Sunday, 31 March 2013

Shortcut to Easter Weekend 2013

A packet of speckled eggs fancy up Easter Sunday dessert
Is it just me or did Easter sneak up on us this year? Maybe it's because it was so early in the year, or because I've had so much on lately. But it really feels like no time since I decided to give up all processed food for Lent. And no time since I immediately decided that it was a terrible idea.
So now, Easter is all said and done for this year and what a weekend of eating it has been!
It all started with my niece's birthday morning tea on Good Friday with my favourite Chocolate Brownies, that disappeared off the plate in no time yet again, an experimental no-egg Hummingbird Cake birthday cake and of course, a selection of Hot Cross Buns. How good is it that you can get them in different flavours now? I love the original, but the sticky date and caramel ones I had today are more than welcome too!
Last night saw our traditional Easter Saturday seafood and salad selection, finished off with little runny Cadbury creme egg chocolate fondant cakes. And then today we drew on Dr Seuss for a lunch of ham and lamb, with what seemed like a million roasted vegetables, followed up by a speckled egg mud cake and my sister's brilliant take on an Eton Mess.
I know. It will be a few days before we and our kitchen recover! 
But seriously, I just don't think I could manage to serve all of this over a 3 day period without taking a few shortcuts. And I think I employed all of my favourite shortcuts this weekend, none of which take anything away from the taste or enjoyment of such a feast.
On Friday, I employed my favourite home entertaining shortcut of all time - getting someone else to cook it for you! This time, my sister wanted to try out a no-egg cake recipe, so she made the birthday cake. It was a standard Hummingbird Cake using supermarket-bought egg substitute and it worked. I've never used or eaten egg substitute before (that I know of!), but it took nothing away from the cake, which was really tasty with a perfect texture.
Saturday's cooking efforts consisted of arranging a selection of cold seafood and shop-bought salads on platters. I did make potato salad and kilpatrick-ed the oysters. Well, sort of. After 2 trips to the supermarket, I couldn't bring myself to go back for the Worcestershire sauce that was missing out of the back of my cupboard. So in went the barbeque sauce instead. It was totally fine. Bacon and barbeque sauce makes everything better right?
I totally redeemed myself to the home cooking Gods however by making 12 individual runny chocolate fondant cakes with a cadbury creme egg centre. And you can't make those babies ahead or they won't be warm and gooey when you're ready to eat them. So I absolutely get extra points for dragging myself away from the table after dinner and baking them before my Party of 11's very eyes.
And I redeemed myself again today by getting up at the crack of dawn and glazing a ham, roasting a lamb and serving 8 different vegetables to the fam. (Told you it was a Dr Seuss Easter!)
The ham itself is something of a shortcut using a smoked version and adding a glaze of Guinness (1 can), wholegrain mustard (3 tbsp) and maple syrup (1 cup) and baking for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I guarantee this will be the best ham you've ever had!
This left little or no time for baking a fancy cake, so thankfully the Cheesecake Shop was open and their Boston Mud Cake was available for me to add a little Easter touch to and totally pass off as fancy dessert!
The Cheesecake Shop's Boston Mudcake with an Easter shortcut twist!
And the weekend finished off where it started when I outsourced today's actual fancy dessert to my sister for her fabulous take on an Eton Mess. She was true to the theme of the weekend though by using shop-bought meringues and a ready-made mock cream.
Eton Mess with shop-bought meringue and mock cream, raspberry coulis and broken Easter eggs.
Even the photos are making me feel full again. And to think I haven't eaten an Easter egg yet!
Happy Easter 2013!
This little bunny left us lots of eggs!

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