This Easter, savour a variety of flavours

Preparing special dishes at home for occasions like Easter not only gives the celebrations a personal touch, but it can also get you loads of compliments. The mood, fun and celebrations are incomplete without Easter Eggs, cakes, chocolates and other delicacies.

Here are some special recipes by chefs that can be easily made at home:

Simnel Cake by Chef Ayub Salem, Indulge, The Grand, New Delhi

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
5ml rum
1 teaspoon almond powder
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup black currant
1/2 cup sultana
1 tablespoon orange/lemon peel
1 gram sweet spice

For the almond filling:
3 tablespoons almond powder
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 egg yolks

For the almond topping:
3 tablespoons almond powder
2 tablespoons castor sugar
2 eggs

Method:
Mix the butter and sugar till it becomes creamy.
Add rum and egg one by one.
Take flour and knead all the ingredients with it.
Place half the mixture into a paper lined pan; put almond filling on top; pour the rest of the mixture; and then again top it with rest almond filling.
Bake at 160 degrees for a hour.
Decorate with the almond topping and bake at 220 degrees for few minutes.

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Minted Truffle Balls by Chef Tarun Kapoor, The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa

Ingredients:
100 ml heavy cream
250 gm dark chocolate
1 tsp rum (optional)
Mint leaves few
50 gm dark chocolate (for coating)

Method:
Heat the cream in a pan and add diced dark chocolate.
Stir continuously to avoid lumps and chocolate getting burnt.
Once the mixture thickens and forms an even consistency, remove from flame, add rum.
Once the mixture cools and thickens, divide into small equal size balls.
Place mint leaves into each ball and roll into balls.
Melt the remaining dark chocolate over double boiler and dip the prepared balls into it and place on butter paper and refrigerate.

Optional:
You can also coat the preparation with crushed corn flakes to get a crunchy outside and soft inside.

 -*-

Easter Eggs by Chef Rajat Sapru, MUCB, Malad, Mumbai

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil (optional)

Method:
In a large bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese. Stir in confectioners’ sugar to make workable dough. For best results, use your hands for mixing.
Divide the dough into four parts. Leave one of the parts plain. To the second part, mix in peanut butter.
Mix coconut into the third part and cocoa powder into the last part.
Roll each type of dough into egg shapes, and place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until hard, at least an hour.
Melt chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Stir occasionally until smooth. If the chocolate seems too thick for coating, stir in some of the shortening or oil until it thins.
Dip the chilled candy eggs in chocolate, and return to the waxed paper lined sheet to set.
Refrigerate for 1/2 hour to harden.

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Lemon Torta Caprese by Chef Nicole, Grand Hyatt, Goa

Ingredients:
200g butter
250g sugar
250g whole eggs fresh
250g ground almonds
100g potato starch (optional)
2pcs lemon zest
1/2pcs vanilla pods
230g chocolate white Ivoire

Method:
Mix soft butter and sugar.
Add eggs slowly.
Add lemon zest and vanilla.
Add ground almonds mixed with potato starch.
Mix the melted chocolate in at last mix only shortly.
Bake at 180 C for 45-50 min.

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