Category Archives: Easter Recipes

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…Simnel Cake…

Good Morning and welcome…as you know I love to cook mainly savoury dishes and the occasional dessert but a baker I am not although in a past life I have made a wedding cake and numerous novelty birthday cakes for my kids and even took a course in how to ice cakes at one point and make these lovely flooded decorations…pretty ladies and flowers…but that is all in the past…

I am however very pleased with my Simnel cake…Pretty basic with decoration but a traditional Simnel cake is just that…it has 11 marzipan balls that depict the disciples…a layer of marzipan through the centre of the cake and a marzipan top which is fluted around the edges and then the marzipan is toasted…A bit of ribbon and a bow and that’s that…

Firstly I made the marzipan...which is so very easy I am asking why I have not made it before…

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of ground Almonds
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar(icing sugar)
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 1 tsp Rosewater
  • 1-3 tsp water

Depending on the humidity in your kitchen and the weather you might need to add less or more water to get the desired consistency… add the water a tsp at a time the marzipan will be crumbly it just needs to be kneaded to make it smooth.

It comes together quite easily I was surprised…  be sparing with your water as you don’t want sticky marzipan.

I made mine in my food processor and with it running added the almond essence, rosewater and water to the ground almonds and icing sugar…as it comes together add water a tsp at a time then knead the mix until smooth it will stiffen up a little …keep in the fridge until required…

The Cake…

Ingredients:

  • 100 gm glace cherries( I used apricots)
  • 500 gm mixed dried fruit
  • 175 gm unsalted butter
  • 175 gm caster sugar
  • The zest of a lime(lemon)
  • 225 gm plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 25 gm ground almonds
  • 3 large eggs(room temp)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 400 gm of marzipan

Let’s Bake:

Oven 165C/325F …  8″ round tin greased and floured…I also wrapped my tin in some brown paper around the outside…my oven runs hot and has a bottom element as do all Thai ovens…so often I double tin…my dream is to have a proper oven…but I improvise and most of the time it works…

Cream the butter and the sugar until light in colour, add the lime zest..lemon is fine it’s just I use limes as they are more readily available here.

In another bowl add the flour, ground almonds, spices and baking powder stir to combine.

To the creamed fat and sugar add 1 egg plus 2 tbsp of the flour mixture, repeat until the eggs are used then add the remainder of the flour with the milk and stir to combine.

Fold in the fruit mixing well to combine.

Rollout an 8-inch circle of the marzipan.

Put half the cake mix into the prepared tin and then add the marzipan circle then top with the remainder of the cake mixture.

Put the cake into a preheated oven and cook for 1 and half hours or until the cake is cooked. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins and then remove to a cooling rack.

Allow cake to cool before decorating…I decorated mine the next day…As I was adding the balls I made another batch of marzipan.

To decorate the cake I rolled out a round of marzipan for the top of the cake I warmed some marmalade but apricot jam would suffice to brush the top of the cake so the marzipan would stay put I then just pressed my fingers to make pretty flutes added the balls and for the first time weighed my marzipan to ensure my balls were all the same size placed them around the edges and then toasted the top of the cake with a blow torch…I confess my son got that job…

I then added a pretty bow but if you can get Easter chicks or some tiny eggs they would look lovely in the centre.

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the recipe for this classic Simnel Cake whose history dates back to medieval times…Topped with 11 balls and sometimes a larger ball in the middle to depict Christ it is a lighter cake from the Christmas cake and doesn’t contain alcohol…Originally made for Mothering Sunday which fell in the middle of Lent it was a welcome respite from the 40 days of fasting…as the years have passed to is now generally seen as an Easter Cake a very nice Easter cake if you like marzipan…

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week  and don’t forget I do love to chat if you want to leave a comment xx

 

 

 

Traditional Hot Cross Buns…

Yes, that time of the year is nearly upon us when we celebrate Easter with Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday followed by Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and Simmel Cake on Easter Monday.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

I have been seeing lots of alternative recipes for Hot Cross Buns...some sound delicious some sound as if they are made just because the baker can…

Most of the recipes from my childhood I don’t want to change… it’s tradition lest we forget…x…

So without further ado here is your recipe for…Traditional Hot Cross Buns...Warm from the oven there is nought better than a Hot Cross Bun buttered with lovely grass-fed butter…

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
  • 50g caster sugar …I use natural golden sugar.
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g  butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • oil, for greasing
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt…ordinary salt is ok.

The spices and dried fruit

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g currants
  • Optional: Orange or lemon zest.

For  the pastry crosses:

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

Let’s Bake!

Put the flour, yeast, castor sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. If you want to add a little lemon or orange zest it can be added now. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas

When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

Tip: I put my mix for the cross in one of those plastic refill sauce bottles as I find I get all sorts of shape and size of the cross if I use a piping bag/greaseproof. clumsy klutz that I am..ha ha.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Hot from the Oven! Yum!

Legend tells us that if sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and a half for me, Between us two, shall goodwill be” is said at the time or if hung in the kitchen they are said to protect against fire and all bread will turn out ok this is replaced every year.

And I’m sure there are lots more traditions but I just want the butter to put on my bun.

buttered hot cross bun

Enjoy your buns xx

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week  and don’t forget I do love to chat if you want to leave a comment xx

Hot Cross Buns…

Yes, it’s that time of the year when we celebrate Easter with Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday followed by Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and Simmel Cake on Easter Monday.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

So without further ado here is your recipe…Hot from the oven there is nought better than a Hot Cross Bun…

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
  • 50g caster sugar …I use natural golden sugar.
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g  butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • oil, for greasing
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt…ordinary salt is ok.

The spices and dried fruit

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g currants
  • Optional: Orange or lemon zest.

To decorate

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

Method:

Put the flour, yeast, castor sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. If you want to add a little lemon or orange zest it can be added now. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas

When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

Tip: I put my mix for the cross in one of those plastic refill sauce bottles as I find I get all sorts of shape and size of the cross if I use a piping bag/greaseproof. clumsy klutz that I am..ha ha.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Hot from the Oven! Yum!

Legend tells us that if sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two, shall goodwill be” is said at the time or if hung in the kitchen they are said to protect against fire and all bread will turn out ok this is replaced every year.

And I’m sure there are lots more traditions but I just want the butter to put on my bun.

Enjoy your buns and have a lovely Easter.

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Easter celebrations around the World and Baked Easter Treats.

This week in my food column it is a lovely moist carrot cake and Lily’s biscuits..all pink as little girls do love pink xxx I hope you enjoy xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This week Carol Taylor shares us the recipes for two sweet Easter treats that will please all the family… and getting the children involved in the kitchen produces some creative biscuits.

Easter Time will you have sun or snow? Easter is a time for Easter egg hunts and pretty coloured eggs …For prettily iced Easter biscuits…A time for kids who just love it!

How does the rest of the world celebrate Easter…? Bermudians they make pretty coloured kites with long tails, eat codfish cakes and Hot cross buns.

In the Netherlands a favourite Easter dish is waffles drizzled with Advocaat.

For many Europeans it’s bonfires on Easter Sunday and Monday which legend tells us is to chase away the winter darkness. It is traditional to sit around the bonfire and consume copious amounts of Gin, lager for the boys and snack…No mention of Easter eggs or hot cross buns here…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Hot Cross Buns and Fish Balls.

One a penny, two a penny..time to bake Hot Cross Buns…I hope you enjoy the Easter Recipes that I have for you this week 🙂 x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This week Carol Taylor shows us how to prepare Hot Cross Buns and Fish Balls (sorry Carol but I am sure there is a joke in there somewhere).

There have been packets of hot cross buns in our supermarket for the last four weeks, all with long expiry dates (suspicious)… make your own from scratch and enjoy not just the flavour but the knowledge that you getting the real thing.

Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Hot Cross Buns and Fish Balls.

Yes it’s that time of the year nearly Easter although Easter Sunday falls on the 1st of April this year which is also April Fools Day

How many of you remember singing one a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns or am I showing my age?

It became an English language Nursery Rhyme and a street cry referring to those spicy Easter buns…associated with the end of Lent.

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