I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday. I spent mine with my partner and his family, eating way too much food and trying not to eat all the chocolate too. His brother and sister-in-law hosted us all on Good Friday, and on Easter Sunday his parents did. Both his mother and sister-in-law put on an amazing spread of food that we all ate too much of, and that was before we even thought about dessert.
I bought along a couple of baked goods for the occasion, baking most of it vegan so everyone could eat some. I made a batch of hot cross buns to bring because they’re lots of fun to make, but also because it’s next to impossible to find any here that don’t contain palm oil, especially not vegan ones. And then there was this Easter-themed cake.
Making chocolate cake vegan is so easy. There’s so many recipes that are already incidentally vegan or an easy substitute away from it. This time I decided to spice things up a little with a Mexican chocolate cake.
Easter baking is some of my favourite kind of baking. Perhaps it’s because around this time of year everything is starting to get colder. The woolly jackets find their way from the depths of our closets, the heaters and electric blankets gets their first work out in months, and we start to crave comfort food. Warm dinners and mugs of hot drinks we can curl up with, while nibbling on hot cross buns fresh out of the oven. Everything just feels cosier. And then, of course, there’s all the chocolate!
Amongst all the Easter baking I’ve been planning the cake. I decided I wanted Easter egg-shaped macarons on top, so these little guys are destined to be a garnish, but they’re a delicious treat in their own right.
It's no secret I love me any excuse to make a cake, so a gathering with Cameron's family at Easter was the perfect excuse. I always make something nest-themed at Easter so I knew it just had to have some nest component. I'd already done the fondant and the spun sugar thing, so it had to be different. I sat down and did a little brain-storming and eventually came up with this beast.
But this cake has a little hidden secret: it's completely vegan.
Not that you’d ever know…
This is a dessert I've had sitting in the recesses of my mind for some time now, but have been waiting for the proper excuse to make. Easter seemed like the perfect time, what with eggs being so central to the festivities, so I held onto it until it finally rolled around.
One of my favourite things to do is to make food look like something it's not. It's been some time since I've done that 'trick food' so I couldn't wait for the excuse to delve into this one.
But really, who needs Easter to enjoy trick food?
Easter is all about the hot cross bun in this household. But there's only so many batches of the lovelies I can make in one Easter. I decided it was time to approach it from a smaller angle.
These cookies take all there is to love about the hot cross bun and wraps it into one bite-sized piece of crumbly goodness.
Let's get baking….
It's that time of year again where you can barely take a step outside the house without seeing chocolate eggs beckoning from every corner. It's also that time of year where warnings about products that contain not-so-animal-friendly ingredients flood the news feed of every social networking site, advising you who to support and who to boycott. Or maybe that's just because half my friends are Zoologists? Either way, it can be daunting trying to remember who and what is safe to buy from. I find such an appeal in making my own Easter eggs. Knowing exactly what's going into them and knowing that they're definitely palm oil free is a big plus for me.
But the best part is they're so fun and easy to make. You get to pick your own designs, colours, flavours and fillings. The only limit is your imagination.
If you've never made chocolate eggs before, here's a basic tutorial to get you started. After this, you can let the creative juices flow and add your own twist to it!
Let the chocolate making begin!
My favourite thing about Easter is hot cross buns. As soon as it starts getting close I get ridiculously excited at having an excuse to make some. Every year I promise myself I'll make more when it's not Easter, but I never do. Another year rolls by and I'll realise I haven't had them for a year.
This recipe is the favourite in my household. Most aren't keen on hot cross buns with dried fruit in them, but the choc chip alternative disappears almost as quickly as I can make the.
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny…
I hope you all had yourselves the most fantastic Easter imaginable, filled with love, great company, and of course – chocolate.
One of my favourite excuses around Easter is the ability to bake the most indulgent desserts. And when it comes to indulging, you can't go much further than this mudcake.
I've baked this flourless chocolate cake a few times. You've seen it for Father's Days and for Birthdays. This cake is so delicious and so loved I'm constantly looking for excuses to revisit and reinvent it.
I've done the Basket thing for Easter quite a lot, so I decided to step away from that and go for a nest instead.
Would you care for an egg?
I never managed to upload the rest of Easter treats I baked. But there is one I wanted to share with you.
Crack open an egg…
I love Easter. It’s a time where my love for chocolate in baking can be justified. This Easter I decided to host a party at my place. It was a lovely time to get together. But more than that, it was also an excuse to make lots of my favourite things: finger food. I love making all those small and fiddly things, finding new ways to miniaturise classics. Everything from mini tandoori pizzas to tiny burgers, lamb korma on mini papadums and gow gees… the list went on. But my favourite is and always will be the desserts. I shall do a follow up post later of all the mini desserts, but for now I will turn to the sole item that was not mini: the cake.
This is one I had been wanting to do for a while. I was just waiting for the right time of year to do it. A cake that looks like a basket. Hopefully. In fact, I would be wrapped if you looked at it and thought it was just a basket.