Easter is virtually upon us and that means it's time to indulge in a spot of baking! We have the perfect selection of treats for you to try here...
Mini Easter Egg Cakes
You will need:
For the cakes:
120g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
2 large Ella Valentine Baking Eggs, room temperature
180g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g pink candy melts
100g yellow candy melts
100g purple candy melts
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. You will need to lightly grease and flour oven-proof egg shaped moulds, we used the Wilton Mini Easter Egg Silicon Pan.
2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and lemon zest then the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
4. Add half the flour and then half the milk and mix until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
5. Divide the mixture into the prepared cake moulds and bake for 18 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 20 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. To decorate, separately melt each colour of candy melts in microwave-safe bowls. Melt each bowl for 1 minute, stir then heat for 30 seconds, stir, then repeat once more. Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to each bowl to help smooth out the candy.
7. Dip the raised side of each cake into the candy, you can use a fork to do this. Use 4 cakes per colour. Place on a sheet of baking paper to dry, about 1 minute. Pour each colour into individual disposable piping bags, cut the end off, then pipe Easter egg designs onto each cake. Leave to set.
Molly Bakes has developed trend recipes exclusively for Ella Valentine Baking Eggs www.ellavalentine.co.uk
Easter Nest Cupcakes
You will need:
125g (5oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
115g (4½oz) caster sugar
75g (3oz) TREX, at room temperature
2 large eggs
3 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Place 10 large paper cup cake cases into a bun tin.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, TREX, unbeaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Use a wooden spoon to beat the mixture together until smooth and creamy — this will only take one to two minutes.
3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Transfer to the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, until risen and firm. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4. To decorate, beat the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder together for three to four minutes until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread the topping onto the cakes, leaving a slight depression in the middle. Sprinkle chocolate flake around the edges, then place 3 chocolate eggs in the middle of each cake.
For more information, please visit: TREX at http://familybaking.co.uk/
Lemon Easter biscuits
You will need:
For the biscuits:
140g icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp Silver Spoon Cakecraft lemon natural extract
1 egg yolk
250g butter, cut into small cubes
375g plain flour, sieved
100g Silver Spoon Cakecraft white ready to roll icing
Silver Spoon Cakecraft food colouring
sprinkles and decorations of your choice
1. Put the icing sugar, lemon extract, egg yolk and butter in a food processor. Pulse until well combined.
2. Add the flour and mix to a firm dough. Shape the dough into two balls, wrap in cling film and chill for about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out Easter shapes and place on the baking sheets. Make a hole using a skewer if you want to thread ribbon through the biscuits. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.
5. Leave the biscuits to cool completely on a wire rack before you start decorating.
6. To decorate, take the white ready to roll white icing and add a few drops of food colouring (this can be done by dipping a wooden skewer into the food colouring and piercing the icing all over). Knead until you get a nice even colour.
7. Lightly dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out the coloured icing. Cut shapes that are slightly smaller than the biscuit shapes. Pipe a little white writing icing onto the biscuit and use this to stick the icing shapes to the biscuit.
8. Finish off with your choice of sprinkles.
For more information on the new Cakecraft range from Silver Spoon visit www.silverspoon.co.uk
You will need:
200g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
200g caster sugar
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
400g plain flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the butter and sugar together in a small bowl, until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat. Sift in the flour, then add the vanilla and fold through to form a dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from the fridge and roll out the dough until it’s about 4mm thick.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
5. Use a 7cm bunny-shaped biscuit cutter to cut biscuits from the dough. Arrange on the baking trays and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits on the tray to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. To decorate, make the icing by combining the icing sugar, milk and food colouring in a bowl until smooth. Spread over each biscuit and press a marshmallow tail on each.
Selected from the Baking Recipe Collection cook book by Sainsbury's
Martha's Mini Egg Cake
You will need
For the sponge:
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
5 large eggs
100g full fat Greek yoghurt
310g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp whole milk
For the white chocolate buttercream:
150g white chocolate
250g icing sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
2 x 328g packs mini eggs
1. Grease and line a deep 18cm round cake tin. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3.
2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat together until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula, and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add 1 tbsp of flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
3. Beat in the yoghurt, and then fold in the flour with the salt, beating on a medium speed until the mixture is thick and smooth. Finally, mix in the milk, then spoon into the tin and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until risen and golden. A skewer inserted should come out clean.
4. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
5. Make the buttercream by first melting the white chocolate carefully in the microwave, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Use an electric whisk to soften the butter in a large bowl, and then gradually add the icing sugar and whisk until paler in colour. Beat in the white chocolate until the mixture looks pale and fluffy.
6. Level off the cake, and then use a serrated knife to divide into three equal layers. Place the bottom layer on a cake stand and spread with a quarter of the icing using a palette knife. Repeat with the second layer before placing the final layer on top. Apply a thin layer of icing over the whole cake to seal in the crumbs, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
7. Remove the cake from the fridge, and then apply the final layer of icing all over the cake using a palette knife.
8. Starting at the base of the cake, begin sticking the eggs to the cake in colour pairs, repeating the pattern all around the cake. For the second row of eggs, repeat the same pattern of colour pairs but shift the pattern one egg to the right.
9. Build up the layers of eggs one row at a time, shifting to the right each time, until the whole cake is covered. Use the remaining eggs to decorate the top of the cake