Easter was fairly quiet this year giving me a chance to spend some quality time in the kitchen.
After reading Sophie's post I was inspired to give hot cross buns a go. I used a recipe from Taste.com, which was easy enough to follow. I've never attempted to bake anything with yeast before, but it was surprisingly simple. Mix yeast, sugar and milk, wait ten minutes... Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, knead dough, wait two hours... form buns and put into baking tray, wait another hour... Simple enough, but with LOTS of waiting.
Still, the wait was worth it. Seeing how much the buns had risen was very rewarding.
Taking them out of the oven and eating them was even better!
I had the same problem as Sophie with the crosses however. According to my baker brother, it's because I was using the wrong flour. He recommended rice flour. I will have to investigate this next time.
In between waiting for the hot cross buns to rise, I also made Easter fudge. Fudge at Easter is a tradition in my family. My Nana makes it, my Mum makes it and as of this year, I make it. My family prefers a crumbly fudge (which I think is called Scottish tablet ) but my previous attempts to make it have not gone well. It requires a level of precision that I don't seem to have and can easily burn. So instead I make cheat's fudge. I've unfortunately lost the original recipe and I can no longer find it on the internet... luckily it's easy enough to remember.
Add two blocks of chocolate (I used dark chocolate but you can use a mix of milk and dark), a can of condensed milk, about 30 grams of butter and a pinch of salt to a pot.
Stir until melted and combined, then remove from heat. Add tasty extras like macadamias, pistachios, dried fruit, etc. Pour into a lined baking tray. Allow to cool slightly and then refrigerate for at least three hours.
This fudge has a smooth, creamy texture which is quite different from traditional fudge. The results seem like they require a lot more effort then they really do - especially when you dress it up like this.
If you have a sweet tooth, this recipe is definitely worth a try!