From the magazine...
Wholemeal, apple and sultana hot cross bun loaf
This egg-enriched dough is simple and easy to make, it will happily turn into hot cross buns or this stunning bun loaf, perfect for Easter tea parties or breakfast. It’s guaranteed to fill the kitchen with the fug of Easter baking and will be irresistible to greedy family and friends!
Makes: One large loaf
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
300g strong white bread flour ?
200g plain wholemeal flour
125ml warm water
125ml warm milk
7g dried instant yeast
10g fine sea salt
50g caster sugar
1 medium free-range egg
50g butter, melted
1 tsp of orange zest
1 tsp of lemon zest
small apple grated
tsp of cinnamon
tsp of nutmeg
1 egg, to brush on top
- Combine the flours, water, milk, yeast, salt and sugar in the mixer bowl and fit the dough hook. (If making by hand, combine in a large mixing bowl).
- Add the beaten egg, zest and melted butter and mix to a sticky dough. If using a mixer, use the dough hook and mix on a low speed for approximately 8 minutes, or until the dough pulls together in a ball and the sides of the bowl are almost clean. Alternatively, tip onto the worktop and knead by hand for about 10 minutes (try not to add much flour – oil your hands with some olive oil to stop the dough sticking).
- Put the dough in a buttered bowl (it needs to be quite big) cover with cling film and leave to rise for a couple of hours or until doubled in size.
- Once it has doubled in size, tip the dough onto the worktop and flatten with your hands.
- Put the dried fruit, grated apple, zests and spices on top of the dough, roll up then knead until combined. Flatten again then roll up to fit into the loaf tin.
- Cover the loaf of dough with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for at least an hour at room temperature.
- Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees.
- Break an egg into a cup, whisk with a fork and brush on top of the loaf.
- Mix strong white bread flour with a little water to make a paste, spoon this into a piping bag or a plastic food bag, snip a tiny hole in the corner and pipe a cross on the top of each loaf.
- Once it’s doubled in size, place in the pre-heated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until it’s golden brown and the dough sounds hollow.
- While they are still hot, drizzle a little runny honey on top, then leave to cool on the baking tray.
Chocolate meringue nests with milk chocolate salted caramel ganache
Makes: 20 small nests
200g milk chocolate
200ml of double cream
3 tablespoons of Nestle Caramel
1/2 tsp of sea salt flakes
For the meringues
4 egg whites
60g granulated sugar
170g caster sugar
1 tsp of cornflour
1 tsp of vinegar (cider vinegar)
1 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder
Chocolate mini eggs
Edible spring flowers
Cocoa powder, for dusting
A little extra sea salt to sprinkle on top
- Make the ganache first as it will need time to thicken while the meringues bake.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and put it with the cream into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Once the chocolate starts to melt, remove from the heat and beat into the cream with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the caramel and sea salt and then put to one side to cool at room temperature.
- For the meringues: wipe your bowl with the cut side of a lemon, this will make it super clean and remove any grease so the egg whites whip up beautifully.
- Cover a large, flat baking tray with non-stick baking paper
- Preheat the oven temperature to 120 degrees.
- Break the egg whites into a jug, keep the egg yolks in the fridge to use for another recipe.
- Weigh the granulated and caster sugars into two separate bowls, have a large metal spoon ready to spoon into the egg mixture.
- Tip the egg whites into the clean mixing bowl and use an electric hand whisk or stand mixer, whisk gently, building up to a high speed until the egg whites are thick and stiff, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the mixture falling out.
- Add the granulated sugar, a tablespoon at a time with the whisk mixing at a high speed. Then add the caster sugar, whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Put the whisk to one side, use a large metal spoon or thin spatula to gently fold in the cornflour, cocoa and vinegar.
- Use two spoons to dollop the meringue mixture onto the baking paper. Then use a teaspoon to smooth a little nest-shaped hole in the middle of each meringue.
- Put into the preheated oven and bake at 120 degrees for one hour, then reduce the temperature to 100 degrees, bake for another hour then turn the oven off and leave the meringue nests inside with the door shut. It’s best to leave it overnight but if you can’t do that, then leave for at another hour.
- Remove from the oven and ensure the nests are completely cold before spooning the ganache into the holes and decorating with mini eggs, edible flowers and a dusting of cocoa powder.
Roast chicken with spinach and cream cheese
Serves: 4 (depending on the size of the chicken)
A bunch of fresh herbs
1 lemon, chopped
New potatoes, scrubbed and halved
For the cream cheese
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 whole clove of garlic
A good slug of rapeseed oil
1 tbsp of butter
250g baby spinach
200g full fat cream cheese
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Put the chicken into a large metal roasting tray, loosen the elastic on the chicken and put the lemon into the cavity.
- Push the herbs and butter between the skin and the flesh of the chicken breast.
- Season the top of the bird with sea salt and pepper.
- Put into the oven and roast for about 20 minutes before turning the temperature down to 180 degrees and adding the new potatoes to the tray to roast in the chicken juices.
- For the cream cheese: peel and finely chop the shallots, put into a hot frying pan with a whole clove of peeled garlic, add the oil and cook until soft.
- Add the butter and then the spinach, a handful at a time, add more as it softens and wilts. Remove the garlic clove.
- Stir in the cream cheese and bubble through, add salt and pepper.
- Scrape into an oven proof dish, sprinkle with parmesan and bake at 180 degrees (in the oven with the chicken) for about 15 minutes.
You can follow Miranda Gore Browne on Twitter @mirandabakes and on Instagram and Facebook as Miranda Gore Browne.