Easter is just around the corner, so I thought I'd share some wonderful recipes for sweet Easter treats from around the world with you! We've got one recipe from the Americas, one from Europe and yet another from Asia. Let's dive straight into the recipes for these delicious Easter desserts:
Americas: Mexican Capirotada
Capirotada, or Mexican bread pudding, is a delicious combination of layers of nuts, cheese, dried fruit and bread topped off with cinnamon-infused sugar syrup.
1. Combine the dark brown sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Then, reduce the mixture's heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, discard the cinnamon sticks, ensuring that the mixture has taken on a syrupy consistency.
3. Next, combine the bread, raisins, almonds and butter in a large bowl. Drizzle with the warm sugar syrup mixture, tossing the ingredients gently in the bowl to coat.
4. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray, then spoon the mixture from the bowl into it. Top with cheese, cover with foil and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Once warmed up, bake for 20 minutes.
6. Next, uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, ensuring that the cheese has turned golden brown. Serve warm.
Europe: Maltese Figolli
Figolli are traditional almond cakes enjoyed during Easter on the Mediterranean island of Malta. They can be made in all shapes and sizes.
For the pastry
For the almond paste
For the icing
1. To make the pastry, mix the caster sugar with the flour in a bowl and add the butter until the mixture takes on a fine crumb consistency.
2. Next, add the grated lemon rind and egg yolks. Mix in a little water in order to form the dough and leave to chill.
3. To make the almond paste, add caster sugar, orange flower water and lemon rind to the ground almonds in a bowl. Bind the ingredients together with the egg whites.
4. Roll out the dough mixture (pastry) and cut out into the shapes (circular, animals etc.) of your choice. Remember to make two of the same shape to sandwich with the almond paste.
5. Lay the first shape on a greased and floured baking tray and spread with almond paste.
6. Lay the second shape over the top and press the edges together. To help them stick together, try wetting the edges with a pastry brush.
7. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Once warmed up, bake for 5 minutes, then turn down to 350°F and bake for another 20 minutes until pale gold. Leave to cool on the baking tray.
8.Once cooled, coat with icing, then decorate with different-colored royal icing. While the icing is still soft, press small, foil-wrapped Easter eggs into the middle of each shape.
Asia: Russian Pashka
Russian Orthodox Christians traditionally make this dessert for Easter. It's like a cheesecake, only without the crust!
1. Mix the egg yolks and whipping cream in a saucepan, then stir in the sugar and salt.
2. Cook the mixture over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Next, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
4. Place the saucepan into a larger one filled with water, leaving the custard to cool. If it curdles, beat with a hand beater until smooth.
5. Then, place 3 cups of cottage cheese and 2 tablespoons of butter in a blender and blend on medium speed until smooth.
6. Repeat the above step with the remaining cottage cheese and butter.
7. Next, stir the custard into the cheese mixtures until smooth, followed by candied fruit and almonds.
8. Line a form dish with openings at the bottom with the (dampened) double-layer cheesecloth.
9. Pour the cheese mixture into the form dish, folding the ends of the cheesecloth over the top.
10. Then, place on a cake rack in a shallow pan, placing weights on top.
11. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, pouring off any liquid accumulating in the shallow pan.
12. Unmold onto a serving plate, also removing the cheesecloth.
13. Garnish as desired with additional candied fruit and serve.