosses on.
  • 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 had fun, feasting on these Hot Cross Buns, you may like these recipes:

Chelsea Buns

Spiced Fruit Loaf

Sammie xx

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

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