Easy there Easter, you’ve well and truly snuck up on me.
I’ve been tricked by the long days and what felt like even longer nights of a sticky summer which refused to leave us. Only last weekend I was gallivanting around Byron Bay in my far too short to be anything other than seaside appropriate denim cut offs, falling asleep in the sun on the beach and inhaling more than my fair share of gelato. Then I woke up on Tuesday and autumn was suddenly upon us. The air was cool and crisp, weather that just screams Easter time and made for cinnamon, cosy knits and a fair helping of chocolate.
It’s by far my favourite holiday, a result of a good 20 years of beautiful memories nurtured through an incredible upbringing from parents who are equally enthusiastic about the magic of the weather.
Hot cross buns have been at the centre of my Easter experience ever since I can remember and evoke childhood sentiments of waking Sunday morning and being flooded with the amazing smell of a buns warming in the oven. After inspecting the pile of eggs left at the door, it seemed the bunny that visited our house was always too shy to leave them at the bed, we would file out into the kitchen with mouths stuffed with as much chocolate we could handle to plates of warm buns laden with butter.
One of my most vivid Easter memories was the year my parents decided we would spend the day on a magical mystery tour around the coast.
Sounds exciting right?
What was essentially a series of directions that needed to be deciphered in order to get to our destination turned what would have been a boring Sunday drive to a picnic spot into an incredible adventure. We piled into the car filled with our hot cross bun breakfast and pockets laden with eggs, and set off fighting over whether it was left or right or east or west.
I’ll never forget the fateful clue when we couldn’t decide on the exit on the roundabout, resulting in a comical Commodore filled with car sick children doing laps until we could be united in our decision.
This year may not be filled with chocolate fuelled car trips, but the order still stands for hot cross buns. While I was in Byron I had the pleasure of going back to one of my favourite bakeries, Harvest, in nearby Newrybar which has become the place to be for any foodie on the hunt for local, artisan sourdough. The lure of the freshly baked little parcels, filled with cinnamon was far too strong to head back to Brisbane without one.
As much as it is almost sacrilege to eat anything from Harvest with anything but butter, I couldn’t help but turn this one into a something a little bit more special.
I hope you branch out from your bread and butter ways just once to try this hot cross bun French toast. I totally justified having it as a post gym meal from the protein from the egg and quark, much more satisfying than a shake!
Hot Cross Bun French Toast, with maple toasted buckwheat, quark and persimmon
2 Hot Cross Buns, halved
¼ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbs buckwheat, soaked and dried, or plain buckinis
1 tsp honey
Quark or greek yogurt and persimmons to serve
1. Toast buckwheat over medium heat for a few minutes, then add maple syrup and cook for 1 – 2 mins
2. Remove from the pan and allow to cool
3. Whisk milk, eggs and vanilla together in a shallow dish and soak buns, turning regularly
4. Heat saucepan over medium to high heat with a little butter, then pan fry the hot cross buns until golden
5. Serve with quark, sliced persimmon and a crumple of toasted buckwheat