Easy spring recipes: 5 stress-free celebratory eats

With the aim of gathering around a table with family and friends, we asked a few local chefs to dish on their favourite stress-free celebratory spring recipes.

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There’s a lot to celebrate this weekend.

Several spring holidays settle on or near the same date this year — Easter, Ramadan, Vaisakhi and Passover, among others — something that hasn’t occurred since 1991.

With the aim of gathering around a table with family and friends, we asked a few local chefs to dish on their favourite stress-free celebratory spring recipes. From sweet cake to mouth-watering mochi, here’s what they came up with.

Sweet spring cake

Recipe by: Chef Douglas Lee of Winston

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2-3/4 cups (660 mL) all-purpose flour

1-1/4 tsp (6 mL) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) baking soda

1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt

1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar

1 cup (250 mL) grapeseed or canola oil

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks

2 tbsp (30 mL) rainbow sprinkles

3/4 cup (180 mL) whole milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all dry ingredients in one mixing bowl.

Combine egg yolks and milk in another mixing bowl and slowly pour in 1 cup of oil while whisking to emulsify. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks in a separate mixing bowl and set aside.

Incorporate liquid mixture to dry mixture and gently mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until barely mixed.

Fold in whipped egg whites and continue carefully mixing batter until egg whites disappear. Pour batter into desired pan (10″ x 10″ suggested) and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the centre and comes out clean.

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Chantilly cake armour

2 cups (500 mL) 36% whipping cream

2 tbsp (30 mL) rainbow sprinkles or your choice of flavouring

Combine whipping cream and flavouring in large mixing bowl and whisk until stiff. Apply to every nook and cranny in and around your cake.

Serves 4-6. 

Dango mochi

Recipe by: Tojo’s Restaurant team

5.29 oz (150 g) sweet rice (mochiko) flour

2 x 1/4 cup (120 mL) water

.88 oz (25 g) white sugar

Cornstarch, for dusting

In a mixing bowl, mix ingredients together until blended together and there are no more lumps. Roll into balls about the size of a small lychee or a Swedish meatball.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add mochi balls to the boiling water. Cook for approximately 3-4 mins or when the mochi balls start floating to surface like cooking dumplings or gnocchi. The cooking time will depend on the size/amount of mochi.

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Once cooked, drain mochi and run under cold water.

For a mochi dessert serve chilled or at room temperature. Use your mochi to wrap ice cream or fresh seasonal fruits. Coat your finished mochi dessert with a dusting of cornstarch. To colour the mochi add matcha powder or natural food colouring during the first step.

Yields 8-12.

Potato latke bites

Recipe by: Chef Sic Kim of The Teahouse

6 medium (roughly 2 lbs) Kennebek potatoes, peeled

4 medium (roughly 1/2 lb) onions, sliced

1/4 cup (60 mL) bread crumbs

2 eggs

1 tbsp (15 mL) salt

3-1/2 tbsp (52.5 mL) grapeseed oil

3/4 cup (180 mL) sour cream

250 g (9 oz) smoked salmon

1 bunch chives, chopped

Peel and grate the potatoes. Place the grated potato in cheese cloth and squeeze all the water out. Place the grated potato in the mixing bowl and add the sliced onion, breadcrumbs, eggs and salt and mix by hand until evenly incorporated.

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Heat up a cast-iron pan and add the grapeseed oil. With your hands, form the potato mix into a flat fritter and cook in the cast-iron pan on medium-low heat. Once the bottom side is golden brown, turn the fritter to cook the other side.

Once cooked, place them on the tray with paper towel to absorb extra oil. To plate the Latkes, smear sour cream on top of the Latke and place a slice of smoked salmon on top, garnish with chives and serve.

Yields 10 pieces.

Hot cross buns

Recipe by: Chef Steven Hodge of Temper Chocolate and Pastry


1-1/2 cups (375 mL) bread flour

2 tbsp (30 mL) instant dry yeast

2 cups (500 mL) milk


2-1/3 cup (580 mL) bread flour

2 eggs

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter

2-1/2 tbsp (37.5 mL) honey

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1 tsp (5 mL) molasses

3/4 cup (180 mL) sugar

1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1 cup (250 mL) Currents

3-1/2 tbsp (52.5 mL) candied lemon peel

3-1/2 tbsp (52.5 mL) candied orange peel

Egg wash

To prepare the starter, combine the flour yeast and milk. Mix on low speed with a dough hook attachment for 2 minutes and on medium speed for 1 minute. Ferment for 30 minutes.

To prepare the dough, combine the flour, eggs, lemon zest, butter, honey, molasses, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and the starter and mix for 4 minutes on low speed with the dough hook and then 4 minutes on high speed. Mix in currents and candied peel for 1 minute on low speed until smooth.

Ferment the dough until almost double in size, about 45 minutes.

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Divide the dough into balls and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment leaving about 8-cm between each bun. Lightly brush the dough with egg wash. Ferment the dough for another 45 minutes.

Brush the dough with egg wash again, piping the topping into a cross and allow them to dry for 5 minutes. Bake at 325F for about 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Hot cross topping

1 cup (250 mL) butter, melted

1 cup (250 mL) sugar

1/4 cup (60 mL) eggs

2/3 cup (160 mL) milk

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) lemon zest, pureed

2 cups (500 mL) cake flour

Make the topping the day of baking the buns. In a mixer, mix the butter, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest. Add the flour and mix thoroughly, scraping down the bowl. Use immediately.

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Makes 12 buns. 

Bunny egg cocktail

Recipe by: Bar Manager Chad Rivard of Straight and Marrow

1-1/4 oz (37.5 mL) dry gin

3/4 oz (22 mL) Sons of Vancouver Blue Curacao

1 oz (30 mL) clarified carrot juice

1 egg

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake first without ice. Repeat with ice added to the tin. Dump all contents into a wine glass.

Clarified carrot juice

1 tsp (5 mL) citric acid

2 cups (500 mL) carrot juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) whole cream

Add citric acid and cream to carrot juice. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator. The dairy should curdle, absorbing most of the colour into the solids. Pour the solution through a coffee filter to isolate the clarified carrot juice.

Makes 1. 


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Source: vancouversun.com