Easter baking

I did quite a lot of baking this Easter, starting on Good Friday with a Chocolate, Orange and Banana loaf – not the most traditional Easter cake maybe but, unusually, we had a lot of overripe bananas (monkeyboy was unwell the week leading up to Easter and didn’t go through them at his usual rate) so I decided to try out the Chocolate and Banana Loaf recipe from The Primrose Bakery Book that I got for Christmas. I adapted the recipe slightly and added some orange peel for a citrusy note.

Banana, orange and chocolate loaf

The photo didn’t turn out great, but the loafs did! We (well, mainly I) went through the first one at an alarming rate. Still have some left of the second one, and the banana in it has kept it wonderfully moist. Left the pieces of chocolate in it quite chunky so you get a good chocolate hit when biting into it. Hmmm, think I’m going to have to go and get another piece now 🙂

Chocolate, Orange and Banana Loaf1

Ingredients
125g butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing tin
250g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 ripe bananas, mashed
175g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) broken into smallish pieces.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Grease loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the eggs, one at the time.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and orange zest.
  6. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then gradually add to the creamed butter and sugar.
  7. Beat in the mashed bananas then add the chocolate pieces.
  8.  Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
  9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

On Easter Sunday it was time to go and meet the in-laws, who were up visiting from down south. I had promised to bring a cake, but on hubbies request, I ended up making two; his favourite coconut cake and some Easter inspired cup cakes.

Coconut cake

The coconut cake is a family favourite. In my family it’s called Annica’s cake, after a friend of my mum who originally gave her the recipe. I think it’s originally called Silvia’s cake though, most likely in honour of the Swedish Queen Siliva, however when I made it for some friends here in Scotland, it was swiftly renamed coconut cake. Whatever the name, it’s seriously yummy and very easy to make!

Coconut cake

Cake
2 eggs
200 ml sugar
200 ml flour
2 tsp baking powder
100 ml boiling water

Icing
75 g butter
100 ml sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar or a spash of vanilla extract
1 egg yoke

Decoration
Desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ÂșC.
  2. Grease and line a tin.
  3. Cream eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and the boiling water.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking, simmer the butter, sugar, eggyolk and vanilla sugar on low heat while stirring constantly until thickened.
  7. Spread the warm icing over the warm cake.
  8. Add desiccated coconut on top.

The Easter cup cakes were from another new baking book of mine, The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days, which a colleague talked me into buying when The Book People were visiting work recently (I didn’t need much convincing though 🙂 )
I modified the cup cakes slightly as I wanted a pale yellow Easter kind of icing instead of a chocolate one. I forgot to adjust the amount of icing sugar though, to replace the cocoa powder that I left out, so it ended up a bit loose, but it was still delicious!

Easter cup cakes

Easter cup cakes

Cup cakes
70g unsalted butter
210g caster sugar
100g soft light brown  sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
zest of one orange
250g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
240ml  milk

Frosting
650g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened250g cream cheese
zest of 1 orange
a few drops of yellow food colouring

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C and fill a muffin tin with muffin cases
  2. Cream the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add one egg at the time, then the vanilla essence and orange zest
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt
  5. Divide the mixture between the cases, filling each about two-thirds.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes
  7. While the cup cakes are baking, make the frosting. Whisk the icing sugar and butter until a crumbly mixture.
  8. Add the cream cheese, orange zest and the food colouring and mix until smooth and light.
  9. Once the cup cakes have cooled, decorate them with the frosting and any other decorations, such as mini chocolate eggs.

Finally, I made Hot Cross buns on Easter Monday.

Hot cross buns proving

I used a recipe from the Jamie Oliver “Jamie Magazine“. Although they tasted lovely, I don’t think I’ll be using the recipe again as the dough was quite stiff and the buns turned out quite compact. I’m sure I used a recipe by Dan Lepard a few years ago that was much better, but it will be buried in a box with all the rest of my recipe cut-outs so will have to try to dig it out for next year instead….

Hot cross buns

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