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Easter Treats with Louise Lennox

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Louise Lennox - Pastry Chef

Hot Cross Buns


Makes 24 Buns

. 900g Strong Flour
. 1 teaspoon salt
. 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
. 110g sugar
. 230g mixed dried fruit
. 2 sachets dried yeast (14g)
. 8 fl.oz water
. 8 fl.oz milk
. 110g butter - melted
. 2 large eggs
. 150 grm Marizpan (grated)
. 4 tablespoons plain flour
. 1 tablespoon sugar
. 1 large egg beaten


1. Mix the flour, salt, mixed spice, sugar and mixed dried fruit together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre.
3. Heat the milk and water until tepid, stir in the yeast and add the melted butter
4. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, marizpan and then add the eggs
5. Gradually work in the flour to make a very soft but not sticky dough
6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes OR leave in the bowl and with an electric hand mixer, (use the dough hook) knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
7. Put into a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film for between 30minutes to 1 hour - until the mixture has doubled in size.
8. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for 5 minutes and divide the mixture into 24 equal portions and shape into small balls.
9. Arrange fairly close together, but not touching, on the baking tray. Cover with cling film and allow to rise until doubled in size.
10. Preheat oven 200c.
11. Make the topping by mixing the flour, and sugar with 4 tablespoons of water to make a thick, smooth paste.
12. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tube
13. With the back of a knife, mark a cross on the top of each bun, then brush with beaten egg.
14. Pipe a cross of the flour paste in the indentation on each bun
15. Put the tray into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the buns are golden brown and there is a hollow sound when tapped underneath
16. Allow to cool on a wire tray.

Mini Easter Eggs


. 400ag 70% Dark Chocolate Good quailty
. 12 Small to Medium Chocolate Egg Moulds - make sure that they are dry and clean
. 50g White Chocolate - for decoration
. Special Chocolate Colourings

Method to Temper the Chocolate

Step 1:- Melting the Chocolate:

1. Chop the chocolate quite finely and place 150g in a glass bowl

Melting the Chocolate - There are two ways of doing this:

Microwave and Bain-Marie:-

To Melt Chocolate using Bain Marie:-

. Use a saucepan that is large enough to fit your glass bowl and half fill with water.
. Bring the water to the boil and remove from the heat.
. Place the glass bowl with the chocolate in it on top of the saucepan.
. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted.
. Remove from the bowl from the saucepan and allow to cool for ten minutes.

Cooling Down the Chocolate:-

1. Stir the chocolate and add the remaining 50g of finely chopped chocolate.
2. Stir until melted and lump free.
3. Now we need to reheat the chocolate - if using the microwave method, use the lowest setting and place in the microwave for five seconds.
4. If using the bain marie method - heat the water in the saucepan, remove from the heat and place the bowl with the chocolate in it on top of the saucepan for 15 seconds only.

Making the Moulds:

1. Pour the chocolate into the eggs moulds. Make sure all the moulds are covered with an even layer of chocolate
2. Then turn the moulds up side down over the bowl to remove any extra chocolate.
3. Allow to set in a cool, dry place - not the fridge
4. Scrape away any remaining chocolate from the mould
5. Turn out onto a sheet of cling wrap or baking parchment
6. Carefully ease out of the mould

There are many ways of filling the Chocolate eggs:

1. Chop and roast 100g Hazlenut mix with 100g of chocolate spread.
2. Melt 150g of White chocolate with 4 fl oz UHT cream and 2 fl oz Raspberry coulie . Allow to cool and set. Then whip and fill.
3. 100g of Milk chocolate melted stir in 50g rice crispies, 50g dried cranberries.
4. Fill with you favourite sweets.
5. Once filled pipe a little melted chocolate around the edge and stick together.

Microwave Method:

Please Follow instructions Carefully:

1. Place the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave and heat on the lowest setting for 1 minute.
2. Stir with a spatula and heat again using the lowest setting for one minute.
3. Repeat this until the chocolate is melted.
5. Stir the remaining chocolate and leave for 5 minutes.


. Water is the enemy of Chocolate!
. If steam gets into chocolate it causes the chocolate to seize. This means that melted, runny, smooth chocolate goes grainy and thick within seconds.
. Don't put chocolate egg moulds into the fridge!
. If chocolate moulds are put in the fridge, the condensation will make the chocolate dull and can make it difficult to remove from the moulds.

Tempering Chocolate:-

. Tempered chocolate simply means melting chocolate, cooling it down and heating it up again slightly.

. As chocolate is made up from fat crystals that have many different melting temperatures, tempering it stabilises them. It gives the chocolate a lovely glossy shine. It is easier to handle as it doesn't melt in your hands when handling it. Its texture is improved and as it shrinks slightly as it sets, this makes it easier to remove from moulds.

. Untempered chocolate dries very slowly. It sticks to the inside of the moulds making it impossible to remove. It has a dull appearance, and melts very quickly when handling.

Using Sugar or Laser Thermometer:-

Hold the thermometer in the centre of bowl - don't let it touch the bottom of bowl.

For 70% Dark Chocolate:-

Melted 115oF - 46oC
Cooled 86oF- 30oC
Reheated 89oF- 32oC
For Milk Chocolate 40% and White 30%
Melted115oF - 46oC
Cooled 81%F - 27oC
Reheated 86%F - 30oC