Easter Fare

I told myself that this year was going to be the year I baked more from my bookmarks. So far, it’s been a pretty successful resolution, though I have yet to make the chocolate wine (!) or lychee cake I’ve been eyeing for so long.

After making cookie versions of hot cross buns, I finally found some time to bake the real thing. Since I was in search of a new hot cross bun recipe to try, it was also the perfect opportunity to utilise my bookmarks. I made batches of two different recipes and was very happy with the results from both. B preferred the Baker & Spice recipe because theirs is pretty heavy in fruit and spice. Even though I am all about the fruit and spices in hot cross buns, there’s something about Bron Marshall’s recipe that makes me want to bake it again (maybe with a bit more fruit in it), so for me, hers wins by a whisker.

You can find the recipe for Bron Marshall’s Hot Cross Buns here. However, if Easter buns don’t float your boat, can I suggest something a little different. Something also from my bookmark folder, which is as much about brown sugar and spice (and everything nice) as the buns above.

This lovely cakey version of Lebkuchen comes from Pastry Studio. The original recipe is here, but I’m including my version of the recipe because I made a few changes based on what I had in my kitchen, and also weighed everything so that I would have a record of this recipe metric form for future reference. (Yes, I will be making it again!)

Lebkuchen Cake :
(serves 8; from Pastry Studio)

165g plain flour
45g hazelnuts
45g almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
170g unsalted butter @ room temperature
165g brown sugar
2 eggs @ room temperature
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cognac or brandy [I used Kahlua]
1 1/2 teaspoons candied orange peel, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon candied lemon peel, very finely chopped [I didn’t have candied peel handy, so I used 2 teaspoons candied ginger and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest]

Chocolate Glaze :

170g bittersweet chocolate [70% Lindt]
230g thickened cream (35% fat)
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 176’C. Brush an 8-inch cake pan with butter and line the bottom with a parchment round. Butter the parchment and dust the bottom and sides with flour.

Place the flour, almonds, hazelnuts, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a food processor. Process a couple of minutes until the nuts are very finely ground into the flour. Pour into a bowl.

Beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and cream the mixture on medium speed until pale, light and very fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the honey, cognac, orange and lemon peel. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the nut flour by hand in three batches, mixing just enough to moisten and blend. The batter will be quite thick. Scrape into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 26 – 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin blade knife around the cake to loosen and invert. Flip the cake back over to right side up and cool completely.

To glaze the cake, place the cooled cake on a an 8″ cardboard round or removable tart pan bottom. Return the cake to the cooling rack and place over a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium bowl.
Bring cream and honey or corn syrup to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Pour over chocolate and let stand a couple of minutes. Whisk slowly and gently starting in the middle and then working outward in concentric circles until completely combined.

Glaze the cake, pouring quickly in the center and around the edges. Tap the baking sheet on the work surface to encourage the glaze to run down the sides if necessary. Just as it begins to dry, run a small spatula around the underside of the cake to smooth the bottom edge and prevent β€œfeet” from forming. Let glaze dry before serving.

(PS: If you are an Australian foodblogger, you might be interested in signing up for the Australian Foodbloggers Group that Reemski has started. Her goal is to create an Australian version of the International Foodbloggers Conference currently being held in Seattle. I have signed up in support, and also think it is a great way to get to know more about the Australian food blogs and bloggers out there that I have yet to stumble across.)

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  1. Aran said,

    April 12, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

    happy easter Y. what a lovely day full of goodies you must have had!

  2. Christy said,

    April 12, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

    Happy Easter!! Oh that lebkuchen cake is right up my alley. I’ve been craving for lots of spices in my sweets lately, I think because winter is on its way. Sigh. Not a fan, but maybe worth it for all the produce. We’ll see. Oh, btw do you grind your spices in a mortar and pestle, or do you place them in a small food processor? I find that the mortar and pestle way is too time-consuming, and I really prefer using fresh spices. Oh, love the setup for the lebkuchen cake shot too!

  3. Caitlin said,

    April 12, 2009 @ 11:02 pm

    Happy Easter Y! I have the same resolution – cook and bake more from my bookmarks – but I always find myself distracted by other recipes too. That lebkuchen cake sounds fantastic!

  4. Laura said,

    April 12, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

    Happy Easter! I am not a hot cross bun type of gal, but yours look amazing so I might try them in the future.

    I am too trying to try all the recipes I have bookmarked, cut, seen on blogs, you name it. I don’t think I will ever be able to do them all, too many recipes, too little time.

    Happy Baking!

  5. Helen said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 1:01 am

    Oh your hot cross buns look amazing! They are so pretty and neat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a finer hot cross bun although, I’ll take the cake too!

  6. anna said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 1:22 am

    That looks good and all, but saying “chocolate wine” and “lychee cake” at the beginning like that made my eyes glaze over the rest of the text. Please make them. Soon.

  7. Piggy said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 5:02 am

    I’m not a fan of anything with chocolate but there’s something about the glaze on your lebkuchen cake that makes me wanna take a bite! The ingredients list looks interesting too!

  8. snooky doodle said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 6:37 am

    oh so many delicious food. The hot cross buns look awesome and the cake delicious πŸ™‚

  9. Marija said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 7:44 am

    I love that cake!

    Happy Easter!

  10. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 8:29 am

    Spices and chocolate – sounds like a winner on both counts. Happy Easter!

  11. Heather said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    I remember having traditional lebkuchen cookies in Munich and loved them. Since it will likely be a LONG time before I get back to Germany, this is a great way to bring those treats along quicker! Thanks for the great idea!

    Cheers and Happy Easter,


  12. Joy said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 11:00 am

    Those buns looks so good and the cake — perfect! I’ve never had it, but I’m signing up to eat it pronto!

  13. Sophie said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

    I am a bun girl, but I am also loving that cake. Those spices together (and chocolate combo) sound incredible. Have a great week :)!

  14. Manggy said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

    Oh wow, those look gorgeous. I especially “liebe” your kuchen! (eep, horrible pun.) Happy Easter to you!

  15. Tim said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

    Great looking hot cross buns! Unfortunately I seem to always miss hot cross bun season, as I’m too busy clearing up work before the extra-long weekend to remember to pick any up. Last year I finally got my fix when I made a batch in July.

    (Thanks for the heads up about the Australian foodbloggers group by the way)

  16. the caked crusader said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

    Two amazing looking dishes – your hot cross buns are so perfect looking and don’t even get me started on that gorgeous shiny chocolate glaze!

  17. Maya said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

    Love that cake! Will have to bookmark this recipe πŸ™‚

  18. Maya said,

    April 13, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

    Love the cake. Will bookmark it πŸ™‚

  19. matt wright said,

    April 14, 2009 @ 3:52 am

    OH YES. Love hot cross buns. Amazing photos, and the buns look awesome.

  20. Irene said,

    April 14, 2009 @ 9:47 am

    What a wonderful chocolate cake – lovely, lovely shiny glaze!

  21. Y said,

    April 14, 2009 @ 11:45 am

    Happy Easter to everyone, and thank you for the comments! Everyone should definitely try the cake – it’s such a lovely and simple treat. If you end up liking it as much as I do, you should also let the wonderful lady behind Pastry Studio know! πŸ™‚

    Christy : I have a mortar and pestle but usually turn to the spice grinder.

    Tim : It’s never too late or too early to enjoy HCBs! July is probably the perfect time, when we can appreciate the warmth of the oven. Thanks for your comment by the way. Wouldn’t have discovered your lovely blog otherwise!

  22. Anita said,

    April 14, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

    What lovely flavours… If you’re making this cake again, it must be good!

  23. Rosa said,

    April 14, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

    what delicious looking Hot Cross Buns and Lebkuchen Cake! Really droolworthy!



  24. Mary said,

    April 15, 2009 @ 12:27 am

    You must have had a wonderful Easter holiday. Your HCB and spice cake look and sound delicious.

  25. Big Boys Oven said,

    April 15, 2009 @ 2:50 am

    this is so exciting! I just love the texture of the cake and not forgetting the hot chic cross bun of your hehehehe very chic indeed!

  26. bron said,

    April 15, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    Hey so cool you made my recipe for Hot Cross buns they look super,
    and the Lebkuchen looks amazing! Cheers!

  27. Shari said,

    April 15, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

    Wow, that’s some list of spices in the Lebkuchen! I still want to make hot cross buns this year!

  28. Julia said,

    April 15, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

    Y, what a perfect mix for Easter. I love Lebkuchen so will definitely try that cake. Delicious. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

  29. lisaiscooking said,

    April 16, 2009 @ 2:01 am

    I made hot cross buns for the first time this year, and I used the Baker and Spice recipe. They smelled amazing as the dough was rising and as they baked. Yours look incredible!

  30. arfi said,

    April 16, 2009 @ 4:45 am

    Happy Easter, Y!! Gorgeous buns!

  31. Passionate Eater said,

    April 16, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    You had a decadent holiday from the looks of those classic hot cross buns and that Lebkuchen cake! I love that you made cookie version of hot cross buns and a cake version of lebkuchen cookies!

  32. Y said,

    April 16, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    lisaiscooking : I loved that recipe for that reason – the amount of fruit and spices in it.

    arfi : Why thank you! πŸ˜‰

    Passionate Eater : Ha, good point! I didn’t even think of it that way! πŸ™‚

  33. Tartelette said,

    April 16, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

    Hope you had a wonderful Easter! Both the buns and the cake look fabulous!!

  34. Hannah said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 3:24 am

    I’m not a big fan of hot cross buns, but that cake? Oh man, I would take a slice of that, please!

  35. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

    P.S. Thanks for the tip on the Australian Foodbloggers Group. Have signed up!

  36. Sneh said,

    May 11, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    I just signed up for the Australian Food Bloggers group. What a brilliant idea!

  37. Brad taylor said,

    April 9, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    I’ve made the Lebkuchen recipe, but I’ve used a hot cross bun mould to bake them in. It’s a great tasting recipe and it’s great how it smells just like hot cross buns as they bake. They come out of the oven and have the shape of a hot cross bun, so I glaze them with sugar syrup, then let them cool down, glaze with the ganache recipe, then use white chocolate to draw a cross on top. Hot cross buns with a twist!!

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