Thursday 2 April 2015

Hot Cross Muffins for Easter

Would you like some warm Spring pie?
Then, take a cup of clear blue sky.
Stir in buzzes from a bee,
Add the laughter of a tree.

A dash of sunlight should suffice
To give the dew a hint of spice.
Mix with berries, plump and sweet.
Top with fluffy clouds, and eat!

~ Paul F. Kortepeter, Holly Pond Hill: A Child's Book of Easter 

Happy Easter everyone!

I just love Easter and all the chocolate eggs and bunnies, hot cross buns and simnel cakes laced with rich spices and fruit. Chocolate and baking AND a holiday, what a more could a girl ask for??

I also love that Easter is all about new beginnings, restarting and recharging. I don't know about you but by the time we get to April I sure am ready for a bit of holiday!

This year in particular, Easter for me has been a bit of time for reflection. I am coming to the end of a long journey from lawyer to doctor. Starting from scratch again as a student, slogging it out for five years of study and now in the process of applying for my very first job as a doctor. A resurrection of my own.  It's both exciting and terrifying and to be honest in the last little bit I've been a bit overwhelmed by it all. But with nice sleep in and a long weekend ahead I feel refreshed, rejuvenated and with renewed energy for the months to come. Bring it! 

{friturdays are the best}
So in my happy place right now with a hot cross bun and cuppa in the sun listening to Ed Sheeran and wishing you all a relaxing and refreshing Easter break too!  And if you are feeling like getting your bake on this Easter try out these Hot Cross Muffins - a quick and easy cakey cousin to the hot cross bun.

Muffins usually are pretty no fuss. You can really throw these together in no time.  But what's awesome is that unlike other some muffin recipes the soaked fruit helps keep these moist and soft even on the next day!

Hot Cross Muffins

Makes around 18-20 muffins
adapted from

1 cup (150g) currants (can substitute some for chocolate chips for a chocolatey twist!)
1 cup (150g) raisins
boiling water
2 1/2 cups (375g) self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup unsweetened yoghurt (or 1 cup milk with 1 Tablespoon vinegar)
2 large eggs
200g caster sugar (3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons)

2 Tablespoons caster sugar
2 Tablespoons boiling water

Icing for crosses
80g icing sugar (1/2 cup heaped)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice + extra

1. Put currants and raisins in a bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for at least 10 minutes.  When soft, drain and dry off roughly with a paper towel or tea towel.

2. Preheat the oven to 200oC with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

3. In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, mixed spice and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, oil, yoghurt and sugar until combined. Gently fold into the flour mixture along with the soaked fruit. Be careful not to over mix otherwise your muffins will be tough!  Spoon into cupcake wrappers to around 3/4 full.

4. Bake one tray at a time for 20 minutes until tops are golden.  Remove muffins from cupcake tin immediately and allow to cool on a wire rack.

5. Make the glaze by mixing the caster sugar with boiling water and stirring to dissolve fully.  You may need to give it a zap in the microwave for 15 second bursts to fully dissolve. Brush on top of the muffins when completely cooled.

6. For the icing crosses: mix the icing sugar with lemon juice, adding more lemon juice if required to make an icing that's toothpaste like in consistency.  Spoon into a ziplock bag and cut a hole at the corner. Pipe on to the cooled, glazed muffins. Will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

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