Although it seems hard to believe, the long weekend is almost upon us. While this Easter might be looking a little different in 2020 to other years, that doesn't mean you still can't indulge in some delicious treats within your bubble.
Lockdown is a great opportunity to attempt making your own hot cross buns or whip up an indulgent breakfast without having to pay a holiday surcharge.
We've put together a selection of recipes to help you get through this lockdown holiday with full bellies, making sure all your sweet cravings are taken care of.
Spiced Banana Easter Pancakes
Kick off the long weekend off in style with these spiced banana pancakes from Dole. Sure, pancakes are usually more of a Shrove Tuesday kind of thing, but in my house, they're the breakfast option to mark any kind of celebration. These ones are spiced with cinnamon, but you could add in a teaspoon of all-spice to make them even more hot cross bun-esque.
- 1 cup standard flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 1 egg, separated
- 160mls milk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 knobs of butter
- Sliced bananas and maple syrup to serve
- Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Add the mashed bananas, egg yolk, milk and baking soda and mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks start to form. Add to pancake batter and gently mix through.
- Heat a knob of butter in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Once melted, ladle a spoonful of pancake batter into the centre of the pan, fry for 2 - 3 minutes or until bubbles begin to appear on the surface and the base of the pancake is golden brown. Gently flip then fry for a further 2 - 3 minutes. Continue with remaining pancake batter, add butter to the pan as needed.
- Serve with extra bananas and maple syrup
Hot Cross Bun French Toast
If you're feeling a little more indulgent, this recipe for Hot Cross Bun French Toast, also from Dole, is as delicious as it is Instagram-worthy. We'd recommend not using gourmet bakery or homemade Hot Cross Buns for this one - supermarket ones will do just fine.
- 6 hot cross buns, cut in half
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 6 bananas, sliced
- 6 rashers of bacon
- 20g butter
- Maple syrup to serve
- Heat the grill and place bacon on a lined baking tray.
- Grill bacon for 4 - 5 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. Drain off any excess fat.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Place the halved hot cross buns into the egg mixture and leave to soak for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Place a non-stick frypan over a medium to high heat then add 10g of butter to the pan.
- Once the butter has melted, fry hot cross buns in batches of 2 - 3, be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- In a separate non-stick frypan, heat the remaining 10g of butter. Once melted, add the sliced bananas and fry until golden and caramelised on each side.
- Serve hot cross buns with bacon, caramelised bananas and maple syrup.
Allyson Gofton's Classic Hot Cross Buns
If you're attempting your own hot cross buns for the first time, don't get pulled into some of the more complicated versions you may have seen from top cafes and restaurants on Instagram. Instead, stick to this Kiwi classic recipe from celeb chef Allyson Gofton, who shared it with RNZ back in 2009.
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast or 1½ tablespoons Surebake yeast mix
- 1 cup warm milk
- 100 grams butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups high-grade flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon each ground allspice, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup of mixed dried fruit
- Milk or egg wash to glaze
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon butter
- about ¼ cup milk
- Lightly grease a baking tray or line with baking paper.
- Stir the yeast and milk together and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
- Beat softened butter and eggs into the frothy mixture. Put the flour, salt, spices and brown sugar into a food processor and pulse to sift.
- Turn the food processor on. Pour the yeast mixture slowly down the feed tube until it forms a soft dough. Process for 1 minute. Add the dried fruit and pulse to just mix.
- Turn the dough into a greased bowl, turn over and cover with greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in bulk.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place on the prepared tray with about 1cm space between each bun.
- Cover with a lightweight clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for about 30 minutes until well risen.
- Place the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 190 ºC.
- Brush the buns with milk or egg wash to glaze. Pipe thin crosses onto the buns with the cross paste.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.
- Brush the hot buns with the sugar glaze (below) and return to the oven for 1 minute. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cake rack to cool.
- Sift flour and baking powder together. Rub in butter. Stir in enough milk to make a thick batter that can be piped.
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons sugar in 2 tablespoons hot milk.
- Sponge the yeast as outlined in steps 2 and 3. Sift the flour, salt, spices and brown sugar into a large bowl and stir through the dried fruit. Make a well in the centre. Gradually mix in the frothy yeast mixture. Once most of the flour has been absorbed, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knead well for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Continue as above.
Chocolate Tofu Pots
If you're looking for a healthier option over Easter weekend, or you've just run out of flour, this vegan recipe from WW (formerly Weight Watchers) will leave you feeling light as a feather. The secret ingredient is tofu, which doesn't sound particularly Easter-y, but makes for a creamy and fabulous chocolate mousse.
- Silken or soft tofu - 300g, chopped
- Bananas - 2 large, roughly chopped
- Cocoa powder – 2 tbs, dark (you can use cacao powder instead of cocoa powder)
- Maple syrup – 1 tbs
- Vanilla bean extract – 1 tsp
- Fresh raspberries or strawberries – 60g
- Drain excess liquid from tofu and pat dry with paper towel.
- Process tofu, banana, cocoa, maple syrup and vanilla in a food processor until mixture is smooth.
- Divide mixture between four ½-cup (125ml) capacity serving glasses. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour or until chilled and slightly thickened.
- Serve topped with berries.