Words and recipe by Maddie Rix
For me, Easter food is just as much about an amazing Sunday lunch with your family as it is about Easter eggs. It’s a wonderful time of year – winter has finally blown itself out, the daffodils and crocuses are flourishing on roadsides, and there is some fantastic seasonal produce.
For as long as I can remember, the peak of our Easter lunch has been a huge hunk of barbecued lamb, but this year I’m following it with a heavenly flourless chocolate cake – the recipe for which you can find below. It’s beautifully light and rounds off our Easter lunch perfectly.
My dad is an over-the-top barbecue enthusiast and needs very little reason to get his grill out – we once had a barbecued turkey at Christmas. However, I fully support our family tradition of barbecuing lamb at Easter. New-season lamb lends itself so well to the grill – the smoky, charred crust and succulent, blushing centre make it the perfect spring centrepiece. My dad removes the bone from his lamb leg and marinades it in olive oil, smashed garlic and rosemary overnight. He starts off the cooking on the barbecue over a high heat to get that gorgeous gnarly exterior, transfers it to the oven for about 20 minutes, then lets it rest for a further 10. He carves it at the table and doles out the meat with a drizzle of the juices from the pan – yum.
We serve our lovely lamb with a zingy homemade mint sauce, Jersey royal new potatoes and asparagus doused in butter, and big spring salad. I urge you to follow suit and get the barbecue out for Easter.
It isn’t all about the mains, though, and no Easter feast would be complete without chocolate. The flourless delight I’m baking this year is so simple to make and completely delicious, which means it’s perfect for a family occasion such as this.
Flourless chocolate cake
- 200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g unsalted butter, cubed
- 5 free-range eggs
Preheat your the oven at 160°C/320°F/gas 3, then grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin. Smash up the chocolate and melt it with the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then set aside to cool.
Separate the eggs into 2 large mixing bowls. Whisk the egg yolks with 100g of caster sugar until thick, pale and fluffy – this will take at least 5 minutes. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then add the remaining sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking thoroughly between each addition as if you were making meringue, until you have a thick and glossy mixture. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the whisked egg yolks and gently combine with a spatula. Next, gradually fold in the egg whites then pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly crisp on top but slightly gooey on the inside. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin and serve with some good-quality crème fraîche and fresh raspberries.
So there you have it – the ultimate Easter feast. Please give it a go and let me know how you get along. I’d also love to know about your Easter family food traditions so just pop a comment in the box below. Happy Easter everyone!