Easter weekend is here and we have some great ideas to add to the celebrations and make them extra special. These show stopping Easter recipes will wow your guests and look great as a centre piece at your table.
Dust off your apron and whip up an Easter Eggstravaganza (sorry – I couldn’t help myself) as we celebrate the arrival of Spring, warmer weather and the gentle lifting of lockdown
Show Stopping Easter Recipes – Driscoll’s® Victoria™ Sweet Blackberry Mojito
- 12 Driscoll’s® Victoria™ Sweet Blackberries
- 12 large mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 118ml sparkling water
- 59ml gin
- 6 to 8 ice cubes
- Muddle Driscoll’s® Victoria™ Sweet Blackberries, mint leaves, sugar, lemon juice and lime juice in a tall glass until berries are mostly crushed. Add sparkling water, gin, and ice. Stir well and serve.
Show Stopping Easter Recipes – Roast Salmon with wilted spinach and Old Pulteney Whisky Cream reduction
Ingredients (serves two):
- 2 x 200g salmon fillets, un-skinned
- 1 tbsp flour seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 30g butter
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 generous tbsp finely chopped sage
- 100 – 120mls Old Pulteney 12 Years Old Single Malt Whisky
- 150mls fish stock
- 150mls full fat crème fraiche
- Lemon juice to taste
- 100g baby spinach
- Grated nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (200°C).
- Check the salmon fillets for any bones and remove with tweezers if necessary.
- Roll the salmon in the seasoned flour.
- Heat the oil in a metal handled frying or sauté pan (one that can transfer in the oven ideally).
- Add the salmon, skin side down, reduce the heat and fry the skin slowly for 2 – 3 minutes or until the skin releases from the pan, if you turn it too quickly the skin will stick to the pan. Once the skin is released, turn the salmon fillets over.
- Sprinkle the onion and sage around the fish and put straight into the oven, uncovered.
- Roast for 7-9 minutes, or until the fish is cooked, it will have lost its translucency and if you press it is possible to feel the flakes separate.
- Lift the fish onto a serving dish to keep warm. Put the pan back on a medium heat (taking care to cover the handle so that it you don’t burn your hands).
- Heat the Old Pulteney in a small saucepan and ignite and then pour, flaming, over the onions, taking care not to allow them to burn.
- Swirl around to allow the whisky to reduce by half.
- Add the stock and reduce again to about half of the original quantity. Pull the pan off the heat and whisk in the crème fraiche, return to the heat and bring back to the boil and bubble until a creamy consistency.
- Season to taste adding a splash of lemon if necessary to round the flavour off.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan and season well with salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg. Once the butter is beginning to brown, add the spinach and cook over a high heat for a few seconds or until it has wilted.
- Divide the spinach between two warm serving dishes, arrange the salmon over the top and drizzle with the Old Pulteney sauce.
Serve with mashed root vegetables or new potatoes to complete the dish. Alternatively, peel the skin away from the salmon, lightly break up the fillets and toss into cooked penne pasta! recipe from CJ Jackson
Show Stopping Easter Recipes – Roasted Spring Lamb Rump, Pea Purée and Crushed Jersey Royals
For the lamb:
- 2 x 200g lamb rumps, fat on but with the sinew removed
- Rapeseed oil
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed but with the skin left on
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 20g butter
For the crushed Jersey Royals:
- 2-3 Jersey Royals per person
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 30g butter
For the pea purée:
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- ½ a clove of garlic, finely sliced
- 60g butter
- 150g peas, fresh or frozen
- 100ml good quality chicken stock
- 100ml milk
- 100ml double cream
For the lamb:
- Preheat the oven to 185C
- Place the lamb rumps fat side down in a cold non-stick pan
- Bring the pan up to a medium-high heat, this will render out the fat, give great colour and a crispy texture
- Once the fat side is golden brown, add a touch of rapeseed oil and turn the lamb over to the flesh side
- Season the fat side with salt
- Cook for a further 3 minutes
- Turn the lamb back onto the fat side
- Place in the oven for 9 minutes
- Remove the pan from the oven and drop in the butter, thyme and garlic
- Baste the juices over the lamb turning frequently for 2-3 minutes
- Leave the lamb to rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing
For the crushed Jersey Royals:
- Gently boil the Jersey Royals and the sprig of thyme in salted water till the potatoes are tender this will take 15-18 minutes
- Drain the Jersey Royals and place them back in the pan
- Add the butter and thyme leaves
- Crush the potatoes with the back of a fork
- Season with salt to taste
For the pea purée:
- Melt the butter in a pan
- Add the shallot and garlic and sweat till softened but with no colour
- Add the stock and reduce by half
- Add the milk and cream and bring to a rapid boil
- Add the peas and quickly bring back to the boil
- Remove from the heat
- Pass the mixture through a fine sieve reserving the liquid and the peas separately
- Blend the peas in a high speed blender adding in the liquid until the desired consistency is achieved
- Season with salt to taste
Show Stopping Easter Recipes – Tenderstem® broccoli, yoghurt and feta filo tart
200g Tenderstem® broccoli, trimmedA few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked150g Greek yoghurt150g creme fraiche3 large eggsSea salt and freshly ground black pepperOlive oil½ x 270g pack of filo pastry2 tablespoons fresh green pesto75g feta1 teaspoon of onions seeds
- Preheat your oven to 180.
- Place a large pan of salted water onto boil. Boil the Tenderstem® broccoli for 3 minutes then drain, leaving it in a colander or sieve for a couple of minutes. Then transfer the Tenderstem®
- broccoli to a piece of kitchen roll to get rid of any excess moisture
- Place the thyme leaves into a large mixing bowl with the natural yoghurt, creme fraiche, eggs and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk everything together.
- Use a pastry brush to lightly oil a loose bottomed tart tin, around 28cm in diameter. Layer the filo sheets over the base, overlapping them and leaving a slight overhang around the edge, brushing them with olive oil between the layers as you go. Spoon the pesto into the case and spread it out evenly.
- Pour in the creme fraiche mixture, then line up the blanched Tenderstem® broccoli spears. Crumble the feta over the top and sprinkle over the onion seeds. Place the tin onto a baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake for 35 minutes: until golden around the edges, the Tenderstem® broccoli poking out is crispy and the filling has only the slightest wobble.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before removing and slicing.
45 minutes to prepare Serves 8
- 3kg Leg of Kentish Hogget
- 40ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Bulbs
- 4 Banana Shallots
- 30g Plain Flour
- 500ml Chicken Stock
- A few sprigs of Rosemary
- Maldon Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1.5kg Potatoes
- 1 bunch Cipolle (Tropea) Onions
- 150g Butter
- Remove the hogget from the fridge one hour before cooking and allow it to come up to room temperature.
- Prepare a roasting tin by halving the shallots lengthways and placing in the tin along with the whole bulbs of garlic to create a trivet.
- Place the hogget on top, rub with 20ml of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
- Tuck the rosemary sprigs in to the strings and add 1 litre of cold water to the bottom of the tin.
- Cook the hogget uncovered for approximately 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.
- Remove the hogget and shallots from the roasting tin, cover lightly with foil and rest for 45mins.
- To make the gravy, add the flour to the roasting tin and mix well, scraping up all the tasty bits.
- Place on a low heat on the cooker top and slowly whisk until thickened.
- For the champ, peel the potatoes, add to salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Cipolle onions by removing the outer skin and discarding 2-3 cm off the end. Wash well in cold running water.
- Cut the onions so the bulb ends are the same length, about 10-12cm, (keeping the remaining green parts for the mash.) Lay on a baking tray, drizzle with 20ml of the olive oil and season well.
- Roast in the oven for 10–15 minutes, adding the shallots from the roasting tin for the last 5 minutes to reheat.
- Slice the remaining onions thinly, add to a small saucepan with the butter and sauté gently until softened.
- Drain & mash the cooked potatoes and mix in the sliced onions & butter. Season the mash well with salt and pepper.
- Carve the hogget and serve family style with the mash, plus crab apple jelly and glazed heritage carrots.
Crunchy green vegetable salad, herbed croutons and a vegan almond dressing
Ingredients (large salad serving 4 as a side dish or two as main)
For the salad
- 2 gem lettuce, sliced
- 100g mange tout
- 50g rocket
- 100g asparagus spears
- 1/3 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced
For the croutons
- 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- A pinch of dried oregano
- A pinch of dried thyme
For the almond dressing
- 75g whole almonds
- 100ml almond milk
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp mustard
- ½ clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp mixed seeds
- A few sliced olives
- Preheat the oven to 2000C.
- For the croutons, remove the crust from the bread slices and cut into cubes. Put on a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the herbs and season with some salt. Toss with your hands to coat. Bake for a few minutes, until golden brown.
- To make the almond dressing, soak the almonds in boiling water for a couple of hours or overnight. Bring a small saucepan with water to the boil, blanch the almonds for 30-40 seconds and drain. While still warm, remove the skins. Place the almonds and all the other ingredients in a jug of a stick blender and blitz. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- For the salad, blanch the asparagus and mangetout for 2 minutes and drain. Drop in some icy water to cool down and preserve their colour. Put in a bowl and mix with the raw vegetables. Scatter the croutons, drizzle with the almond dressing and sprinkle with the seeds and sliced olives.
A stunning centrepiece doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes simplicity really is best and this classic combination of salmon and Tracklements Dill Mustard Sauce with green beans and new potatoes is the perfect example.
- side of salmon/large piece of salmon
- whole lemon, cut into slices
- splash of white wine
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 200g crème fraiche
- half a jar of Tracklements Dill Mustard Sauce
- Preheat oven to 170°C/ gas mark 3
- Place the salmon on a large piece of foil on a baking tray
- Lay the slices of lemon on top of the salmon and splash over a little white wine and season to taste
- Fold the foil loosely over the salmon to lock in the moisture while cooking
- Bake for around 17 mins (depending on the thickness of the fish). You can check it’s done by taking a sharp knife and peeking into the thickest part of the salmon. It it’s beginning to flake but still has a little translucency it is done
- Meanwhile, mix the Tracklements Dill Mustard Sauce with the crème fraiche
- Remove the salmon from oven, spoon over the Dill Mustard Sauce mixture and serve with buttery new potatoes and steamed green beans
This is a real Gressingham favourite, perfect for a smart dinner party or Sunday lunch. Delicious served with duck fat roast potatoes and all the trimmings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 30-45 minutes resting. Cooking time: approx. 2 hours (weight dependant). Serves 4
- 1 whole Gressingham duck (approx. 2.2kg)
- 1kg roasting potatoes
- 4 tbsp Gressingham duck fat
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 bulbs of garlic, halved horizontally
- 250ml good dry white wine
- 400ml chicken stock
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 50g butter
- Preheat the oven to 200°c or 180°c fan. Weigh the duck to calculate the roasting time. It will need 20 minutes per 500g plus an additional 20 minutes. Pat the skin dry with a kitchen towel. Pick the skin in and around the point where the thigh meets the breast. Season well with salt and pepper inside and out, then place the duck on a rack within a large roasting tin.
- Place the duck in the preheated oven to cook for the calculated time. While your duck is roasting, prepare your potatoes. Peel and chop them into large chunks, then cook in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and let them steam dry off the heat.
- When the duck has been roasting for 45 minutes, add the duck fat to the tin and return it to the oven for 5 minutes to heat the fat. Add the potatoes, rosemary, onion and garlic to the tin. Lightly season with salt and place back in the oven for the remaining duck cooking time.
- When the duck is done, remove it from the tin and leave it to rest for 30 to 45 minutes somewhere warm. Baste the potatoes in the fat and return them to the oven while the duck is resting. When done, transfer the roast potatoes to a hot platter and carefully pour off any excess fat from the tin. You should be left with just the juices, rosemary, onion and garlic.
- Add the wine to the tin, place it on the hob and bring to the boil, scraping off anything stuck to the bottom with a wooden spatula. Simmer for 5 minutes, then pass the gravy through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add the hot chicken stock to the saucepan and boil until the liquid has reduced by half and thickened to a gravy consistency. Stir in the honey and check the sauce for seasoning and sweetness, then stir in the butter.
- Carve the duck onto warm plates and serve with the roast potatoes, sauce and trimmings.
Show Stopping Easter Recipes – Bonne Maman Apricot Meringue Roulade
- 5 large free-range egg whites
- 275g (9oz) caster sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 50g (2oz) flaked almonds
- Icing sugar, to dust
For the filling
- 300ml double cream
- 4-5 tbsp Bonne Maman Apricot Compote
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan oven 200°C), gas mark 7. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
- Place the egg whites in a grease-free, clean bowl and, using a hand-held electric whisk, beat to stiff peaks.
- Add the sugar very slowly with the electric whisk running at full speed until the meringue is stiff and shiny. This will take a good 5 mins. Spread the meringue mixture onto the prepared baking tray and level out. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
- Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 10 mins. Reduce the termperature to 170°C (fan oven 150°C), gas mark 3 for about 15 mins until firm on top but still soft and mallowy beneath.
- Remove the meringue from the sheet and allow to cool. Turn out onto a clean sugared tea towel and remove the parchment paper.
- To make the filling, whip the cream to soft peaks and spread onto the meringue. Lightly spread over the compote and roll up along the longest edge using the tea towel to form the roulade. Chill before serving dusted with icing sugar.
Show Stopping Easter Recipes – Polenta & Vanilla Pudding from Francesco Mazzei
For the polenta:
- 500gr frozen raspberries
- 200gr strawberries
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 200gr sugar
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 star anise
- ½ vanilla pod
- 3 cloves
- ¼ bergamot peel or lemon
- 125gr polenta Valsugana
For the berry sauce:
- 200gr strawberries
- 100gr raspberries
- 100gr blueberries
- 100gr blackberries
- 50gr caster sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3gr corn flour
For the mascarpone cream:
- 200gr mascarpone
- 200ml double cream
- ½ vanilla pod
- 50gr sugar
- For the berry sauce, in a sauté pan add the berries, lemon juice and sugar. Cook on a low heat until they are all soft and the liquid is almost all reduced. Blend well and pass through a sieve to remove the seeds. Mix the corn flour to a spoon of water and add it to the berry sauce. Bring to boil until it thickens. Let cool down.
- Place the other berries, sugar, lemon juice and spices into a sauté pan and cook on a low heat until the fruits are well done. Filter through a sieve to get as much juice as possible. Weight the juice obtained and add water to get to 500ml if any needed. Bring to the boil, add the polenta flour and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, brush a pudding mould with oil and line with cling film. When the polenta is ready transfer 1/3rd in between two baking parchment sheets and flatten down with a rolling pin. Cut four discs the size f the top of the pudding moulds. Split the rest of the polenta into the moulds and with the help of a spoon greased with oil spread the polenta on the wall and the base of the mould being careful to not have any holes.
- Add into each pudding a mix of berries and fill almost until the top with the berry sauce. Cover with the polenta discs and try to seal it with the hel of a fork pinching the edges.
- Place the puddings in a baking tray and fill with warm water to ¾ and bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.
- Whip altogether the mascarpone, cream, vanilla and sugar to a soft to medium peak. Place it on the serving plates and decorate with few berries and edible flowers.
- Remove the pudding from the mould and transfer into each serving dish and finish with the crushed pistachio.
Show Stopping Easter Recipes – Hotel Chocolat Dizzy Praline Cake Recipe
This hazelnut chocolate cake is inspired by our Dizzy Praline chocolate, a firm favourite ever since the first Hotel Chocolat store opened. Cooking Time: 30 Minutes. Serves: 6
For the Cake
- 185g dark chocolate, broken into pieces.
- 6 large eggs, separated.
- 185g ground hazelnuts
- 115g caster sugar
- To fill and decorate
- 150g Chocolate Spread
- 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 100ml whipping cream
- 50g white chocolate
- Preheat oven to 180 °C/gas 4. Grease x2 18cm round cake tins with baking parchment.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a microwave, stirring every 10 seconds to ensure the chocolate does not burn.
- Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, using an electric mixer. Fold the ground hazelnuts into the egg whites. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, then mix into the melted chocolate. Add the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and fold gently to combine.
- Divide equally between the prepared tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is firm to touch. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins.
- Sandwich the cakes together with the chocolate spread. To make it a showstopper, pipe on the spread for a beaded edge and smooth it over the middle. Melt the dark chocolate for the topping, then quickly beat in the cream using a whisk, until smooth and glossy. Spread over the top of the cake. Melt the white chocolate in the same way as the dark chocolate, making sure it isn’t hotter than 30 °C, then pipe a swirl of the melted white chocolate on the top of the cake. Leave to set before serving.
This ultimately comforting pud is the perfect Easter treat, especially if you’ve been left with a surfeit of Hot Cross Buns! Super easy and it makes a really impressive centrepiece dessert. The addition of Kahlua and brandy is super naughty but really makes this bread-and-butter pudding extra special!
- 25g butter
- 25g of Nutella or chocolate spread
- 8 hot cross buns – I used some mocha flavoured ones, but chocolate chip ones are ideal too
- 4 free range large eggs
- 600ml milk
- 600 double cream
- 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- 120g caster sugar
- 45ml Kahlua
- 45ml brandy
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 140c
- Slice the hot cross buns in half, spread each half with butter, then with Nutella.
- Arrange the buns in a deep baking dish – my dish allowed for six buns, the other two I cut it into cubes to fill between the completed buns.
- Beat the sugar and eggs in a small jug then add the vanilla essence.
- Gently warm the cream and milk in a saucepan, to just below scalding but not to boiling, then remove from heat.
- Pour the egg mixture into the cream and milk and whisk until combined. Next add the Kahlua and brandy.
- Pour the creamy mixture over the buns and allow to sit for 15 mins to soak up the custard.
- Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 40 mins.
- Remove when all puffed and golden, then dust with icing sugar.
- Delicious served warm with cream or ice cream.
For those looking to enjoy a more grown-up way of enjoying chocolate this Easter, Merser Rum is on hand with its Chocolate Orange Indulgence cocktail recipe. Merser artisanal golden rum, home to London’s only operating rum blending house, captures the best rums from the Caribbean and blends them in London. Stored in barrels in small batches for six months, the process allows for a smoother, refined taste of soft vanilla sweetness, vibrant tropical fruit and a wonderful toasty oak character.
Ingredients (serves one)
- 50ml Merser Rum (or any other golden rum)
- 50ml Chocolate Oat Milk (can use regular chocolate milk if preferred)
- 2 dash Orange Bitters
- Egg white (Aquafaba or Foaming Bitters for a vegan option)
- Ice cubes
- Chocolate orange and orange zest to garnish
- Pour all the ingredients to a shaker
- Shake vigorously & double strain
- Garnish with grated chocolate orange and orange zest