There are many lovely things to eat around Easter time apart from boring old chocolate eggs, and here I’ve included 3 of my favourites. Hot Cross Buns, Simnel Cake and Easter Biscuits remind me of growing up round my Mum’s cooking, begging to lick the bowl and eating everything when it was too hot. This is why I’ve mainly left the recipes in her handwriting, or as photos – these aren’t recipes I can take any credit for and seeing as we’ve just had Mothering Sunday it’s my tribute to her delicious baking.
The first two delicacies are obviously rich in symbolism. In our household it was ostensibly to do with being Catholic, however I always felt that we were a bit pagan and the coming of Spring with all its promise of fecundity made these baked goods all the more enticing.
Religion aside, you never need an excuse to make cake, and Simnel Cake is a very proper cake. It’s normally a fruit cake covered in marzipan, with eleven marzipan eggs to represent the ‘true’ disciples of Jesus (poor old Judas getting left off), often with a lump of marzipan in the middle. I always hated marzipan as a child, and fruit cake, so this was something I only grew to love as an adult. I don’t know what it is about marzipan, but it’s such a strong flavour and has a definite texture so I can understand why it’s a love/hate thing. Anyway, here is a picture of the cake my Mum made last year:
Hot Cross Buns are amazing, although I think I am prejudiced in favour of anything that can be toasted and have butter plastered onto it. Here is my mother’s recipe (it looks like it’s from either a Delia book or Good Housekeeping, both excellent sources for cakes, but notice my Mum’s handy notes!):
And finally, Easter Biscuits. Mum got this recipe from her West Country friend. They’re lovley and lemony and taste of Spring and sunshine. If you have any issues reading her hand writing, let me know.