With Christmas a distant memory, it’s now time to get out your best kitchenware again, lay the dinner table and look forward to the next big celebration – Easter! We have put together our Damart guide to create the perfect Easter feast at home for you and your family. So read on for some recipe inspiration…
Easter wouldn’t be Easter without delicious sticky hot cross buns! Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, they are steeped in superstition, as it is said that sharing them with friends cements true friendships. Now there’s a good excuse to eat them! Here’s how to make your own hot cross buns:
Ingredients for Hot Cross Buns
500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
75g/2¾oz caster sugar
2 tsp mixed spice powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lemon, finely grated zest only
10g/¼oz fast-action dried yeast
300ml/10fl oz milk
1 free-range egg, beaten
50g/1¾oz finely chopped mixed peel
Oil, for greasing
For the topping
75g/2¾oz plain flour
2 tbsp golden syrup, for glazing
- Mix the flour, sugar, spices and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl.
- Next melt the butter in a pan and warm the milk in a separate pan. Add the butter and half the milk to the dry ingredients. Add the egg and bring the mixture together with your hands, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl as you go. Gradually add the remaining milk, to form soft pliable dough.
- Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand adding the sultanas and mixed peel into the dough for 10 minutes until silky and elastic and forming a smooth ball.
- Oil a bowl and place the dough in, cover with cling film and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide into 12 balls. Line 1-2 baking trays with paper and place the balls on the tray, fairly close together and flatten them slightly.
- Slip each baking tray into a large clean polythene bag, making sure the bag doesn’t touch the buns. Leave for 40-60 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
- For the topping, add the flour to a bowl with 100ml/3½fl oz water. Mix together to make a paste and spoon into the icing bag.
- When the buns have risen remove the polythene bags and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden-brown
- Melt the golden syrup in a pan and while the buns are still warm, brush the buns with a little syrup and cool on a wire rack.
Now for the main event, and why not go for a delicious roast rack of lamb then serve with a creamy potato gratin and steamed seasonal greens?
Ingredients for Roast Rack of Lamb
Butter, for greasing
750g/1lb 9oz potatoes, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
200ml/7fl oz double cream
100ml/3½fl oz milk
100g/3½oz Emmental, grated
Dash olive oil
2 x 6-bone racks of lamb, French-trimmed
2–3 fresh rosemary sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Lightly butter an ovenproof gratin dish and set aside.
- Rinse the potatoes to remove some of the starch and drain. Place a layer of potato in the gratin dish, scatter with some of the garlic and nutmeg and season. Repeat until all the potato is used up.
- Mix the cream and milk together in a jug and pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the Emmental and bake for 45–60 minutes, until soft and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven temperature up to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat and fry the racks of lamb for 2 minutes on each side, or until brown. Transfer to a roasting tin, add the rosemary and roast for 8 minutes.
- Cover the lamb with kitchen foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with the potato gratin.
And finally for an egg-stra treat, why not enjoy some easy-to-make Easter egg nest cakes – kids love them!
225g/8oz broken up plain chocolate
2 tbsp golden syrup
36 mini chocolate eggs
- Line a 12-hole fairy cake tin with paper cases.
- Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir the mixture until smooth.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and gently stir in the cornflakes until all of the cereal is coated in the chocolate.
- Divide the mixture between the paper cases and press 3 chocolate eggs into the centre of each nest. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or until completely set.
All that’s left to do now is enjoy hosting your Easter feast with delicious food, family and friends! Everyone at Damart wishes you an egg-cellent Easter!