Can you believe that Easter is just around the corner? I really don't know where the first quarter of 2015 has gone to. Time is just whizzing past. My 10 year old daughter has given up both sweets and chocolate for Lent. Day one was hard when I told her that yes, Nutella did indeed count as chocolate. That came as a bit of a shock to her. She's done really well bar a wee inadvertent slip up with a crunch corner yoghurt and a cube of fudge in a restaurant which was in her mouth before her brain had time to engage! A parcel of Easter treats in the post from Marks & Spencer didn't go down too well with her but the jelly carrots and chocolate bunny have been stashed away for her to enjoy at a later date. Her attempt at the carrots being one of her 5 a day didn't wash with me. I particularly loved the M&S Easter Biscuits which are delicious and very moreish - butter, spices, cranberries and currants. Like a hot cross bun in cookie form.
Easter Eggs don't necessarily have to be of the chocolate variety. Regular readers will know how much I love cute and quirky foodie creations. How about this one of mine for a novelty breakfast? An Easter Bunny Egg created from a fried free range egg, black olive eyes, string cheese whiskers and streaky bacon ears.
I did give fair warning that my Tunnock's Teacake Sheep who last made an outing to celebrate Chinese New Year would be brought out to pasture again as Easter Lambs. Instructions how to make these can be found here. It's always lovely to hear when someone makes something after seeing it on the blog, I was chuffed to be sent photos of a whole herd made to celebrate the year of the sheep. Do tweet/facebook me if you try your hand at Easter lambs.
I've always known of the existence of Simnel Cake and its significance in relation to Easter but am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never actually tried it. Thanks Marks and Spencer for coming to my rescue. A gorgeous light fruit cake with a layer of marzipan inside and toasted marzipan on the top. The 11 marzipan balls represent Jesus disciples minus Judas. Their biscuit bunnies are pretty tasty too!
There are plenty of non traditional hot cross bun flavours on the shelves this year. These are another thing that I feel I really should try my hand at baking at some point. Ah well, there's always next year. For now I tried three M&S varieties. Berries & Cherries, Toffee Fudge & Belgian Chocolate and Bramley Apple. I'm clearly a traditionalist as the toffee and chocolate weren't for me. The fruity ones were the best and it was those that I used to make a breakfast/brunch dish of Hot Cross French Toast.
HOT CROSS BUN FRENCH TOAST
4 Hot Cross Buns
3 Free Range Eggs
Oil for frying
Bacon & Maple Syrup to serve
Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork.
Split the Hot Cross Buns in half and soak them in the egg mixture until fully absorbed.
Heat a frying/griddle pan and add a splash of oil.
Fry the eggy hot cross buns for a couple of minutes on each side until nicely browned.
Serve with crispy bacon and lashings of maple syrup.
Who can resist a dippy egg? Not me that's for sure, especially when served up in these oh so cute bunny eggcups. There was a whole lot of love for these on my social media channels. The wooden spoon comes courtesy of Scotland's Rugby team...
After my success with stamped biscuits for The Great Comic Relief Bake Off, I was keen try try out the set of three Easter cookie cutters. When it came to it I didn't get a look in as foodie boy baked up a storm with them using a Gingerbread Man recipe. They spread a wee bit when baking so the eggs were slightly wonky in shape but the bunny, flower and butterfly imprints came out successfully. The perfect homemade foodie treat for a Hoppy Easter and a Springy Spring!
Disclaimer : M&S provided me with a selection of Easter products for the purpose of this post.. All views expressed are my own. This is not a paid post.