Whether you celebrate Easter or not, this is still the sweetest time of the year.
Pickled fish, hot cross buns and chocolate eggs are volop wherever you go and the coming long weekend will see many of us and the laaities indulging in all of the above until we are bursting at the seams.
Of course the sacred time is not all about chocolates and Easter eggs, but it’s the perfect time of the year to celebrate with friends and family - and lekker kos.
Now (assuming) that your vis is al ingelê, it’s time to prep the sweet treats.
Hot cross buns are usually one of the first things to fly off the shelves, but it’s so much more special to make your own.
Who can resist the aroma of vars gebakte spicy buns permeating through your home.
Making your own buns is as easy as making rolls or bakbrood because it’s the same baking style, and you can even add your own flavours and make it to your liking.
My personal favourite is a traditional hot cross bun with butter and cheese after I’ve had my pickled fish.
If, like me, you always have ’n klomp hot cross buns left over then you would want to try the lekker soet recipes I added this week.
There’s still a few days of warm weather left for us to enjoy, so treat yourself and the family to a lekker dessert which you can make with just ice cream, your leftover hot cross buns and whatever chocolate or marshmallows the kids haven’t finished yet.
I wish you and your family a blessed and safe Easter weekend and may these recipes make this special time even sweeter. Happy baking!
Hot cross buns
5 cups cake flour or strong bread flour
1.5 packets instant yeast
1/2 t of salt
6 T caster sugar
2.5 t mixed spice
2.5 t fine cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t fine ginger (I use fresh ginger, grated)
1.5 cups seedless raisins
300ml lukewarm milk
70g melted butter
2 extra large eggs whisked
Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir till combined.
Add wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes and place in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover and allow to rise for 90 minutes.
Knock down the dough and shape round balls placing it 2cm apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Cover with a dish cloth and allow to rise again for 35 minutes.
Take half a cup of cake flour and just enough water, about 5-6 tablespoons, to make a soft white thick paste.
Take this paste and spoon it into a piping bag with a thin nozzle or just a plastic bag and cut a small piece with scissors at the corner and pipe down on each row all the way to the last bun and then do the same with the other rows of buns forming the cross shapes.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 25-30 minutes or until brown.
While still hot out of the oven, brush with a simple sugar syrup.
Take a quarter cup of boiling water and stir in about 4 to 5 tablespoons of sugar.
Stir until dissolved. You can cook this syrup for a few minutes on the stove or omit this step and stir in the sugar syrup and a teaspoon of apricot jam until dissolved and brush over hot buns.
And that's it! You’ve just made your own hot cross buns.
Tips - Don't be tempted to add more flour to your dough mix, this will result in a heavy and dense bun.
To take it to another level add the zest of one orange. I used freshly grated ginger. You may use remaining sugar syrup to brush for a second time after it has cooled.
You can refrigerate in an airtight container to keep for the next day. Simply pop in the microwave for a few seconds and it will taste oven fresh again.
Chocolate s’more parcels
Pick n Pay
6 hot cross buns
1 large (150g) chocolate slab
12 large white marshmallows
Slice open hot cross buns and lightly toast the cut side in a dry pan or sandwich press.
Break chocolate slab into blocks and divide between buns.
Place marshmallows onto each bun and close sandwich.
Wrap each bun in foil and bake at 160°C for 10-15 minutes.
Easter Rocky road Beacon
200g shortbread biscuits
150g Heavenly Milk Chocolate
3 T (45ml) golden syrup
9 mmmMallows Eggs, chopped
100g almonds, toasted and chopped
Icing sugar, for dusting
Grease and line an 18cm square brownie tin with baking paper.
Put shortbread biscuits in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin (or the side of your fist) until they're broken.
You want a mixture of everything from dust to 50-cent-sized chunks. Set aside.
Melt butter, chocolate and golden syrup together in a large saucepan over gentle heat.
Stir constantly until smooth then remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
Add crushed biscuits, two-thirds of the chopped mmm Mallows Eggs and half the almonds to the chocolate mixture, stir until everything is coated in chocolate.
Tip the mixture into the lined brownie tin and spread evenly.
Top with remaining Mallows Eggs and almonds.
Chill in the fridge for at least 3 to 4 hours.
Dust with icing sugar. Cut into 12 squares and serve.
Cook’s note: Add a twist to this Easter dessert by using any flavour of mmmMallows Eggs you like and your favourite Heavenly slab.
Easter egg ice-cream sandwich
Pick n Pay
1 packet (125g) speckled eggs
1 packet (85g) Smarties mini eggs
6-8 PnP chocolate hollow eggs
12 PnP marshmallow eggs
½ tub (1L) PnP vanilla ice cream, softened
6 chocolate hot cross buns
Place all chocolate eggs in a zip seal bag.
Using a rolling pin, bash until coarse and place in a large bowl.
Tear marshmallow eggs into pieces and add.
Add soft ice cream and mix well.
Scoop into a deep 1 litre dish and freeze overnight.
Slice hot cross buns in half and toast each on a hot griddle pan.
Scoop Easter egg ice cream onto half the hot cross buns and sandwich together with remaining buns.
Giant Chocolate Cookie Pudding
160g butter, at room temperature
150g demerara sugar
125ml NESTLÉ KLIM
60 ml NESTLÉ COCOA POWDER
15ml vanilla essence
250g cake flour, sifted
5ml bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp of salt
NESTLÉ Smarties and Easter eggs, to decorate
Vanilla ice cream, to serve and chocolate sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 25cm round baking dish or pan.
2. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until fluffy, then add the egg,
ideal milk and vanilla and beat to combine.
3. Add cake flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix together with a spatula.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Stud the top with smarties.
4. Bake in the preheated oven, about 15 - 20 minutes until cooked on the outside but soft inside. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
60 ml NESTLÉ COCOA POWDER
30 ml NESTLÉ KLIM MILK
125 ml castor sugar
5 ml fine salt
250 ml warm water
15 ml vanilla essence
1. In a cold saucepan, sift together the NESTLÉ COCOA POWDER, NESTLÉ KLIM
MILK, salt and sugar until all lumps are removed. Gradually whisk in warm water and
bring to a boil on a stove top, over medium heat.
2. Reduce to a simmer; stirring constantly to avoid burning at the bottom. Simmer for
about 1 - 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Let cool and then add vanilla
3. To completely cool down, Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate until needed. Enjoy!
Cooks Tip - The chocolate sauce will be very thin when it finishes reducing, but it will thicken quite a bit as it cools.
Peanut butter marshmallow egg cups Beacon
4 slabs (320g) Heavenly Midnight Velvet
½ cup (125ml) peanut butter
1 Tbsp (15ml) butter, softened
⅓ cup (80ml) icing sugar, sifted
6 mmmMallow Eggs, halved
Melt chocolate over a double boiler on the stove or in a microwave until smooth.
Pour 2 Tbsp (30ml) chocolate into the bases of 12 silicone cupcake moulds. Chill until set.
Whisk peanut butter, butter and icing sugar together until smooth and slightly stiff.
Place 1 Tbsp (15ml) peanut butter mixture in the centre of each chocolate cup, leaving room around the edges.
Pour melted chocolate around the edges, making sure not to cover the peanut butter mixture and leaving some chocolate for the top. Chill until set.
Place egg halves on top of peanut butter mixture and cover with remaining chocolate.