Baking Sweets For Your Easter Treats!

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Easter Cakes

Special cakes are traditionally used for the celebration of religious festivals; for example the simnel cake at Easter, which has been eaten since medieval times as a sweet treat and a symbolic ritual. On top of the simnel cake there are eleven marzipan balls that represent the eleven apostles of Christ, minus Judas.

However, not everyone enjoys rich fruit cake, so I've included some sponge variations such as the Easter Nest and Daffodil cake which are both delicious and a great treat for the Easter Holiday!

 

Simnel Cake Recipe

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Oven Temperature: 160C, 325F, Gas Mark 3 reduced to 150C, 300F, Gas Mark 2
1, 20cm(8inch) cake tin

Ingredients:

  • 175/60z light muscavdo sugar

  • 175g/6oz butter, softened

  • 175g/6oz self raising flour

  • 3 large eggs

  • 25g/1oz ground almonds

  • 2 tbsp milk

  • 100g/4oz sultanas

  • 100g/4oz cherries, quartered, washed, and dried

  • 100g/4oz dried apricots, snipped into small pieces

  • 100g/4oz stem ginger, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp mixed spice

  • 2 tsp ground ginger

To serve:

  • 450g/1lb golden marzipan

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam

  • 1 egg, beaten

Method:

  1. Measure all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Place half the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
  2. Roll out a quarter of the marzipan into a circle, the same size as the cake tin and place the circle on the top of cake mixture, and spoon the rest of the mixture on top of the marzipan and level the top.
  3. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, lower the temperature and bake for a further 2 ½ hours.
  4. Leave in tin for 5 minutes and turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Roll out a third of the remaining marzipan into a 20cm (8 inch) circle. Brush the top of the cake with apricot glaze.
  6. Press the marzipan circle on top of the cake and brush with beaten egg white.
  7. Shape the remaining marzipan balls and place round the edge.
  8. Brown under a hot grill and allow to cool.
  9. Decorate with ribbon.

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Easter Daffodil Cake

Ingredients:

Cake

  • Oven Temperature 160C, 325F, Gas Mark 3
  • 20cm (8 inch) cake tin
  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter
  • 175 (6oz) caster sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 7.5ml (1 ½ tsp) baking powder
  • 30ml (2 tblsp) warm water

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar well until they are light and fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs in one at a time, then after each egg add a spoonful of flour.
  3. Sift in the remaining flour and fold it into the flour with lemon rind and juice.
  4. Turn into a prepared 20cm (8inch) cake tin and bake in oven for 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours.
  5. When cooked, the cake should be firm to the touch. Leave it in the tin to cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and remove the lining paper.

 

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Method

  1. Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in pineapple juice until blended.
  3. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool.
  4. Fold in whipped topping.

 

Decorating

Place cake on a serving plate, and spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Decorate with edible daffodils. Store in the refrigerator.

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Easter Chocolate Nest

Cake

Ingredients:

  • Oven Temperature 190C, 375F, Gas Mark 5
  • 2x18cm (7 inch)
  • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter or margerine
  • 125g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g (3oz) self-raising flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
  • 1oz (25g) sifted cocoa powder
  • 15ml (1blsp) hot water
  • 45ml (3 tblsp) strawberry jam

Method

  1. Grease and line cake tins
  2. Cream the butter/margerine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs singly and fold in 15ml (1 tbssp) of flour with each egg.
  4. Fold in the remaining flour, sift in cocoa powder, and then add the hot water. Mix unti the flour and cocoa are blended.
  5. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cakes are golden.
  6. When the cakes are cooked they should spring back when lightly pressed.
  7. Turn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

 

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 175g butter
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • 650g icing sugar
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Cream butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa and icing sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat to a spreading consistency.

 

Decorate:

  • Jam
  • Chocolate buttercream
  • 1 box of chocolate flakes or sticks
  • 100g (4oz) candy-coated chocolate speckled eggs

Sandwich cakes together with jam and quarter of the chocolate buttercream, and cover with the remaining buttercream.

Lay the chocolate flakes or sticks around the cake, leaving an uncovered area in the centre of the cake. Fill the centre with the easter eggs.

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