EASTER CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 350g soft butter + extra
350g rapadura sugar
325g ground almonds
35g cocoa powder
350g dark chocolate
75g soft butter
spring flowers violets, primrose, comfrey
Butter & line a 25cm (10”) round cake tin with parchment paper.
Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, ground almonds and cocoa powder together until very light. (easy with an electric mixer)
Put the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 mins on or until firm.
Turn out and cool
Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, gently stirring until melted.
Cool slightly then mix in the soft butter.
Pour over the cake
Decorate with the flowers just before serving so they are really fresh & vibrant.
BAKED EGGS WITH NETTLES & CHESTNUT MUSHROOMS
125g chestnut mushrooms
4 handfuls nettle tops
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and black pepper
4 large eggs
50g butter (+ a little extra)
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fine gluten free breadcrumbs
4 individual ramekin dishes
Oven 180ºC/350ºF/gas 5.
Slice the mushrooms and cook in the oil until just turning colour.
Wash & chop the nettles, add to the mushrooms and cook until all the moisture has evaporated.
Season with salt and pepper.
Butter the ramekin dishes well and divide the mixture between them, making a slight indent in the centre.
Break an egg into each indent.
Melt the remaining butter and stir in the breadcrumbs and herbs.
Sprinkle over the top of the ramekin dishes.
Bake in a moderate oven for 12 minutes or until the eggs are lightly set.
HOT CROSS BUNS
450g spelt flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice
zest of 1 lemon & 1 orange
300ml milk (dairy or gluten free oat)
1 egg for the crosses
100g white spelt flour
90 ml milk
4 teaspoons olive oil
pinch of salt
Soak the currants and sultanas in just enough water to cover overnight
Sift into a bowl the flour, salt & spice and rub in the butter. Mix in the orange & lemon zest.
Mix the yeast with a little water to make a runny paste.
Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture; add the yeast, egg and enough milk to make a soft, but able to hold its shape, dough. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes to create a silky dough.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and leave it in a warm place, covered with a clean cloth, to rise to double its size.
This will take 1½ hours approximately.
Drain the fruit, tip into the dough and knead to incorporate.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces, shape into buns and place on an oiled baking sheet.
Cover with a warm tea-towel and leave in a warm place to rise again.
Beat the flour, milk, olive oil & salt together to make a thick batter.
When the buns are risen, place the cross mixture in a piping bag pipe and pipe a cross on each bun.
Bake in a hot oven, 220˚C 200C fan, gas no 7 for 15 mins or until golden.