Sarah was really good all Lent and didn't eat any chocolate, so we needed a chocolate-free Easter treat for Saturday and a chocolately reward for Sunday. So here are the results ...
Christus Victor Cake
I love simnel cake but nobody else I know seems to. So here's a compromise between simnel cake's lovely marzipan top and a traditional Victoria sponge. Watch you don't overdo the raspberry jam. A Victoria sponge isn't the most macho of things to make, so I decided to butch it up and call it a Christus Victor cake ... but then I added some marzipan flowers.
I'm not going to claim credit for the basic recipe, it's Mary Berry's which you can find at http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_perfect_34317. However, I prefer to cream the sugar and butter, and then add the eggs, and then the dry ingredients, for a nice smooth mixture. Sandwich together with whipped cream and raspberry jam.
On top, spread a little warmed apricot jam, and place a circle rolled out marzipan - as thick as you like!
Chocolately Hot Cross Buns
We made these gluten free, using Dove's Farm gf self-raising flour and adding a teaspoonful of xanthan gum for good measure. They are not as hard to make as you might think. I'd need to experiment with some vitamin C powder to try and improve the structure, as the gf version came out a bit dense.
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
3½ cups plain flour (if gluen-free, add 1 tsp xantham gum)
½ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp mized spice
1/4 cup caster sugar
350ml lukewarm milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sultanas
¾ cup good quality chocolate chips
½ cup currants
Crosses and glaze:
½ cup plain flour, extra
1/3-½ cup water, extra
apricot jam, strained and warmed