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Five delicious homemade Easter gifts

Five delicious homemade Easter gifts

by Tom Wildman 08 March 2016

Fancy giving this year's Easter a more personal touch? Ditch the store-bought chocolates and go all out by making your own sweet treats.

A Cordon Bleu graduate from Tante Marie Culinary Academy, Tom shares his food passions as part of the editorial team at Great British Chefs.

For the sweet-toothed among us, Easter has to be the most popular festival of the year. Christmas may have mince pies and figgy pudding, and there’s always birthday cake when you turn a year older, but Easter is the only one to be so closely associated with chocolate, cakes, buns and all sorts of other sweet treats. Naturally, this means the shops are full of tempting things with eye-catching packaging, but a stint in the kitchen will result in something much more special for you to give to loved ones (or keep for yourself).

Make your own egg

Eggs are one of the most recognisable symbols of Easter; they have long been a symbol of fertility and rebirth but it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that they were first made out of chocolate in Germany and France. The UK Easter egg market today is said to be worth over £200 million a year, and with virtually every confectionery brand and supermarket selling them, they’ve never been easier to buy. Making your own chocolate egg is far more satisfying, however, and will give your gift a much more personal touch. It can also be cost effective. High-end Easter eggs are expensive, but at home you can use superior chocolate at a fraction of the cost. All you need is a cooking thermometer, egg moulds and plenty of good quality chocolate. Take a look at our how to guide to learn how to make your own.

Once the shell is made, the fun really begins. Read our top tips for decorating Easter eggs and create your own chocolate masterpiece.

Cooking with kids

 
 

Easter is a great opportunity to get children cooking and learning about various Easter traditions, so why not avoid the high street and spend a morning making edible gifts instead? Children will love making and decorating Sarah Trivuncic’s playful Easter bunny biscuits which take just ten minutes of baking time. Karen Burns-Booths’ Easter muffins are topped with a rich chocolate buttercream icing and miniature Easter eggs, while Helen Best-Shaw's Creme egg fudge will indulge the sweetest of sweet-tooths. Many of us will remember making cornflake chocolate nests at school, and for good reason; they’re suitable for all ages, are a quintessential Easter treat – especially with a few mini chocolate eggs in the middle – and lightning quick to make.

Hot cross fun

Hot cross buns are one of Britain's best loved Easter specialities. In fact, they are so special Queen Elizabeth I decreed that they could only be sold on Good Friday, Christmas day or for burials. Thankfully, we can now enjoy these spiced fruit buns whenever we please, which is just as well as they’re far too delicious to eat only once or twice a year.

Treat your loved ones to a fresh batch of warm hot cross buns this Easter with Monica Shaw’s foolproof traditional recipe. For a fun variation, why not try Paul A Young’s indulgent Hot cross bun brownie or Kate Doran’s Hot cross blondies. And if you’re following a gluten-free diet, you need not worry – these delicious Gluten-free hot cross buns from Victoria Glass are soft, moist and make a wonderful edible gift for friends or family.

 

Crowns and cakes

When it comes to edible gifts, cakes are often the most obvious choice. A well made cake is a thing to behold and when given as a gift is sure to make the recipient appreciate the time and effort you put into it. Simnel cake is the best known and most recognisable of the lot; eleven small marzipan balls (representing the apostles, minus Judas) line the rim of the cake like a crown, while a surprise layer of marzipan hides inside, sandwiched between two layers of delicious fruit cake. For a similarly impressive Easter cake without the marzipan, perhaps try Rosana McPhee’s beautiful Easter crown cake, or make a statement with Victoria Glass’s eight-layered Easter nest cake.

Go all out

Easter only comes round once a year, so you should make the most of it. This irresistible Creme egg chocolate drizzle cake is perhaps not the most suitable choice if you’re on a diet, but certainly makes a fun and indulgent gift. Cakes don’t have to be intricate to make an impression, either; Miriam Nice’s Last minutes Easter cake can be whipped up in next to no time and is topped with a luxurious melted chocolate icing.

 
 

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