Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Goodies

         With easter just around the corner I thought a couple of treats were in order,  I foolishly thought that having my boys help with the Easter egg making would be fun and for them it was awesome sticky fluffy marshmallow, gooey  melted chocolate, brightly coloured hundreds and thousands and clouds of icing sugar,. heaven.  I'm still finding little sticky smudges days later..... but the satisfaction of biting into that gorgeous pillowy marsmellow, priceless.  You don't need any special equipment for this as the shape is formed by pressing an egg into a tray of packed flour.
        No Good Friday would be complete with-out toasted hot-cross buns.  Once a year I faithfully pull out a hand written recipe, it's a satisfying practice kneading the dough till it's smooth and elastic, patiently putting it aside till the volume doubles and is soft like a breast (not a silicone one), knocking it back, shaping, proving (letting it rise) and finally the sweet aroma of spice and bread wafting through the house.  Don't be disheartened by the lengthy process each step is simple, and in between each step your free to go about your day or a part of it can be done in your bread-maker.  Happy baking!

Marshmallow Easter Eggs

2Tbspns Gelatine
1/2cup cold water
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tspn vanilla extract (or other flavouring)  try orange blossom or rose water

1.5kg cornflour or cornflour Icing sugar mix (mould)
1 egg (shape)

melted chocolate, hundreds and thousands, icing sugar etc

Combine gelatine and first measure of water.  Leave to swell.  (The gelatine will absorb the water)  Heat the sugar and second measure of water, stirring until sugar is dissolved and bring to the boil.  Dissolve gelatin in the microwave,  or over hot water.  Add to the sugar syrup and boil for 15 minutes.   While gelatine mix is boiling tip flour into a tray press down firmly.  Take your egg and press indentations length wise of a half egg (the deeper the impression the bigger the eggs this mix will make 20 eggs so 40 indentations.   Cool until lukewarm.  Beat well until
very thick and white add your flavouring.  Pour into your moulds.  Refrigerate to set.  When set stick halves together.  Decorate or leave plain.  To do the chocolate coating dip in half length ways and allow to set before dipping the other.  To coat the marshmallow in sprinkles dampen the outside with a little water and roll with enthusiasm.   Eat.  Eat.  Eat.

Hot Cross Buns

!50mls boiling water
150mls cold milk
2 tspns sugar
1 tbspn yeast

Mix and stand 5-10 minutes in a warm place until frothy.

4 cups plain flour
1 tspn salt
3 tspns mixed spice
2 tbspns sugar
2 cups dried fruit
1 egg lightly beaten
2 Tbspns melted butter

Sieve the flour, salt and spice.  Stir through dried fruit and sugar.  Make a well in the centre and add yeast mix, butter and egg.  Mix well.  Knead mixture on a floured surface until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes).  Leave in a warm spot covered with a damp towel until the dough has doubled in size.  (think breast)  Knead the dough lightly.  Divide into four equal parts, divide each of those into five.  Using the palm of you hand press and turn lightly rolling in the cup of your palm to form into balls.Arrange on a greased tray until the size doubles.  Pipe crosses on buns using a loose slurry of flour and water.Bake at 200c for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  To make buns glossy brush with a 50/50 water/sugar syrup.

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