Easter’s right around the corner, and this post-pandemic one is about to be extra special with two delicious recipes!
A traditional Easter may be incomplete without a range of eggs, but there’s a lot else going on the table too!
From arduously baked hams to sides of spring vegetables and of course, delicious desserts, there’s a lot that goes into making Easter memorable. As the pandemic seemingly ebbs, this year’s festivals are all the more exciting for it.
So if you’ve got the family and friends coming over for some merriment, there’s nothing like some good Easter Simnel Cake and Hot Cross Buns to get the party going! While the former is a traditional Easter fruit cake decorated with marzipan balls that represent the 11 Apostles, the latter is quite a comforting yet special treat.
Curated by Chef Gaurav Malhotra, Fairmont Jaipur, these recipes are sure to be the star of your Easter meal. And win you the admiration of family and friends too!
Easter Simnel Cake
- 1 cup margarine, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 ⅛ cups self-rising flour
- 1 ⅓ cups golden raisins
- 1 cup dried currants
- ⅔ cup candied cherries, rinsed, dried and quartered
- ¼ cup candied mixed fruit peel, chopped
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 pound almond paste
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 300℉ (150℃). Grease and flour an 8-inch springform pan. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with greased parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour. Stir in the golden raisins, currants, candied cherries, mixed fruit, lemon zest and mixed spice. Pour 1/2 of batter into the prepared pan.
- Divide almond paste into 3 equal portions. Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste to an 8 inch circle. Place the circle of almond paste on the cake batter in a pan. Cover with remaining cake batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until evenly brown and firm to the touch. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil after an hour of baking. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Set the oven to broil.
- When the cake has cooled, brush the top with warmed apricot jam. Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste into an 8-inch circle and place on top of the cake. Divide the remaining 1/3 of almond paste into 11 pieces and roll into balls. These represent the 11 Apostles (excluding Judas.) Brush the almond paste on top of the cake with beaten egg. Arrange the 11 balls around the outside edge on the top of the cake. Brush the balls lightly with egg.
- Place cake under the broiler for 8 to 10 minutes, or until almond paste is golden brown.
Hot Cross Buns
- ¾ cup warm water (110℉ / 45℃)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp instant powdered milk
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ⅜ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup dried currants
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp milk
- Take warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in the bread maker and start it on the dough program.
- When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add currants and cinnamon. Leave in the machine till doubled.
- Punch down on a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12-inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till doubled, about 35-40 minutes.
- Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water. Brush on balls.
- Bake at 375℉ (190℃) for 20 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.
- To make crosses: mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk. Place glaze in a piping bag or a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off, pipe a cross onto each roll.