Is it OK to say “Happy Easter”? I do believe so. To be “happy” also means to be relaxed and baking definitely relaxes me. Baking is my way of dealing with the crisis, it is a wonderful method to beat depression and sadness. Yes, I also know people who got fired or are now working part-time. But regardless, I do see Easter as the feast of hope despite all the horrible things currently happening. And for that reason I decided to make macarons according to the Italian method. I already have a few macarons recipes on my blog, my very first try, strawberry macarons with no food coloring as well as coffee macarons with dulce de leche filling. But all of the listed recipes follow the French method. This is the very first recipe according to the Italian method. I will explain below what this entails.
I don’t know about you, but suddenly I am forced to cook all the time. So the other day I made a chickpea curry which lasted a few days and was really delicious. It has taken me a while, but now I know that you shouldn’t throw away the chickpea water, this can be beaten into meringue. Truly delicious meringue. For me this still is such a surprise, every time I beat this weird liquid into meringue, it is like a true miracle. Called aquafaba, I have to say, I am excited each and every time. It truly tastes just the same as meringue made with egg whites. And since I am a huge fan of meringue, I wanted to make a vegan version of it. Hence these vegan meringue nests for Easter were born.
Today you will get chocolate hot-cross buns! Never heard of this? It is tradition, I believe originating in the UK. Lent is broken on Good Friday with these buns, hence the cross on them. I thought this was such a special ritual and since Easter is approaching, I felt like introducing the recipe here. You may not celebrate as big as you would normally, but hey, I will definitely make something special event even if it is only the two of us celebrating Easter this time.
Today I am presenting a classic American carrot cake with cream cheese frosting to you. The only difference? I cut back on the sugar. Especially in the frosting. Because I do think that American recipes are sickly sweet, I will never forget my first cake I ate when I spent a year in Canada after highschool in Germany. I only tasted sugar, nothing else. I really love carrot cake, I love the moist texture, the crunch you get from the nuts, I love the creamy frosting with this carrot flavor, so good! I love it all – if you give me the chance to taste something beside sugar. I already made this cake about a year ago, but back then I barely got a piece, it was gone so quickly. So I decided to try again. With my favorite recipe. However, due to the Corona virus, I had to wait before flour was in stock again. But I patiently waited and got lucky. And then, bam, I made this wonderful carrot cake again!
Aren’t these sheep cupcakes the cutest? I am telling you, these are definitely a show-stopper, for Easter, but probably also for a baby shower. You get a super delicious vanilla cupcake with Italian buttercream, which serves as the fur, yum! This is a simple and plain cupcake dressed up to be all fancy for Easter. I’d say, you are all set, aren’t you?
This year for Easter I decided to prepare something dreamy and airy. What better option than to go with pavlova? I went for a pavlova with lemon curd and fresh fruits. Never heard of pavlova? According to my research this dish is seen as the national dish of either Australia or New Zealand, both countries are still fighting about that. In the 1920’s the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova visited both countries and this dish was invented in her honor. It contains a meringue base, which usually has the shape of a nest and is filled with whipped cream and fresh fruits.
I promised I would introduce more cookie recipes during my second year of blogging. For that reason I decided to make some simple sour cream cookies for Easter. I actually got this recipe when I spent one year in Canada. It is a very old-fashioned recipe and not too sweet. These cookies are very soft, cute and pretty. Obviously you don’t have to make Easter bunnies and the like, I remember just using a glass in order to cut out the cookies in Canada.
Are you looking for a quick, yet impressive recipe for Easter? Try meringue. It is done in about 15 minutes and can be made many days in advance if kept in an airtight container. If you are not looking for an Easter recipe, you can dress the nests with strawberries and some cream cheese or whipping cream and have a light and delicious dessert.
Warning: This cake takes time. A lot of time. I usually like simple recipes, I am not somebody who spends hours and hours in the kitchen. Except for special occasions. Really special occasions. Like Easter and Christmas. So this cake is my Easter Special. I mean, it does require a lot of work. Be prepared.