Easter Delights with Annabel Karmel

little-chick-cupcakes-easter-recipes
Annabel Karmel's Chick Cupcakes

Easter is such a lovely welcome break. Find time to cook together, because, whatever their age, most children love helping out in the kitchen. It doesn’t only have to be cakes and cookies – tasks like peeling vegetables with a safe vegetable peeler, grating cheese or cracking eggs are all fun things for children to do and spending time in the kitchen is a great way to bond with your child. Bring the family together by cooking up some delicious treats and create a wonderful feast that everyone can enjoy.

LITTLE CHICK CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS
• 55g (2oz) butter, room temperature
• 55g (2oz) soft light brown sugar
• 85g (3oz) clear honey
• 1 egg
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp apple puree
• 85g (3oz) self raising flour
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ginger
• ¼ tsp salt
• 60g Yellow marzipan for the chicks
• Candy-coated mini chocolate Easter Eggs
• 150g Buttercream for the topping (you can buy this in tubs in the supermarket)

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/35ºF/Gas Mark 4/Fan 160ºC. Line a muffin tin with 6 paper cases.
Beat together the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat together the egg, vanilla and apple puree then beat this into the butter mixture. Sift over the flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt and fold in.
Divide the batter between the paper cases and bake for 18-22 minutes, until risen, golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
When completely cool, spread the top of the cakes with buttercream. Make little chicks from the marzipan using a ball of marzipan for the body and a smaller ball for the head and pinching in the marzipan to form a tail and a beak. Sit one chick and one Easter egg on top of each of the cupcakes.

BUNNY BISCUITS

These delicious, slightly chewy ginger biscuits are great fun to make as children love rolling out dough and cutting it into shapes using cookie cutters.

Makes approximately 15 cookies

INGREDIENTS
• 65g (2oz) butter
• 50g (1¾oz) soft brown sugar
• 4 tbsp golden syrup
• 150g (5¼oz) plain flour, sieved
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• Mini candy-coated chocolate beans
• Sugar balls
• Mini marshmallows
• Tubes of Writing Icing
• Currants

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale. Add the golden syrup, flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and beat together until you form a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll out on a floured work surface to a thickness of about 3mm. Start in the centre of the dough and roll evenly outwards. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters from the outside edges of the dough into the centre, cutting as close together as possible. Re-roll the trimmings until all the dough is used up.
  • Place on baking sheets lined with baking paper and bake for about 8 minutes. Allow to cool then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, decorate with currants for eyes and sugar balls or candy-coated chocolate beans for buttons (attach these with a small blob of Writing Icing). Draw a nose and whiskers using Writing Icing. Finish off with a mini marshmallow for the tail.

EASTER LAMB – SHEPHERD’S PIE

INGREDIENTS
• 100g (4oz) lean minced lamb
• 1 tomato, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
• 1 tsp tomato ketchup
• 300g (10oz) potatoes, peeled and diced
• 150ml (5 fl oz) unsalted chicken stock
• 100g (4oz) Carrots, peeled and sliced
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 25g (1oz) peeled and chopped onion
• 15g unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp your baby’s usual milk

METHOD

  • Put the potatoes and carrots into a saucepan, pour over boiling water and cook the vegetables until tender. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan and sauté the chopped onion until softened. Add the minced meat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Add the chopped tomato and ketchup and pour over the stock.
  • Cover, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • When the potatoes and carrots are cooked, drain them and return to the saucepan together with the butter and milk, and mash with a potato masher or potato ricer until smooth. Mix the minced meat with the mashed potato and carrot.
  • For young babies, puree the minced meat in a food processor before mixing it with the mashed potato and carrot. As your baby gets a little older make this into a mini shepherd’s pie and decorate with a face made from vegetables.
    A perfect Easter lamb recipe.

EASTER SIMNEL CAKE

A Simnel cake is a light fruit cake, similar to a Christmas cake that is covered in marzipan with a layer of marzipan or almond paste baked into the middle of the cake. On top of the cake, around the edge are eleven marzipan balls, these represent the true apostles of Jesus. It’s a nice idea to bake this cake with your children – they will have fun rolling the balls of marzipan and this would make a lovely Easter gift for family and friends.

INGREDIENTS
• 200g (7oz) caster sugar
• 200g (7oz) butter, softened
• 250g (9oz) self raising flour
• 4 large eggs
• Zest of one orange
• 1 tbsp mixed spice
• 250g (9oz) sultanas
• 50g (2oz) stem ginger, finely chopped
• 150g (5oz) ready to eat dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
• 2 tbsp apricot jam
• 450g (1lb) golden marzipan

SERVES 10 OR MORE

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF /Gas Mark 3. You will need a 9” round springform tin. Line the base and grease the sides well.
  • Mix the caster sugar, butter, flour, eggs, zest and spice together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the prepared fruit and mix well.
  • Spoon half of the cake mixture into the base of the tin. Roll out one third (150g) of the marzipan into a 23cm (9”) circle and place on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture on top and level.
  • Bake in the oven for about 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • Remove from the cake from the tin and leave to become cold.
    Meanwhile, roll out another third (150g) of the marzipan into to a 23 cm (9”) circle.
  • Once the cake is cold, melt the jam in a small pan, then brush the top of the cake with the jam and place the marzipan circle on top.
  • Divide the remaining third of the marzipan into 11 pieces and shape into little balls by rolling between your palms. Position these around the edge of the cake.  Arrange fresh flowers or flowers made of icing in the middle of the cake.

Check out more of Annabel Karmel’s Easter Recipes, here.