There are not many recipes I absolutely have to make, year in, year out, at Easter, but my Easter Egg Nest Cake, is absolutely non-negotiable. Think damp, dark, flourless fallen chocolate cake (incidentally, gluten-free) with the dip filled, once the cake has cooled, with whipped cream that has had melted chocolate folded into it, and then dotted with those sweet little pastel-toned, sugar-coated easter eggs. Just thinking about it lifts my heart.
I've also made a happy habit of baking my Lemon Meringue Cake at this time of year too. If, like me, you love lemon meringue pie, but want to make something altogether easier and less challenging, this cake is for you. It just sings of Spring!
There is nothing that says you must make my Kedgeree Risotto at Easter, but I like to, not least because the halved, hard-boiled quails eggs that adorn it give it charm, and are a savoury take on the Easter egg.
But there are some obviously seasonal recipes, and foremost is the Simnel Cake, a light fruit cake, covered in marzipan and decorated with marzipan balls. If you have people staying with you over the Easter weekend, this is the cake to have in a tin or under a glass dome, looking welcoming in your kitchen, as it keeps well, in the tradition of the cut-and-come-again cake.
Hot Cross Buns are the obvious other trad offering, and although you may never have considered baking your own, it is wonderfully gratifying to do, and they are really not difficult to make. If making your own Hot Cross Buns is not going to happen this year, do not worry. Buy shop-made ones, and use them to replace the gingerbread in my Gingerbread Stuffing or the panettone in my Panettone Stuffing Squares to accompany an Easter Roast. And of course, the Easter Roast is lamb. You can go as old-school as you want here, but I also recommend a light, bright, quick and easy take in the form of a Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Bay Leaves and Balsamic Vinegar. This is quite a new recipe of mine, but I never forget the old faves, and I will certainly be making my Warm Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint and Pomegranates this year - again!