With Easter weekend approaching, we’ve managed to secure Chef Rob’s favourite Easter recipes for you to have a go at home!
Hot Cross Buns
- 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g/2¾oz caster sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 lemon, finely grated zest only
- 10g/¼oz salt
- 10g/¼oz fast-action dried yeast
- 40g/1½oz butter
- 300ml/10fl oz milk
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 200g/7oz sultanas
- 50g/1¾oz finely chopped mixed candied peel
- oil, for greasing
For the topping
- Put the flour, sugar, spices and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix together. Then add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl.
- Melt the butter in a pan and warm the milk in a separate pan. Add the butter and half the tepid milk to the dry ingredients. Add the egg and use your hands to bring the mixture together, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl as you go. Gradually add the remaining milk, to form a soft pliable dough (you may not need all of the milk).
- Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand incorporating the sultanas and mixed peel into the dough. Lightly knead for 10 minutes until silky and elastic and forming a smooth ball. The kneading can also be done in a food mixer with a dough hook.
- Oil a bowl and place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide into 12 balls. Line 1-2 baking trays with paper and place the balls on the tray, placing them fairly close together and flattening them slightly.
- Slip each baking tray into a large clean polythene bag, making sure the bag doesn’t touch the buns. Leave for 40-60 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
- For the topping, add the flour to a bowl with 100ml/3½fl oz water. Mix together to make a paste and spoon into the icing bag.
- When the buns have risen remove the polythene bags and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden-brown, turning the baking trays round halfway through if necessary.
- Melt the golden syrup in a pan and while the buns are still warm, brush the buns with a little syrup to give a nice shine, before setting aside to cool on a wire rack.
This buns will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Ingredients – For the fishcakes
- 500g/1lb 2oz floury potatoes, peeled and diced
- 500g/1lb 2oz cod loin, skinned
- 6 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp full-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 130g/4¾oz dressed crab or 100g/3½oz mixed fresh crabmeat (tinned is fine)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
- 100g/3½oz Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- knob of butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients – For the salsa
- 6 firm tomatoes, deseeded, diced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- Put the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and mash. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
- Grease a sheet of foil with the butter and put the cod loin in the centre, season with salt and pepper and wrap in the foil to make a parcel. Put on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes, or until just cooked through. Set aside to cool. When completely cool, carefully flake the fish into large pieces. Reserve the cooking juices.
- Spoon the cold mash into a bowl, mix in the spring onions, mayonnaise and mustard. Add 2 tablespoons of the fish cooking juice, then add the flaked cod and stir in the crabmeat. Add the parsley and hot pepper sauce and stir until combined. Season to taste.
- Shape the mixture into 8 fishcakes, roughly 9cm/3½ in diameter, this is easiest with damp hands. Place on a tray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on a plate and coat each fishcake. Return to the tray and chill again in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile for the salsa, mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a wide, heavy-based frying pan, add the butter and oil and fry the fishcakes over a high heat for 4 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown all over. When frying, it’s best not to overcrowd the pan, cook in two batches, if necessary.
- Serve hot with the tomato salsa and a simple dressed salad.
Tip 1: The fishcakes can be kept in the fridge for up to a day before frying.
Tip 2: The uncooked fishcakes can be frozen. Wrap each in cling film and put in a polythene bag. Defrost completely and fry as needed.
Tip 3: You can get large pieces of cod loin from a fishmonger, or simply use smaller cod fillets to make it up to the right weight.