March 22, 2019
Think spring blooms, seasonal ingredients and chocolate to excite your guests this Easter. It is the perfect time to put your baking skills to the test, so Lettice have put together a range of our favourite recipes. From Tarts to buns, we have curated the perfect recipes for an Easter feast that will unquestionably excite your guests. Read our Easter style guide for more information on how to style your table this Easter or our cooking ideas for an exquisite and delicious Easter lunch.
Apricot and hazelnut Pavlova with chai spiced cream
This delightful fruity alternative to all the chocolate that will be eaten on Easter day, is perfect to compliment a delicious Easter lunch. The seasonal tart apricots with the sweet chai cream and crunchy nuts are the perfect Easter combination.
A handful of the following –
- Apricots, halved and de stoned
- Figs, halved
- Dried apricots, halved
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 start anise
- 1 glass of white wine
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
For the Pavlova:
- 6 egg whites
- 3000g caster sugar
- 100g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
For the cream:
- 600ml double cream
- 1 tbsp chai tea
- Handful of Pistachios
Heat the oven to 200c. Poor the wine and the sugar into a small pan and bring to a simmer, slice the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the seeds and add to the wine, along with the pod itself and the lemon juice and simmer for another couple minutes. Place the fruit into an oven proof dish, pour over the wine and place in the oven for about 15 minutes. Take out the oven and leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 120c. Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks, very slowly add the sugar – a spoon at a time till all combined and it should be thick with a good shine to it. Add the hazelnuts and carefully fold in with a metal bowl. Line a baking tray with parchment and spoon the meringue onto the tray. Place in the oven and cook for about 40 mins – you want it to be crisp on the outside yet chewy in the middle.
Place the chai tea in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Place the cream in a bowl and whisk till it’s beginning to thicken and add the chai powder, taste and add more if necessary. Whisk to soft peaks – don’t over whisk. To assemble place the meringue on your serving platter, spoon over the cream then place the fruit on top and finish with sprinkling over chopped pistachio.
Flower Lemon Tarts
These mini tarts with their smooth lemony filling and flaky crust are the perfect match of Spring flavours. The prettiest of bite sized desserts that is sure to impress your guests at Easter.
- 2 pre-made, all butter ready to roll pie crusts
- 4 egg yolks + 1 egg for egg wash
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a mini-muffin pan. Unroll pie crusts and cut out as many flowers as possible. Use a flower shaped cookie cutter that’s 4-inches in diameter petal tip to petal tip. Once your first set of flowers are cut, you can ball up the dough and roll it out again. Put the dough pieces in mini muffin tins, leaving an empty space between crusts. Press them into the bottom and on the sides. Prick the bottoms with a fork. Brush egg wash from one egg to the top edges of each crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let the crust cool while you make the filling.
Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar and salt. Stir constantly over medium low heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and reduce the heat to low. Pour half of this mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk constantly. Pour the “hot” egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Return to the stove and cook for an additional 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. Finally whisk in butter one tbsp at a time. Spoon mixture into each baked and cooled mini tart crust almost up to the top. When ready to serve, dust the powdered sugar over the tops.
Hot Cross Buns with an Easter twist
Easter would not be complete without warm buttery melt in the mouth hot cross buns. Try these chocolate orange infused buns for a twist on the classic.
For the dough:
- 8oz strong plain white flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 0.5 satchet dried yeast
- 1oz caster sugar
- 1oz melted butter
- 75ml tepid milk
- 3 tbsp tepid water
- 2oz sweet mincemeat
- 2oz Terrys chocolate orange segments.
- 1 egg
- For the cross:
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 1tbsp water
For the glaze:
- 2tbsp granulated sugar
- 2tbsp water
In a bowl weigh out all the ingredients for the dough, except for the chocolate. Mix together to form a dough. Knead for 10 minutes before leaving in a covered bowl for 2 hours till doubled in size. Remove from the bowl and knead in the chocolate which has been chopped up. Divide into 6 pieces and shape before transferring to a baking tray. Leave to prove for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to gas 7. Cut a cross in the top very gently. Mix the flour paste together and pipe onto the buns. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes till golden brown. Whilst the buns bake, prepare the glaze. Heat the sugar and water gently in a pan to form a thick glaze. When the buns are baked, brush the glaze over the surface.
Chamomile and Apricot Vertical Roll Cake
The vertical roll cake is a great alternative to the standard cake layout, with more sponge and jam per slice, who wouldn’t be happy with this light and fluffy cake. These seasonal fruits, flavours and edible flowers marry together perfectly for a fragrant and fruity Easter treat. Edible flowers are also an easy but dramatic way of decorating a cake, especially to add a touch of Spring to your baking.
- 1 cup of fresh flower heads
- 1 cup jam sugar
- 10 apricots
- 1 tbsp gelatine
In a pan add the chamomile flowers and cover in about a cup of water, simmer until the chamomile has coloured and flavoured the water. Pour through muslin to remove the flowers and squeeze. Put back in the pan with the fresh from 10 apricots (peeled and the stoned taken out). Add the sugar and simmer until the fruit breaks down. Simmer for about 8 minutes until it thickens then add the gelatine. Pour though sift into sterilised jar and leave to cool.
- 150g plain flour
- 150g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
For the frosting:
- 300ml double cream
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
- 4 tbsp jam
Preheat the oven to 180c 350f. In a stand mixer beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale (about 5 minutes), then fold in the flour. Pour the mixture into two lined swiss roll tins and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn out and slice each sponge into two long strips and add the jam then roll up the first piece of sponge then add on the next piece and continue. Cover with cling film and refrigerate while you make frosting. For the frosting whip all ingredients together in a bowl until thick, then using a pallet knife spread around cake and decorate with chamomile flowers.
Rhubarb and Almond cake
Rhubarb and Almond are a match made in heaven, serve with warm custard or cream for the idyllic Easter extravagance.
- 150g salted butter, at room temperature
- 150g golden caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp
- 2 medium eggs
- 200g ground almonds
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 100g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 4cm lengths (cut in half lengthways first if very fat)
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds
Preheat the oven 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until creamy. Add the ground almonds and orange zest, sift over the flour and baking powder and mix well. Spoon half the mixture into the tin, spread right to the edges. Arrange just under half the rhubarb on top, keeping it away from the edges of the tin. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of the extra sugar. Spoon over the rest of the cake mixture, then spread it to cover the rhubarb. Arrange the rest of the rhubarb on top, in a circle, filling in any gaps (keeping it away from the edges). Scatter over the flaked almonds and sprinkle with the remaining extra sugar. Bake for 1 hour until golden, cover with a tent of foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until firm to the touch in the middle. Leave in the tin to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Serve still warm.
Lemon polenta cake with Elderflower and White Chocolate ganache
The subtle flavours of Lemon and elderflower where actually used for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake, and no wonder they are a match made in heaven.
- 180g polenta
- 120g almond meal
- 90ml olive oil
- 100g honey
- 3 eggs
- 2 organic lemons (juice + zest)
- 1/2tsp baking soda
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 1/2tsp salt
For the ganache:
- 200g white chocolate
- 10cl single cream
- 10g elderflowers
- A few slices of organic lemon
- Fresh elderflowers
To infuse the cream: in a small pan, heat single cream until hot. Turn off fire, then add elderflowers into the pan and stir. Cover and let infuse overnight. To prepare the polenta cake: in a salad bowl, mix polenta, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add olive oil, juice and zest of the lemons, eggs and honey. Stir well until homogeneous and add to the dry ingredients. Stir well. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour a 20cm ø cake mould. Pour the batter over, then put in oven for about 30 minutes. When the cake is ready, cool a then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. To prepare the ganache: using a strainer, filter the infused cream in order to remove all the flowers. Heat the cream one more time in a small pan. Turn off fire when hot, then break and add white chocolate in pieces into it and stir until homogeneous. Cool until the ganache is not liquid but rather creamy. Pour the ganache on the lemon polenta cake, then add some organic lemon slices onto it as well as fresh elderflowers. Put in fridge for a couple of hours. Serve at room temperature.
Easter Simnel Cake
This fruity but light traditional Easter cake is a marzipan lovers dream. With layers of almond paste or marzipan between baked fruit sponge, topped with a circle of eggs made from marzipan, this recipe dates back to medieval England and is a staple for your Easter table.
- 225g natural marzipan
- 225g plain flour
- 1 level teaspoon baking powder
- 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
- 175g spreadable butter
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 175g currants
- 225g sultanas
- 50g glacé cherries, rinsed, dried, and cut into quarters
- 50g unblanched almonds, roasted and chopped (see method)
- zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 50g chopped candied peel
For the topping:
- 300g natural marzipan
- 1 rounded dessert spoon of apricot jam
Begin by heating your oven to 150 degrees or gas mark 2. Once the oven is pre-heated roast the almonds, by spreading them out on a tray and baking for around 8 minutes. Then cut the marzipan into 1cm cubes and then toss them in 2 level tablespoons of flour (taken from the measured amount above). Now sift the remaining flour, the baking powder and spice into a mixing bowl, then add the butter, caster sugar and eggs.
Now, using an electric hand whisk, mix to a smooth, creamy consistency for about 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk. Take a metal spoon and gently fold in the fruit, nuts, candied peel and grated orange and lemon zests followed by the marzipan cubes. Now spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level it out with the back of the spoon. Finally, take a double square of baking parchment with a 50p-sized hole in the centre (for extra protection during cooking) and place this not on the top of the mixture itself but on the rim of the liner. Bake the cake near the centre of the oven for about 2 hours 40 minutes – or until the centre is firm and springy. Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.
Roll out the marzipan to a round approximately 22cm in diameter. Brush the top of the cooled cake with apricot jam, top with the round of marzipan, and scallop the edges using your thumb and forefinger.
Using a cooks’ blow torch scorch the marzipan until it starts to brown. Finally, top with sugared pansies or roll little egg shapes out of the left-over marzipan.
Malted Chocolate Cake
This fun and creative cake tastes just as good as it looks. Using malted chocolate gives a velvety texture and flavourful taste to the cake, without being overpowering so all ages will enjoy this Easter surprise.
- 30g malted chocolate drink powder such as Ovaltine
- 30g cocoa powder
- 225g butter, softened with extra for greasing
- 225g Caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- For the icing:
- 3 tbsp malted chocolate drink powder
- 11/2 tbsp hot milk
- 125g butter, softened
- 250g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 50g dark chocolate melted
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- Bag of Malteasers or mini eggs to decorate
Use 20cm round sandwich tins. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4 and grease the tins with butter and line the bases with baking paper. Measure the malted chocolate drink powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl, pour over 2 tablespoons of water and mix to a paste. Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until smooth. Divide evenly between the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes. Set aside in the tins to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, measure the malted chocolate drink powder into a bowl, add the hot milk and mix until smooth. Add the butter, icing sugar and melted chocolate and mix again until smooth, then add the boiling water to give a gloss to the icing. Place one cake on a plate and spread over half the icing. Sandwich with the other cake and spread (or pipe) the remaining icing on top, using the tip of a rounded palette knife to create a swirled effect from the centre to the edge of the cake. Arrange the Mini eggs over the top and dust with icing sugar before serving.
Chocolate, hazelnut and salted Dulce de Leche Tart
Would it be Easter without an abundance of chocolate. Indulge in this mega chocolatey salted caramel tart that is a carnival for your taste buds. Serve with sharp summer berries and cream to cut through the rich dark chocolate.
• 100g Hazelnuts
• 250g oat digestive biscuits
• 400g dark chocolate
• 175g unsalted butter
• 200ml double cream
• 200g dulce de leche
• Pinch of sea salt
• Vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche or cream to serve
• Blackberries, Blueberries and red currants to decorate
Preheat the oven 220°C, gas 7. Sprinkle the hazelnuts onto a tray and roast for 5-10 minutes, until they are golden brown all over. Take out of the oven to cool. In a food processor place the biscuits and hazelnuts along with 100g of chocolate and pulse. You want still a chunky texture not powder. Melt the butter in a small pan and then pour into the biscuit mixture and stir. Tip the mixture into a 23cm loose-bottom tart tin and press down into all the corners and until even, chill in the fridge.
Put the remaining chocolate and cream into a pan and gently melt on a low heat, stirring to make sure nothing sticks. Take off heat once all is melted. Grab your biscuit base and spoon the dulce de leche over, using a spatula to spread out evenly. Pour over the chocolate mixture and return to the fridge. After about 20 minutes, take the tart out of the fridge and sprinkle over a few pinches of sea salt, return to the to set fully. Serve with berries and cream or crème fraiche.
Carrot and Walnut cake with lemon cream cheese icing
This carrot cake will have everyone in the Easter mood and is simple and quick to make, while still having the wow factor in taste and in presentation.
For the carrot cake:
• 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) vegetable oil
• 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
• 1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 large eggs
• 3 cups (300 grams) grated peeled carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)
• 1 cup (100 grams) coarsely chopped pecans
• 1/2 cup (65 grams) raisins
For the cream cheese icing:
• 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
• The zest and juice of 2 lemons
• 1 1/4 cups (140 grams) powdered sugar
• 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream
• 1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176C). Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper then grease the top of the paper. Or, grease and flour the bottom and sides of both pans. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, gently stirring until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts, and raisins. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean; 35 to 45 minutes.
Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with the lemon juice and zest with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill covered until ready to frost cake. When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, place the other cake layer on top. Decoratively swirl the top of the cake with remaining frosting, leaving the sides unfrosted. Scatter nuts on top.
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