Food + Drink

Easter with a Twist

Cooking and Easter go hand in hand – it’s all part of the tradition, and it’s one of the few times of the year when families can get together to enjoy making (and eating!) food with one another. But forget the boring old chocolate, buns, and lamb you might have had in years past – now it’s time for Easter with a twist!  

Salted Caramel Hot Cross Buns
Recipe from www.shakenudder.com

Prep time: 1 1/2 hours

Cooking time: 12 minutes
Makes: 10

Ingredients

500g pack white bread mix

50g butter

50g golden caster sugar

100g milk chocolate chips

200ml Shaken Udder Salted Caramel Milkshake

100ml water

100ml milk

1 large egg

 

For the crosses & decoration

3 tbsps plain flour

2 tbsps water

Golden syrup, melted, for brushing

 

Method

  1. Tip the bread mix into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips, then add the chocolate chips.
  2. In a measuring jug, pour in the milkshake and water, then beat in the egg and transfer onto the dried ingredients. Mix to a very moist dough (the wetter the better).
  3. Leave for 5 minutes then cut into 10 equal pieces and roughly shape into buns with oiled hands (this helps to stop the mixture sticking too much – try not to use extra flour as it will toughen the dough).
  4. Space the buns apart on 2 greased baking sheets and cover loosely with cling film. Leave the buns in a warm room until they’ve risen to about half the size again (this will take anything from 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours, depending on how warm and moist the environment is).
  5. When the buns are risen, heat the oven to 220ºC/fan 200ºC/Gas Mark 7 and make the crosses. Mix the flour with the water to make a paste. Pour into a plastic food bag and make a tiny nick in one of the corners. Pipe crosses on each bun.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden. Brush with golden syrup. The buns will keep fresh for a day, and after that are best toasted.

Easter Spring Lamb – Mongolian Style

Recipe by Wing Yip

Serves 2-3

For the marinade

1tbsp Wing Yip Dark Soy Sauce

1tbsp red wine vinegar

1tsp chicken stock powder

1/2 tsp light brown sugar

1/2 tsp Wing Yip Sesame Oil

 

Main ingredients

400g lamb leg, thin strips

2tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1tbsp Mai Siam Sriracha Sauce

1/2 fresh red chilli, sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

1tsp sesame seeds

 

Method

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Remove any excess fat from the lamb and slice against the grain into medium strips.
  3. Add the strips of lamb to the marinade and leave to rest for at least 15-20 minutes, or preferably one hour.
  4. Preheat a wok over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Then add the garlic and lamb and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until sealed. Add the sriracha sauce and any remaining marinade to the wok and cook for a further minute, adding a splash of water if it’s looking a bit dry.
  5. Serve with rice and garnish with the fresh red chilli, spring onions and sesame seeds.

Italian Stuffed Easter Bread with Baked Eggs

Recipe from www.watercress.co.uk  

Prep time: 30 minutes + 2 hours proving  

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 10-12

Ingredients

180ml warm water

28g active dry yeast

1 tbsp sugar

180ml milk

500g bread flour, plus more for dusting

1 tbsp sea salt

80ml olive oil

1 large egg

1 tsp water

4 eggs

 

For the pesto

Leaves and soft stems from 85g watercress, roughly chopped

5 cloves garlic, peeled and grated

150g grated Parmesan or other hard cheese

Zest of one lemon

55g pine nuts, toasted

120ml extra virgin olive oil

 

Method

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar and mix at low speed until just combined (about 30 seconds). Leave to stand for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan set over a medium-low heat until tiny bubbles form at the edge of the pan. Do not allow to boil. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
  3. Once the milk has cooled, add it to the mixer along with the olive oil and salt. Mix at a low speed until just combined. Add the flour one quarter at a time, mixing after each addition on a medium-low speed. Ensure everything is combined.
  4. Change the paddle attachment on the mixer over to the hook, ensuring that any dough is scraped off and put back into the bowl. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium and mix for about 5-6 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and place the dough inside. Lightly oil a piece of clingfilm and use it to cover the dough, oiled side down. Cover this with a clean cloth and set aside in a warm place to prove for around 1 hour, or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
  6. Make the pesto by adding the watercress, garlic, cheese, lemon zest, and pine nuts to a processor. Pulse until everything is pureed, then blend continuously while adding the olive oil in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and then blend for another 30 seconds to make sure everything is combined. Set aside. (This can be done up to two days in advance but must be brought back up to room temperature before using).
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg and teaspoon of water together then set aside. Also prepare another large square of parchment to work on when you shape the bread.
  8. Lightly flour a work surface then turn out the proved dough and cut it into three equal pieces. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the first piece to a 12-inch/30cm square. It should be about 3mm in thickness. Use a spatula to scoop a third of the pesto onto the dough and spread evenly, leaving a border uncovered on the edge closest to you. Brush this exposed border with egg wash, then begin to roll the dough into a tube from the furthest edge towards you as tightly as you can. Once you have rolled the dough fully into a tube, pinch the seam closed with your fingertips. Gently roll the tube back and forth over the work surface until it spreads lengthwise to about 20 inches/50cm long. Cover with cling film and set aside while you repeat with the remaining dough and pesto.
  9. Line up the rolled tubes on the prepared piece of parchment paper. Use a large sharp knife to make a lengthways slash in each roll, cutting a deep slit halfway down the depth of the tube. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  10. Roughly measure the centre point of the tubes. Working towards you from the centre, plait the tubes together by crossing one of the outer tubes gently over the middle one. Then cross the other outer tube up and over the new middle one exactly as if you were braiding hair. Repeat, working your way down to the end so that half the tube is braided. Then turn the parchment around and plait the other side from the centre to the end. Carefully join up the ends so that the plaited dough forms a ring shape, then pinch firmly together to complete the circle. Use the parchment paper the dough is resting on to transfer the whole thing to your lined baking tray.
  11. Make four equally spaced dents for the eggs in between the strips of the plait. Gently position the eggs one by one. Press them down carefully to avoid breaking them. Lightly oil a piece of cling film then use this to cover the bread. Allow to prove for around 30 minutes.
  12. Uncover the plaited loaf and brush well with the remainder of the egg wash. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the bread is a warm brown colour. If you rap the bread gently on the bottom, it should sound quite hollow.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking tray. Then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to come down to room temperature before serving. Serve on a platter and slice at the table.
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