Easter is near which means that I will soon be stuffing my face with hot cross buns, chocolate and weird sounds to entertain young children during easter egg hunts!
When I grew up, I never really knew that people actually ‘celebrated’ Easter. To me, Easter meant that my birthday was nearing, I get some time off to study and I have to spend more time with my quiet immediate family because of the public holidays. I never knew that many families get together over Easter, have a feast and exchange small gifts like chocolate eggs.
So, when I met my partner years ago and he said ‘oh, I should get some chocolate eggs for your family for Easter’, I retorted ‘Why would you do that?!’ However, over the last few years, I’ve warmed up to the idea of ‘celebrating’ Easter. My partner’s family is not religious, so Easter isn’t about going to Church and not eating certain types of meat (well I wouldn’t do that anyway). Instead, Easter is about spending quality time with family… Well actually, for me, Easter is about supervising hours of Easter egg hunts and ‘pretending’ fairies exist with young children. I can’t complain – I adore young children! To get into the Easter spirit, I developed a recipe for these raw hot cross buns. They are a tad fancier than any baked/raw hot cross buns as they are studded with dried blueberries and white chocolate! Drools. They are quite rich, so a small one goes a long way. They are not just like flavoured bliss balls but rather they are more like a luxurious dessert/treat. Mine were quite sticky, so if you’re not a fan of that, you could dehydrate them until they reach your desired texture.
As a fun kid-friendly activity, you could probably mould the ‘bun ingredients’ into other shapes like bunny heads and paint them with the cross ingredients!
I got all of my ingredients (except the coconut cream) from my local Naked Foods Organic Health Foods store. Naked Foods is a bulk foods store that allows you to bring in your own jars and packaging and purchase whatever amount of ingredients you need. I love their philosophy as I believe that this society wastes SO much plastic. Bulk food stores like Naked Foods are great for getting just the right amount of ingredients for any recipe.
If you are in Australia, note that you can recycle your soft plastics (e.g. plastic shopping bags, food packaging) at most local Coles or Woolies through their RedCycle program. I’ve been recycling my plastics for a few years through this program and have saved SO much room in my landfill bin (I could probably last 3 months without emptying my road landfill bin). It also makes you realise how much plastic we use in our everyday lives!
This recipe was developed in collaboration with Naked Foods and is also available from their enewsletter. Feel free to sign up to their newsletter to get more delicious wholefood recipes sent to your inbox.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ - ¼ cup maple syrup (to taste)
- ¼ cup dried blueberries
- ¼ cup chopped white chocolate (I used Loving Earth's caramel chocolate)
- 1 tsp psyllium husk
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ⅛ tsp vanilla bean powder
- Zest of 1 orange
- ¼ cup chopped white chocolate
- ¼ cup cacao butter
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- Process almonds and pecans in food processor until it forms coarse crumbs. Remove nuts to a bowl and mix in rest of bun ingredients. Mixture should be firm enough to roll into balls.
- Shape mixture into balls (about 2 tbsp each) and press gently onto a tray lined with baking paper paper to flatten one side of the ball. Set aside in fridge.
- To make the cross, gently melt white chocolate and cacao butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat then mix in coconut cream. If the mixture has separated, whizz with a stick blender.
- When the cross ingredients have cooled, put ingredients in a piping bag with a small circular tip. Pipe cross on buns and return to the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for a few months.