Easter is upon us once more and so are the Easter holidays for the mini family members. For us it’s a visit to Bonny Wee Scotch and days of activity, eating and adventures. So School’s Out and maybe you’ll have the folks over or just hear the immortal sing-song words from the hungry little people ‘I want something to eaaat!’ Fear not, I shall help you become Mistress of the Baking Tins, I have a rescue plan. If you are a pro or just giving it a bash I’ve a couple of recipes to keep the wee folk occupied – and they’re a *bit* healthy too..
Simnel Brownies* adapted from Baking mad.com
Totally girdle busting chocolate richness, fudgy and rich it’s not one for the faint hearted! Please note this recipe has magical properties in that it has the ability to shrink clothes if enough is consumed.
100g Dried mixed fruits (I used our favourite Holland & Barrett Luxury Berry Mix which is amazing – an interesting collection of raisins, dried blueberries, golden-berries (dried physallis), golden raisins and dried cranberries. If this is a bit off the wall then go for the original or regular dried fruit.
½tsp Nutmeg ½tsp Sea salt
50ml Brandy or orange juice 110g Butter (unsalted)
260g Unrefined light muscovado sugar 75g Golden syrup
300g Dark chocolate 4 Egg(s) (free range) medium
80g Plain white flour 75g Marzipan ready to roll
Pre heat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan, 325°F, gas mark 3).
Soak the fruits in the brandy or orange juice with the spices and salt over night, although I have cheated by juicing and soaking the fruit while all the other bits are going on.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter, light muscovado and syrup until smooth and glossy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, mixing until all the chocolate has fully melted.
Whisk the eggs lightly and add to the chocolate mixture stirring well. Now add the soaked fruits and flour – I know, it looks a very small amount of flour but all is as it should be – trust me
Pour in to a parchment paper lined baking tin 8” square.
My favourite bit – hand roll the all the marzipan into smallish balls and if the small folk are helping this is their moment! Bombs away and drop them over the top of the brownie then finish with the dark muscovado sprinkled over the top.
Bake for 20 -30 minutes until it’s just beginning to set but is still soft in the middle.
Remove from the oven, cool completely then chill in the fridge overnight. (Again we had a moment of Cheatsville and cut into them the same day so tantalising was their aroma)
Turn out of the tin and cut into squares. Serve at room temperature. These amazing brownies will keep for 7 days in an airtight container.
Sticky Bunny Cake from BBC Good Food
Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins plus cooling – Makes 10-12 slices
A sticky and delicious sponge with an unusual decorative candied carrot topping – enjoy a slice with a cup of coffee or tea
200g light soft brown sugar 150ml light rapeseed oil
100g natural yogurt 3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract 300g self-raising flour
zest 3 oranges, juice of 2 (save juice of last orange for the carrots, below)
1 tbsp mixed spice 1 tsp ground cinnamon
250g coarsely grated carrots crème fraîche, to serve (optional)
For the caramelised carrots
225-250g small or baby carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
juice of 1 orange (from cake ingredients) 25g butter
4 tbsp light soft brown sugar
Put the carrots in a saucepan so they can sit in just about a single layer. Add the orange juice, butter, sugar and enough water to cover the tops of the carrots by just 1cm. Bring it to the boil, then cook until the water has almost evaporated and the carrots are left in a sticky syrup – you may want to reduce the heat if the liquid looks more syrupy, and go a little slower at the end so the carrots don’t catch. These can be made up to 1 day ahead.
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a 23cm cake tin. Lift the candied carrots from the pan and syrup, and arrange in the base of the tin, cut-side down. Keep the pan and syrup for later.
Whisk together the 200g brown sugar, the oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and zest from 2 oranges. Mix the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and grated carrot in a big mixing bowl. Stir in the whisked mixture until smooth, then spoon over the carrots in the tin – now’s the time to add your rabbit.
Too cute! Don’t do it, instead bake for 45-50 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, add the orange juice to the syrup pan with the 3 tbsp brown sugar. Simmer together until slightly reduced, then stir in the remaining zest.
Turn the cake out onto a plate and spoon over the syrup. Eat just warm or at room temperature with more yogurt or crème fraîche.
I hope you have a lovely Easter break what ever you get up to. Buns of Fun is away until 13th April but you can still email me on email@example.com