Archive for March, 2018

Easter Baking

Posted on: March 28th, 2018 by Harriet Low No Comments

Hey guys!

Easter is one of my favourite times of the year, Spring is finally showing her face and the weather appears to be slightly less freezing at last! It’s time to turn our back on heavy pies and indulgent puds and look forward to a summer of cake baking (and eating)! I like to kick off this season with a Hot Cross Bun on Good Friday and a slice of Simnel Cake on Easter Sunday. Both recipes can be found on my website. If you are planning on catering for family this Easter I also have a fabulous Spinach Pie with a surprise egg centre that would be ideal served hot as part of a buffet, or you can cook it in advance and serve it in a slices at a picnic if the weather pulls itself together!

If your family are chocolate mad and Easter’s an excuse to tuck in to lots of choccy goodies then check out my Chocolate Easter Tart recipe below. This is a great recipe to make with kids as it’s super simple to make, with a rich and gooey filling.

I really hope that you have been enjoying the Stand Up To Cancer Great British Bake Off. For more information and to download your fundraising pack visit Stand Up To Cancer

Happy Easter, Paul x

Chocolate Easter Tart

Serves 12

This is a really lovey simple chocolate tart, with a rich and gooey filling. It’s perfect for making with the kids.

Chocolate Pastry

150g plain flour

3tbsp icing sugar

50g cocoa powder

100g unsalted butter- cold and cut into small dice

1 egg yolk

½tsp lemon juice

2tbsp cold water


225ml full fat milk

450ml double cream

240g soft dark brown sugar

3tbsp cocoa powder

45g cornflour

120g dark chocolate – I use Bourneville or 40% cocoa solid

60g unsalted butter

To decorate mini chocolate eggs and icing sugar

To make the pastry

Sieve the flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and using your fingers rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice and water and bring the mixture together to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat your oven to 200c/gas 6. 

Once the pastry has rested, dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the pastry to approximately 3mm thick and use it to line a 25cm tart tin. Leave any excess pastry overhanging the edge of the tin. Prick the base with a fork.  Line the pastry case with baking parchment then fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake blind for 15minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans and return to the oven for a further 8 -10 minutes until the pastry is dry and cooked through.  Using a small knife trim away any excess pastry from the edge. Leave the base to cool completely.

To make the filling place put the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour, chocolate and butter into a saucepan. Set the pan on a medium heat and using a whisk stir until the chocolate and butter have melted and you have a smooth glossy and thick mixture. This will take around 10 minutes. Do not rush and have the heat too hot as it will burn the chocolate.

Pour the mixture into the cooled tart case. Cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool then place in the fridge to set.

Remove from the fridge for 2 hours before serving. This allows the filling to soften and come to room temperature.  Decorate with mini chocolate eggs and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve with cream.


Hot Cross Buns

Posted on: March 21st, 2018 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add the water, a little at a time, until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water, or you may need to add a little more – you want dough that is soft, but not soggy. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

3. When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – at least 1 hour, but it’s fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and scatter the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon on top. Knead in until evenly incorporated. Cover and leave to rise for a further hour.

5. Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide into 12 peices and roll into balls. Place, fairly close together, on 1 or 2 baking trays lined with baking parchment or silicone paper.

6. Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rest for 1 hour, or until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220°C.

7. For the crosses, mix the flour and water to a paste. Using a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle, pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Warm the apricot jam with a splash of water, sieve and brush over the tops of the warm buns to glaze. Cool on a wire rack.