Long-time readers will know that I'm a traditionalist when it comes to Easter - no hot cross buns before Good Friday; no Easter eggs before Easter Sunday. That's not to say that it doesn't get extremely hard to resist these things sometimes, especially when a packet of hot cross buns turns up in your kitchen at breakfast time on a Saturday morning.
My resolve to give up chocolate for Lent has wobbled a bit in recent weeks - chocolate icecream doesn't really count, does it? - but I'm staying strong on the HCBs. Mainly that's because I've invented some you can eat at any time, guilt-free. Here's how.
'Pretend' Hot Cross Buns
These lookalike 'buns' - really bliss balls with the flavours of hot cross buns and white chocolate crosses - have many things going for them. My favourite, though, is that you can eat them while you're waiting for the real ones to cook (or toast). What are you waiting for?
1 cup sultanas
1 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 Tbsp honey
finely grated zest of one orange
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup roughly chopped white chocolate
Put all ingredients except the chocolate into a food processor and whiz until you can pinch together small amounts. Take dessertspoon-sized heaps of the mixture and form into square-ish 'buns' and place on a tray lined with baking paper.
Gently melt the white chocolate - put it in a small bowl, then set this over a bowl of freshly boiled water from the kettle - and put into a small ziplock bag or piping bag. Pipe crosses over the buns and leave to set. Store in the fridge - makes about 18 'buns'.