The last few weeks have been a bit topsy turvy for me, so this easter was a really good time for resting and getting back to what I love most – my family. I gave myself permission to enjoy the time off completely, which enabled a slow rebuild of the fire which normally burns so brightly within my creative heart.
We didn’t do anything special – but that’s what made it special. It allowed us plenty of time for family shenangians and there were plenty of them. Marshy had four days off work and we did our best to make the most of them, whether that involved relaxing and laughing at home, revelling in the company of close family and friends, or getting out on little adventures.
We hunted eggs.
And ate them. Piper picked up the idea very quickly, and before we knew what was happening, she was stealing eggs out of any available basket, unwrapping them and stuffing them into her mouth. She was just lucky that the easter bunny knows she’s lactose intolerant and made sure there was an acceptable amount of lactose free chocolate going around.
I baked. Family gatherings always provide me plenty of opportunities for baking. Normally I like to experiment with new and exciting things, but this year I kept it pretty simple.
These cupcakes were marbled on the inside, chocolate and vanilla flavoured. The frosting is delicious buttercream, and I found the little cheeps at Aldi a couple of weeks before easter. They were just perfect and everyone loved them! My aunt was so impressed that she squirrelled her cheep away and there is now one less in the flock for next year.
Next on the menu was this easter cake. It is, once again, alternating layers of both vanilla and chocolate cake. Marshy wanted something really special for the kids, so I decided to make it a surprise cake. The kids literally thought it was magic when Marshy cut it open and all the eggs tumbled out.
For anyone wanting to know the secret, bake your cake (or in this case, I baked two) as per normal. Slice them so that you have four layers. Or, if you have two matching tins like me, you can divide the mixture in half before baking and you will end up with four layers without having to cut anything. Leave two of the layers intact, and then cut holes in the middle of the next two. Put one whole layer down for the base, and then use your icing of choice (I like buttercream) to glue the two layers on top that you’ve cut holes in. This leaves you with a well in the center of your cake, which you can now fill with whatever you like – in this case, I used little easter eggs. Then use some more icing to glue the last whole layer over the top and voila! Nobody will know what’s hiding inside. Until they cut it open, of course.
From here I just iced it with buttercream, and piped some bunnies with melted chocolate to try and enhance the easter feel. I’m not that good with a piping bag, but I want to get better, so I take any opportunity I can get to inflict my mediocre skills on friends and family. I was actually pretty impressed with the finished product!
This is what happened to the leftover cake that I removed from the two middle layers. I iced it with the leftover icing, just to get it covered. I also managed some hot cross buns, but they disappeared before I got a picture so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Besides baking, I did squeeze in a little knitting time and we also went on some lovely family adventures. My favourite would have to be a family walk around the local botanical park. It was freezing, and late in the day, but we all rugged up in our baggy daggy tracksuit pants and hoodies, and off we went.
The kids laughed.
And after it was all said and done, we stopped off at a fish and chip shop on the way home which offers gluten free fish and chips. Deep fried take away never tasted so good!
How about you? How did you celebrate your easter? Did you head away, or keep it close to home? Were you buried in a mountain of chocolate?