Whether you’re celebrating Easter or not, these tasty, super easy dessert recipes are just too tempting not to make this weekend.

From gooey “brookies” (that’s a cookie-brownie hybrid FYI) filled with a molten Crème Egg centre to vegan hot cross buns and a rich, nutty chocolate mousse topped with a nest of Mini Eggs, there’s something for everyone in our Easter treats recipe round-up. And to top it off, we’ve finished with a seriously simple ice-cream recipe laced with leftover hot cross buns – probably the best ice cream you’ll ever taste.

Scroll on for the recipes to impress family and friends this weekend…

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

A vegan hot cross bun recipe that’s super tasty has arrived. Bake off these sticky delights and serve lightly toasted with a spoonful of jam or a hunk of coconut cream.

INGREDIENTS

  • 50g plant-based butter
  • 300ml dairy free milk
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 70g mixed peel
  • 1 x 180g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam, to glaze

METHOD

  1. Put the butter and milk in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the butter has melted. Heat until just simmering, then remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
  2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, then stir through the yeast, sugar, spices and salt. Pour in the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until brought together into a sticky dough.
  3. Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip the dough out onto the surface. Dust with a little more flour, then knead for 6 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. Lightly oil a clean mixing bowl, then place the dough in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and place somewhere warm for 1 hour to prove.
  4. Once the dough has doubled in size, tip back out onto a clean surface and flatten out with your hands. Add the mixed peel and chopped chestnuts and knead again until the chestnuts are evenly spread throughout the dough. Place the dough back in the oiled bowl, cover, then leave again to double in size.
  5. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Gently punch out the air in the dough, then tip back onto a clean surface. Divide into 12 pieces, then roll each into a smooth ball and place onto the baking tray spaced out by a couple of centimetres. Cover with lightly oiled cling film, then prove for a final 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile mix 70g plain flour with a couple of tablespoons of water to create a pipeable paste. Put into a piping bag.
  7. Heat the oven to 200C fan. Pipe the paste into crosses over the buns, then place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Once the buns have cooled, heat the jam in the microwave for a few seconds or until loosened, then sieve to remove any lumps. Brush onto the buns and set aside until ready to serve.

Chocolate Chestnut Mousse

This velvety chocolate mousse uses chestnuts in place of more traditional ingredients to create a really light and airy dessert. Top with chocolate eggs for the perfect Easter pudding.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 180g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts
  • 250ml plant-based milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 350ml plant-based double cream
  • Plant-based chocolate eggs to decorate

METHOD

  1. Put the chestnuts, milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until roughly a quarter of the milk has evaporated and the chestnuts have softened.
  2. Pour the mixture into a heatproof blender and blitz until completely smooth. Tip in the chopped chocolate and blitz again until the chocolate has melted and is fully combined. Decant into a bowl and set aside to cool a little, stirring occasionally to keep it from setting.
  3. Whip the cream using an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Gently stir a few heaped spoonful’s of the cream into the chocolate mousse mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remaining cream, retaining the air in it as much as possible.
  4. Pour into a large serving dish, or individual pots, then leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to set.
  5. Serve with the chocolate eggs on top.

Crème Egg Brookie Tray Bake

Is it even Easter if there aren’t a few Crème Eggs knocking about?  This indulgent traybake is a genius way of using up leftovers and is so much easier to make than it looks.

INGREDIENTS

  1. 250g unsalted butter, melted
  2. 300g granulated sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 300g plain flour, split into 50g and 250g
  6. ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  7. 200g dark chocolate chips or a chopped up bar, split into 150g and 50g
  8. 6 Creme Eggs, halved

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan).
  2. In the microwaveable bowl, melt 150g of the dark chocolate in 30 second increments, being careful not to burn it. Set to one side.
  3. In the other mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar with the spatula followed by the eggs and vanilla. Mix until everything is combined.
  4. Pour 350g of this mixture into the melted dark chocolate and mix thoroughly before folding in 50g of flour. This is your brownie base – pour this into your lined tin and spread evenly using the spatula or the back of the teaspoon. Pop this in the freezer while you make the cookie topping.
  5. To make the cookie topping, add the rest of the plain flour (250g) and bicarbonate to the remainder of the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Combine with a cleaned spatula until smooth, then fold in the leftover 50g of dark chocolate chips/chunks. Take the brownie base out of the freezer and spread the cookie dough evenly on top.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until risen and golden on top. Allow to cool slightly before gently pressing the Creme Egg halves into the baked Brookie.
  7. Once the Brookie has cooled completely in the tin, remove it and cut it into portions.

Leftover Hot Cross Ice Cream

What better way to spend Easter Monday than with a bowl of leftover hot cross bun ice cream on the sofa. And don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy ice cream machine, you can use whipping cream and condensed milk instead – easy peasy and SO delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 500ml double cream
  • 500ml milk
  • 250g sugar
  • 6 hot cross buns

METHOD

  1. Place your milk and cream into a heavy based pan and slowly bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
  2. Whisk together your egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Leave your cream and milk to cool lightly and then pour half over the egg and sugar mix. Whisk until combined.
  4. Milk both mixes together and return to the stove. Cook gently stirring continuously until it coats the back of the spoon.
  5. Remove from the heat and chill.
  6. Once cool churn in an ice cream machine until firm. N.B If you don’t have an ice cream churn you can whisk whipping cream (600ml)  whilst slowing folding condensed milk (1 can) into the whipped cream as an alternative, it’s super creamy and equally delicious.
  7. Once churned tear the hot cross buns into small pieces and fold through the ice cream.
  8. Freeze for a few hours until set.

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