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Easter + chocolate: it just makes sense. So, in celebration of the annual cocoa frenzy we’ve put together a collection of our hottest chocolate recipes. You’re welcome.
Dust off your mixing spoon, man your oven and have your eggs at the ready as we present some of our all-time favourite Easter baking recipes, from praline bread pudding to those all-important hot cross buns.
Comfort food and fun Easter eats feature in our collection of autumn recipes, featuring everything from an Italian Easter tart to carrot doughnuts with cream cheese glaze and brown sugar crumb and braised lamb with Jerusalem artichokes, carrots and cumin to breakfast curry with roti and poached egg.
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The mix of candied apple and dried apple combined with a sticky cinnamon glaze provides a new twist on an old favourite. These buns are equally good served warm on the day of baking, or several days later, toasted, with lashings of butter.
What's not to love about a Snickers bar? All the elements are here, but if you don't feel like making your own nougat, you could always scatter some diced nougat in the base of the tart instead. The caramel is dark, verging on bitter, while a good whack of salt cuts through some of the sweetness - extra roasted salted peanuts on top can only be a good thing.
We'd be slightly remiss if we didn't begin any discussion of these most familiar of religious sweet breads with the classic children's joke: what do you get if you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole? Hot cross bunnies.
Thigh-slapper that it is, the gag belies the more brutal aspects of the hot cross bun's lineage. There is discussion under the bun's entry inThe Oxford Companion to Foodof the hot-cross' ancient origin as a substitute religious offering made in place of blood.
That, of course, was way back when; today, the association is more typically a secular one of oozing hot butter and rich spice, though Good Friday continues to be the day they're eaten most. The delightfully curmudgeonly Elizabeth David notes, in herEnglish Bread and Yeast Cookery, that some bakers superimpose strips of peel or little bands of ordinary pastry to emphasize the cross. "Both of these methods involve unnecessary fiddling work," she writes. "Neither, in my experience, is successful. There is no need to worry overmuch about the exactitude of the cross. You have made the symbolic gesture. That is what counts." Wise words for all bakers to live by, even if the tradition in this country sees the crosses reinforced with a little flour-and-water paste.
Topped with a dark Callebaut chocolate cross and heady with spices and ginger, get these while you can. Shop 3/4, 149 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Vic., (03) 9534 3777.
Pick up port-soaked sultana-filled buns and diving chocolate eggs, too. 2/106 Mawson Pl, ACT, (02) 6286 6377.
Hand-ground spices are the secret to Brent Heresee's buns. 185 Katoomba St, Katoomba, NSW, (02) 4782 9816.