Try these Easter recipes from celebrity chef and Mitsubishi Electric Australia ambassador Ed Halmagyi. From a simple basket the kids can help with to a spectacular cake and something simple for a family dinner.
Pastry baskets with chocolate straw and eggs
300g puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten
200g white chocolate melts
100g milk chocolate melts
mixed easter eggs and chocolate rabbits, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 190C. Roll out the puff pastry to 4mm thick. Use a rolling lattice cutter wheel to make alternating cuts in the pastry, or use a small sharp knife, marking the lines evenly with a ruler to ensure each line overlaps the next. Cut four strips 2cm wide and 18cm long.
2. Stretch out the dough to form the lattice, cut four 18cm discs, then drape over 12cm ovenproof bowls that have been covered in baking paper or are very well oiled. Drape the strips over four similar bowls. Brush with beaten egg, then bake for 22 minutes, until golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.
3. Melt the chocolates gently. Place four 25cm strips of acetate plastic (or any medium-thickness plastic) on a board, then drizzle with a little milk chocolate. Pour white chocolate over the top, then a few more drips of milk chocolate. Flatten with a palette knife, allow to cool for four minutes, then clip the ends of each strip together with bulldog clip and hang until dry.
4. Gently remove the chocolate from the plastic, then place into the pastry baskets. Top with Easter eggs and chocolate rabbits.
Sprinkle cake with Easter decorations
750g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1kg unsalted butter, at room temperature
630g caster sugar
8 egg whites
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp clear vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence
1/2 tsp lemon essence
1 3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups rainbow sprinkles
800g icing sugar mixture
Easter eggs, to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Put half the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment with the caster sugar for five minutes, until very light. Beat in the egg whites one at a time, then the oil, two tablespoons vanilla and the essences.
2. Add the butter mixture to the flours and mix gently, adding 1 1/2 cups milk, two tablespoons at a time, until the batter is smooth. Add the sprinkle and mix gently, until evenly distributed. Spoon into one lined 55cm x 40cm baking tray, or six x 20cm cake tins.** Bake for 25-28 minutes, until a skewer can be inserted and removed cleanly. Cool completely in the tin, then refrigerate for 30 minutes before proceeding.
3. Combine the remaining butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment with the icing sugar and remaining vanilla. Beat for 10 minutes, scraping down regularly, until very light and pale.
4. Use a 20cm cake hoop to cut three discs from the baking sheet (or cut by hand using a plate as a guide). Spread all three with a 4cm layer of frosting, then stack them up. Spread the remaining icing lightly on the sides, then scrape to reveal the sprinkle cake showing through. Decorate with Easter eggs.
*This recipe requires traditional artificially coloured tubular decorations. Naturally coloured ones will lose their tint when baked.
** This cake traditionally has exposed edges, which is done by cutting it out of a sheet pan. This creates quite a bit of leftovers. For a more efficient result, use cake pans, and freeze three cakes for another time.
Lamb kofte with minted carrot salad and lightly-spiced flatbread
500g lamb mince
2 tsp Moroccan seasoning
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
sea salt flakes and freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup currants
6 carrots, peeled
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 bunch mint leaves, finely sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 pita bread
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
tahini, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the lamb mince, Moroccan seasoning, cinnamon and turmeric in a bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then mix gently, just until the mince holds together. Form into logs, drizzle with a quarter cup of olive oil, then refrigerate until firm.
2. Combine the cranberry juice and currants in a microwave proof bowl and cook on high for one minute. Allow to cool completely. Grate the carrots coarsely, then mix with the currants, pomegranate seeds, mint, vinegar and a quarter cup extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drizzle the pita breads with the lime juice, cayenne and remaining oil. Season with salt then bake for 5 minutes, until the edges are crisp.
4. Thread the kofte onto skewers, then cook on a hot barbecue grill for 10 minutes, turning regularly, until firm to touch. Serve with salad, pita and tahini.