Easter Joy and Homemade Orange Honey Butter


When I was little, Easter was one of my favorite holidays. It was one of the signs that spring was upon us, flowers and trees in bloom, and we were that much closer to summer! But, more than that, it was the joy of preparing for it, watching my mom colour the eggs, collecting little pieces of grass (more on this later), and of course, the game of trying to compete for most eggs! Back home in Bosnia, we didn’t have Easter egg hunts. Instead we played the game of trying to break each other’s egg. The person with the stronger egg wins the loser’s egg, and at the end of the day, the winner gets bragging rights! For us kids, this was huge! 🙂

My mom has always been a fan of doing things the natural way, and this also applied with colouring the eggs. Instead of using artificial colours and stickers, my mom gets way more creative than that 🙂 She collects skins from red onions all year long to have to use for Easter, and boils the eggs in onion skins, so that they get this rich burgundy colour that you see in the pictures. The patterns come from flowers or interesting-shaped pieces of grass/weeds that get affixed to the egg and secured with old stockings. The eggs are then boiled for a long time and at the end, stockings and flowers are removed to show the pattern. Incredible!

This Easter I also decided to make these berry scones, recipe developed by Tyler Lawrence. He calls them the Ultimate Berry Scones 🙂 And believe me, they are divine! The scones come with homemade orange honey butter. Yes, homemade! So, before trying this recipe I have never made my own butter, and actually had no idea that this is possible to do in my own kitchen! But, it’s actually, quite simple! You overwhip whipped cream! Eventually, the butter separates from the buttermilk. You squeeze out the buttermilk from the butter and refrigerate! Voila! Homemade butter. The recipe suggests doing it ‘the old fashioned way’ but putting the cream in a mason jar and shaking it, but I wouldn’t recommend this because it would take a very long time.  Also, the recipe uses the food processor a lot, but if you don’t have a food processor, whipping the cream with regular mixer works just as well, it just takes slightly longer.  The orange zest in this recipe really gives the butter an extra dimension of flavour.

The scones are actually quite easy to make, not many ingredients, and the freshly squeezed orange-honey buttermilk makes them very moist. Needless to say, they were quickly gone at breakfast :). 

For dessert, I decided to make a chocolate cake. The interesting thing about this cake was that the layers are mostly made from beaten eggs, very little flour is used. The one thing that I would advise is that it’s absolutely crucial to bake the two crusts at the same time. Because most of the batter comes from the beaten eggs, if they are left to sit for any period of time, they will deflate and you’ll have a very dense and flat crust 😦

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Click on each photo to view the high resolution images.

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RECIPES

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Orange Honey Butter:

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Pinch of salt

Berry Buttermilk Scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling scones
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mixed berries (e.g. blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), washed and dried
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, (leftover from orange butter), plus more to brush scones
Directions
You can do this the old fashioned way and add ingredients to a mason jar, cover with the lid and shake vigorously for 10 minutes, or you can use the food processor.
 In a food processor bowl add all the ingredients and turn on high. The liquid will slosh, whip and then separate after about 4 minutes. When the mixture separates, (these are the butter solids and buttermilk), stop processing and strain out the buttermilk – there will be just under a cup. Reserve the buttermilk to make the scones. Strain out the butter and squeeze dry. Work the butter a couple of times to bring it together to form a nice ball. Refrigerate butter until ready to use.
 For the scones:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
 In a food processor bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cold butter cubes and pulse until you have the texture of coarse bread crumbs. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, then add 3/4 cup of buttermilk and stir to combine. As it comes together add berries and fold dough to incorporate berries but not break them up too much.
 Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan.  Using a pastry brush, paint the tops of each scone lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.
 Bake until golden brown, and nice and puffy, about 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.
 Serve warm with the Orange Honey Butter.

© The Food Network

The Black and Tan Cake

  • 4 oz (125 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
  • 8 eggs
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) salted roasted peanuts
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
2 tbsp (25 mL) cornstarch

Ganache

  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) whipping cream
  • 6 oz (175 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Chopped salted roasted peanuts, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
2. Line the bottom of two 9-inch (23-cm) cake pans with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat; set aside. Place eggs (in shells) in a bowl and cover with warm water; let eggs warm to slightly above room temperature, refreshing with more warm water if it cools.
4. Pulse peanuts in a food processor until finely chopped (but not a paste). Add flour; pulse to combine. Set aside.
5. Drain water from eggs and crack into a large, straight-sided bowl. Add sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until very pale, tripled in volume and ribbons fall slowly from beater when lifted. Beat in vanilla. Sprinkle with peanut mixture in 2 additions, folding just until combined.
6. Pour half of batter into a separate bowl. Working with 1 bowl of batter, sift in cornstarch and gently fold just until blended. Pour into 1 prepared pan. Gently fold melted chocolate mixture into second bowl of batter. Pour into remaining pan.
7. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or just until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pans on rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cakes and invert onto rack. Peel off paper and let cool completely.
8. For ganache, heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat, just until bubbles form around the edge. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Let cool until slightly thickened but still fluid.
9. To assemble, place chocolate cake layer on a serving plate. Pour about ½ cup (125 mL) of the ganache in the centre of cake and spread almost to the edges. Top with peanut cake layer. Slowly pour remaining ganache in the centre of the cake, gently tilting as necessary to spread
ganache to the edges and letting drips flow down sides of cake. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until ganache is set or for up to 1 day. Cut into slices using a warm, serrated knife.
 
Serves 10 to 12
 
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6 responses to “Easter Joy and Homemade Orange Honey Butter

  1. that butter sounds AMAZING! i might need to test that out. xo

  2. Speaking from first hand experience, the butter is awesome!

  3. I think this the best set of pictures in your blog. Really. The Colours are amazing.

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