Spring into Easter with these 3 free-from recipes

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Make your Easter a cracker with these indulgent free-from treats that will tantalise the tastebuds of every guest around your table

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Easter is a time for a little indulgence. At the Easter bunny’s arrival, it’s the opportunity to enjoy a treat or two. And these three recipes are the perfect alternatives for everyone to enjoy.

From dairy-free chocolate pots to mouth-watering hot cross buns and gluten-free cookies, these recipes will have the whole family hopping back for more.

Hoppin' Hot Cross Buns (makes 9)

Easter_recipes_hot_cross_buns_resized Ingredients:
  • 300ml dairy-free milk, plus 3 tbsp
  • 50g plant-based salted butter
  • 500g bread flour or gluten-free bread flour, plus 3 tbsp
  • 75g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
  • 2 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp mixed spice
  • 2½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free if preferred)
  • 2 large eggs (or Oggs egg alternative)
  • 175g golden marzipan, chilled
  • 100g dried mixed fruit
  • 50g glacé cherries, finely chopped
  • 25g mixed peel
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
Method:
  1. Add the milk to a small saucepan and heat until hot, but not boiling (about 3 minutes). Turn off the heat, add the plant-based butter, leave to melt and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, mixed spice, xanthan gum and baking powder.
  3. Once the milk is lukewarm, pour into the flour mixture with 1 beaten egg, or Oggs alternative, and stir until the mixture starts to clump. Briefly bring the dough together with your hands, scraping any mixture off the sides. Loosely cover with a kitchen towel and leave to prove for 1.5 hours – it won’t double in size, but it will puff up.
  4. Push the dough down in the bowl, creating a well. Grate the marzipan directly into it, adding the mixed fruit, chopped cherries and mixed peel. Mix everything together with your hands.
  5. Using the oil to grease your hands, divide the dough into 9 pieces and briefly roll each piece into a rough ball. Transfer to a large baking dish, loosely cover with cling film or a kitchen towel and leave to prove in a warm area for around 1 hour or until puffed up.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. In a small bowl combine the extra 3 tbsp flour with 3 tbsp milk and spoon into a piping bag.
  7. Once the buns have had their second prove, pipe the flour mixture over them in crosses. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Beat the remaining egg (or Oggs), then remove the buns from the oven and brush over lightly. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
  8. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tbsp sugar with 1 tbsp freshly boiled water, stirring together until the sugar has melted. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush with the glaze. Leave the buns in the baking dish for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

It’s important to note that if you’re using gluten-free flour, don’t panic if your hot cross bun dough doesn’t swell up like a typical bake during the proving stages. This type of dough is always a little heavier, but these are still a total crowd-pleaser, the addition of marzipan making them extra moreish.

Chick Chocolate Pots (serves 6)

Easter_free_from_recipes_3_resized Ingredients:
  • 90g vegan-friendly dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 x 300g silken tofu
  • 75g agave syrup, plus 1 tsp
  • Zest of ½ orange, plus 1 tbsp juice
  • 2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground (optional)
  • 60g thick dairy-free cream alternative
Method:
  1. Fill a small pan a quarter full of water and place over a low/medium heat. Once the water is simmering, place a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Add the chocolate to the bowl and leave to melt, stirring occasionally.
  2. Using a sieve, drain the tofu, gently pressing out any excess liquid. Put the tofu in a food processor with 75g agave syrup, the orange juice and zest, ground cardamom (optional) and a pinch of salt. Blitz until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate and briefly blitz until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl again.
  3. Divide the mixture between 6 x 175ml ramekins. Transfer to the fridge for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, whisk the cream alternative with 1 tsp agave syrup. Once ready to serve, top each chocolate pot with some ‘cream’ and your favourite toppings.

The Easter Bunny’s Carrot Oat Cookies (makes 14)

Easter_free_from_recipes_4_resized Ingredients:
  • 100g instant oats or gluten-free oats (if you have whole oats pulse 5-8 times in a blender)
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled
  • 90g whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 120ml maple syrup (use honey or agave if you prefer)
  • 28g coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free baking powder if preferred)
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg or Oggs egg alternative
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Method:
  1. In a large bowl add the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and mix. Place the coconut oil, egg (or Oggs) and vanilla into a different bowl and whisk. Stir in the maple syrup until fully combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture until incorporated, then fold in the grated carrots.
  2. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. If leaving for longer ensure you cover with cling film or beeswax wrap.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  4. Round the cookie dough into 14 balls, place evenly (making sure the cookies aren’t touching) onto the baking sheet and slightly flatten.
  5. Spread the cookie dough evenly around the baking sheet in 14 rounded balls that you’ve slightly flattened and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. After baking, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Feel free to try Amy’s gluten-free flour combination: 60g millet flour, 15g brown rice flour, 15g tapioca flour, ½ tsp xanthan gum.
This recipe originally came from: Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies {With a Step-by-Step Video!} | Amy's Healthy Baking (amyshealthybaking.com)

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