Easter doesn’t feel like Easter with out some nest cakes. They’re literally one of the easiest ‘bakes’ on the planet. Most recipes normally tell you to use rice krispies or cornflakes but I find that shredded wheat creates a better nest like effect! The mix of chocolate, drinking chocolate, butter and golden syrup is super tasty.
Ingredients: Makes 12- 15 nests
200 g Milk Chocolate
200 g Dark Chocolate
100 g Unsalted Butter
100 g Golden Syrup
1 tablespoon Drinking Chocolate
150g Shredded Wheat
80g packet of Mini Eggs
In a large saucepan add your butter, chocolate and golden syrup on a low heat until melted. Then stir in your drinking chocolate.
Crush your shredded wheat into small pieces and then stir into your chocolate mixture.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Scoop your chocolate/shredded wheat mixture into little nest shapes and lay out on the tray, then add your mini eggs on top to decorate.
Easter is coming up, which means warm, glossy hot cross buns are on the menu. My birthday is around Easter, and two years ago (my last pre-pandemic birthday *sigh*!) I went on a hot cross bun making class on my birthday at a cookery school in London where we learnt how to make the perfect hot cross bun. They’re worth making from scratch, I promise you’ll never buy a store bought version after this! They’re not too difficult to prep, plus your kitchen will smell amazing afterwards! You’ll need a piping bag for this recipe.
Ingredients: Makes 6 buns
250g strong white bread flour
35g caster sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice powder (you can also use allspice)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
5g fast-action dried yeast
150ml whole milk
1 egg, beaten
olive oil, for greasing
35g plain flour
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Mix the bread flour, sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon and lemon and orange zests in a bowl. Move this half of the mixture to one side of the bowl and then add the salt and yeast on the opposite side.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and warm the milk in a separate pan or in the microwave (until just warm/tepid).
This step and step 4 can either be done by hand or using a stand mixer with a dough hook. Add the butter and half the milk to the dry ingredients, then add the egg and use your hands to bring the mixture together, incorporating the dry ingredients from the edges of the bowl as you do. Gradually add the remaining milk until you have a soft dough. You may not need all of the milk.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes and incorporate the sultanas and lemon and orange zest into the dough. The dough should be silky and elastic and form a smooth ball.
Oil a large mixing bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I usually warm up my oven for 3-5 minutes, turn the heat off and then place the bowl in there to prove.
Divide the dough into 6 balls and line a baking tray with baking parchment and place on top, fairly close together and flattening them slightly. Cover in clingfilm and leave to prove again for 60 minutes until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
For the ‘cross’ toppings for your buns, add your plain flour to a bowl with 50ml water. Mix together to make a paste and spoon into a piping bag. Pipe a cross on each bun.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden-brown, turning the baking tray round halfway through if necessary.
Melt the golden syrup in a pan and while the buns are still warm, brush the buns with the syrup to give them a shine and then leave to cool on a wire rack.