Saturday 23 March 2024

Recipe Post 2024: Easter Baking Prep + Update on Veganism !

 Hi there!


Thanks for tuning into another blog post, if you are new welcome to BakingBoutique! Over the past month, I have ventured with new ingredients and adapted classic recipes to fit dietary requirements so there are accessible to a variety of people and had a lot of fun with it too! Alongside sharing some of my best-loved plant-based alternative meals, I also feel it's a good time to share my upcoming Easter treats, so that myself and you guys have time to prepare for the festive period ahead and make smashing treats for everyone around to enjoy!


In preparation for my family's Good Friday Feast, I would like to make 'vegan hot cross buns', and challenge myself to a new baking recipe and hopefully they come out as planned on the day(stay tuned for photos).


For these traditional Easter delights, you'll need:

300ml of unsweetened almond milk

50g of dairy-free spread

500g of strong white bread flour

7g sachet of fast-action yeast

70g of golden caster sugar (I used soft dark brown sugar mixed with white caster sugar)

½ tsp of salt

2 tsp of ground cinnamon

2 tsp of mixed spice

1 large orange, zested

Around 200g of mixed fruit (it can be a wide variety from apples to sultanas, currants, dried cranberries). I will insert photos of the mixed fruit bag I used shortly.


For the ✞ you'll need:

70g of plain flour

water


For the yummy, irresistble glaze:

Apricot jam - this is subject to choice, I intend to make my own 'tangerine jam glaze' which again I will share the photos and details of below. 


Method:

Place the almond milk and vegan butter into the saucepan and melt before setting aside to cool down.


Next, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices into a sizeable mixing bowl. Form a well in the centre of the bowl and pour the milk mix in, swiftly combining with a wooden spoon to create a sticky dough.


Tip the dough out onto  a floured surface and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, until it forms a smooth, springy and elastic texture. 


Shape the dough into one large ball and cover and leave in a large bowl to double in size (leave in a warm room for approximately an hour).


Turn out the dough back onto the surface and flatten.


Press the dried fruits into the dough, knead in throughly and then leave to proof for another hour.


Line a large baking sheet and knock dough out again before dividing into 12 even pieces, rolling into balls and spacing equally apart.


Cover the layed out buns with clingfilm and again leave to rise for 45 minutes. 


Heat the oven to 220℃/200℃ fan, gas mark 7.


To form the '✞'s onto the buns,, mix together the flour with 1 tbsp of water at a time to create a thick, pipeable paste. Spoon this into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle, as demonstrated in images. Meticulously pipe the crosses onto the buns


Transfer to the middle oven shelf and bake for 15-20 minutes until they go deep golden brown.


While the buns are in the oven lovin (LOL😂), gently heat the ham in a small saucepan over a low heat, passing through a sieve to remove any lumps.


Finally, once the buns have cooled slightly, brush warm ham over the tops of the buns and volia!


My next chosen recipe on the menu for a delightful Good Friday Feast is the traditional British Simnel Cake. It takes back to Medieval era where it was an old custom within Stropshire and Herefordeshire and the word 'Simnel' derives from the latin word meaning ' fine flour'. Nowadays in the UK, it is typically eaten to mark the end of Lent and Easter Sunday.


To conjure up this pleasant Easter cake, you'll need:

250g of mixed dried fruit

1 orange, zested and juiced

500g of of marizpan

250g of softened butter, preferably to room temperature

200g of light brown soft sugar 

4 eggs

175g of plain flour

100g of ground almonds 

1 tsp of baking powder

1 lemon, zested

2 tsp of mixed spice

1 tsp of vanilla extract

100g of flace cherries, halved

2 tbsp of apricot jam.


Method:

Plave the mixed dried fruit with the orange juice, zest and water. Either you can heat this gently in a pan, occassionally stirring until the liquid has been absorbed and then leave to cool completely and 'allow moisture to seep into the fruits'. An easier method would be to microwave on full power for 2 minutes, and leave to stand for several minutes.


Next pre-heat the oven to 150℃/130℃ Fan, Gas Mark 2. 


Roll out a third of the marizpan and use the base of the cake tin as a template to cut out a circle.


Butter and line the cake tin with baking paper.


Beat together the butter and sugar for several minutes until creamy, light and fluffy.


Gradually add in the eggs, 1 by 1 and add a tablespoonful of flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Eventually add in the remaining flour, almonds, baking powder, lemon zest, spices and vanilla and fold in until well combined.


Mix in the cooled soaked dried fruit along with the cherries.


Scrape half the cake batter into the tin. Smooth the top surface before placing the disc of marizpan within the tin. Add in the remaining cake batter and level the top with a spatula.


Bake steadily for 2 hours, ensuring  a skewer inserted comes out clean and cake is soft to touch. 


Cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, before turning the tin out and allowing the cake to cool on the wire rack completely. 


Lastly, smoother the top of the cake with apricot jam. Roll out the remaining marizpan and use this to cover the circumference of the cake at the top.


There should be leftover marizpan which can be used to mould 11 equal sized balls (each are to represent apostles, minus Judas)


In terms of achieving a tradional, classic baked, glazed look. You could brush a beaten  egg over the marizpan and place the cake in the hot grill until the marizpan starts to caramelise.

Otherwise, the marizpan balls and top of cake can be dusted with cocoa powder. I will upload photos of the method I used to decorate the cake.


Finally, the update you've been waiting for...


My journey with veganism has remained more consistent that I had expected. I anticipated I might go back to being a full-fledge carnviore that eats all different types of meat, and fully return to fully using animal products.


However I definetely think the diet and the tactics I used to get around the hurdles of the change have stuck with me, even as a non-vegan and I still apply some of the practises till this day.


I no longer consume dairy-based products (this even includes bread) and I do not eat eggs anymore either. I have swapped alot of plant-based alternatives where I can and I still enjoy the preparation and tender love and care that goes into making 🌱 meals!



Furthermore, here's what I made over the past month and more recipes are to be shared in the next coming months:


















Before you go...

Song of the month:

Everything We Need - Kanye West









Youtuber of the month: Lilly Sabri







Book of the month: Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber











Quote of the month: Exodus 14:14



That's all from me, please don't forget to stay tuned for photos of my feast, see you later!



#sweetreats