Lavender sugar

I adore the heady spice of lavender in many sweet treats from shortbread to cheesecake almost as much as the simple task of picking fresh and dry flowers on a warm sunny day and shaking free any adorable crawlies before jarring with bright white caster sugar. So simple, yet so satisfying, make sure you make this perfumed sugar once your own lavender comes into bloom.

lavender+sugar

To make:
Add 1 tbsp of fresh lavender flowers (grown without chemical sprays) picked on a dry day, to a jam jar of caster sugar, shake and leave to infuse for at least one week before using.

Heaven scent Hot Cross bun and butter pudding

For a decadent pud in a hurry, I can think of no better way to use up the last pack of hot cross buns…

Hot X Bun & Butter pudding

Hot X Bun & Butter pudding

You will need:

5-6 sliced and buttered with real butter hot X buns

300ml pot double cream

100ml milk

2 tbsp golden caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

1tbsp whisky

How to:

Preheat your oven to 170C/150C fan/ gas mark 3 and butter an ovenproof dish. Arrange your sliced and buttered hot X buns in the dish with crosses on top.

In a jug or mixing bowl whisk the cream, milk, 1 tbsp sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon and whisky and pour over the buns, pressing down and leaving for 20 mins.

Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the pudding and bake until golden and crisp on top and set underneath. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then serve with a little more cream and ice-cream.

Variations 

You could change the citrus to orange and the liqueur to bourbon, or dried apple and brandy and you could add marmalade to the buns for a more intense flavour. If you are partial to a chocolate hot X bun you can make in the same way with the addition of orange zest and liqueur.

Easter egg loaf

Listening to #JohnnyCash sing #HowGreatThouArt and baking this loaf for church #HappyEaster x

thecookingcuddle

Break bread this Easter with those you love the most by making a simple flavoured plait decorated with hand dyed eggs – so pretty and so much fun to prepare this is certain to become a new Easter tradition.

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You will need:For the bread 500g strong white bread flour 50g golden caster sugar 2 ½ tsp dried fast action yeast 1 tsp sea salt 200ml milk 2 x star anise Zest of 1 orange 60g salted butter, softened 2 organic eggs, large  For the coloured eggs To dye your own eggs, dilute gel paste food colouring in water. Place the eggs in a bowl and pour over the coloured water. Wrap the eggs with elastic bands if you wish to leave undied stripes. Allow to soak for 24 hours before draining.  For the Glaze 2 tbps icing sugar 1 tbsp hot water  To make the dough: In a…

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