Our final Easter Bake is a traditional Simnel Cake. Lighter than a Christmas cake it has been eaten since medieval times. The eleven marzipan balls represent the eleven apostles minus Judas. There are two layers of marzipan, one on the top and the other concealed […]
Hot Cross Buns are spiced buns made with currants and raisins, and marked with a cross on top. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and mark the end of lent. They can be found in supermarkets all over the UK and, although available all year round, I only tend to eat them over the Easter period.
They are very easy to make and the end result not only tastes good, but also look very impressive. They are best eaten fresh out of the oven, otherwise slice them in half, grill the cut sides and spread with butter.
Hot Cross Buns
- 350g strong white bread flour
- 100g wholemeal bread flour
- 3/4 teasp salt
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 teasp ground mixed spice
- 7g fast action yeast
- 50g unsalted butter
- 125g dried mixed fruit
- 2 medium eggs
- 175ml lukewarm milk
- 4 tbsp strong white bread flour
- 2 tbsp runny honey
Put both flours into a large bowl, then add the salt, sugar, mixed spice and yeast. Mix well. Rub in the flour, add the dried fruit and mix in.
Beat the eggs and milk together for a few seconds using a fork, then pour into the flour mix and combine, using your hands.
Sprinkle your worktop with a little flour and tip out the dough. Knead the dough throughly for around 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball by gently rolling it in your hands, then place on a lined baking sheet. Leave about a 3cm gap between each ball. Cover the trays with a sheet of lightly greased cling film, and leave for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
To make the paste for the Cross: put the flour in a small bowl, add 3 tbsp cold water and stir to make a smooth, thick mixture that can be piped like icing. Spoon into a disposable icing bag and snip off the tip. Uncover the buns and pipe a cross on top of each one.
Place in the heated oven and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Put the honey in a small bowl and stir in 1 tbsp hot water to make a runny syrup. Once the buns are cooked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Brush the honey over the buns to give a sticky glaze. Allow to cool a little before serving.
We are carrying on with the slow cooker theme with a tasty vegetarian recipe. . Slow Cooker Root Veg and Chickpea Tagine . Ingredients . 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 4 small parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped 3 red onions, peeled and cut into […]
Another quick and easy supper dish packed with flavour. Vary the recipe by using red pesto instead of green. You can also replace the yogurt with creme fraiche or cream.
Bacon and Pesto Tagliatelle
- 150g dried tagliatelle
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 rashers unsmoked back bacon
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp green pesto
- 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- basil leaves to garnish
Cook the pasta following the pack instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, add the garlic, bacon and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain the pasta and add to the mushroom mixture, and stir in the pesto, yoghurt, cheese and seasoning to taste.
Cook for 1-2 minutes and transfer to a warm serving dish. Garnish with the basil and serve immediately.
I am often asked for non meat options for Sunday lunch and this recipe fits the bill nicely. The ratatouille is full of flavour and the crumble topping makes it feel more wholesome. Serve with the usual roast dinner accompaniments or a nice crisp green […]
Winter has well and truly arrived and I am craving heartwarming comfort food. This vegetarian mole hits the spot nicely with it’s mild chilli kick, and the dark chocolate adds to the depth of flavour.
Serve with rice or baked potatoes, just top with yoghurt, grated cheese, avocado and sliced spring onions. Suitable for freezing.
Vegetable and Bean Mole
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
- 1 teasp ground cumin
- 1 teasp ground coriander
- 1 teasp paprika
- 1/2 teasp chilli powder
- 2 x 400g cans red kidney beans, drained
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 150ml passatta
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 225g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and cut into quarters
- 15g dark chocolate (70%), grated
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2-3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan, add the onions, garlic, potatoes and spices and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes until lightly golden.
Add the kidney beans, tomatoes along with 1/2 can of water, passatta, and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add to the stew with the chocolate, lime juice and coriander. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve accompanied by rice, yoghurt or soured cream, grated cheese, sliced avocado and salad onions.