Easter baskets at the ready!

Our Easter Basket is always full at North Breckenholme. Spring always brings an abundance of jobs on the farm and we are already welcoming new-born lambs! Looking after them will take up so much of Adam’s time, and all made the little harder with the weather – snow is still lying on the top of the Wolds with the Beast from the East not relenting! No doubt he will get some help from Charlie & Ivy who can’t resist getting involved once the lambs have arrived – the benefits of living on the farm, right in the heart of the action. Time to get some baking done to keep everyone’s energy up – early mornings and late nights equal cake!

But don’t forget the evenings will soon be lighter with the clocks springing forward on Sunday 25th March – it will mean one hour less sleep on Saturday night but the lighter evenings will certainly be welcome.

Food is always at the centre of all we are about, and Easter Sunday will bring the family around the table for a hearty celebration. But before that it’s all about the chocolate! Guppy’s Chocolates are a family run chocolatiers who have been based in York since 2010, and their chocolate is always on our wish list, especially at Easter. Who wouldn’t want a chocolate hen with eggs for breakfast?

And if chocolate isn’t your thing, maybe a flavour filled Easter gift basket filled with Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil favourites could be! Hop on over to our shop to find our range of beautifully hand packaged Gift Boxes and Hampers filled with your favourite products. Choose from our own recommended selections or create your own combination. They start from just £12 and will last longer than any Easter Egg in our house.

On Easter Sunday, we’ll enjoy that celebration meal with British Lamb on the table. I’ll tend not to make a pudding but will bring out an Easter special later in the afternoon with a good old cup of tea (Yorkshire, of course!). That showstopper will be an indulgent marzipan-topped Simnel Cake. Made with our Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil this makes for a very simple bake, and I get requests for this all year round, but the family do love a bit of marzipan! I’ve started to add it to my Hot Cross Bun recipe to keep them satiated! It will keep for around 3 weeks (if you’re lucky that it lasts that long in the larder!)

Simnel Cake

175ml Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil

50ml milk

250g demerara sugar

5 medium eggs

250g self-raising flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

50g ground almonds

75g glace cherries, chopped

1kg mixed fruit

750g marzipan

50g apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 140°C/ 275°C / Gas Mark 1 and then grease and line a 20cm round tin.

Add Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil, milk and sugar into a large bowl. Beat the eggs and gently fold into the oil and sugar. Sieve the flour, ground cinnamon and mixed spice into a separate bowl and then add the ground almonds. Fold this into the wet ingredients to form a batter. Finally, add the dried mixed fruit and cherries and carefully fold in.

Pour half the mixture into the tin. Then, roll out 300g of the marzipan in a circle to fit the tin and place on top of the cake mixture. Pour the remaining mixture into the tin and spread out evenly. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes and then cover with greaseproof paper.

Bake for 2 hours 45 minutes until cooked through (it will be firm to press, or a skewer comes out clean). Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack and only when completely cold, heat the jam and brush over the top of the cake. Take approx. 225g of the marzipan and roll out into a circle to fit the top of the cake. With the remaining marzipan, create 11 balls and place around the top.

If you’d like to glaze the top of the cake, place under a grill until just brown or for best results carefully use a blowtorch to lightly brown the desired areas.

We all hope you have a lovely Easter and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for blue skies and sunshine.

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