food

From caramel Weet-Bix slice to French toast casserole: Steph Claire Smith's Easter treat recipes.

I have a serious sweet-tooth. I eat chocolate pretty much every night after dinner, so Easter is definitely one of my favourite holidays. 

This year is extra special as it’s Harvey’s first Easter! I love getting crafty, and I’m really excited for when he’s a little bit older and we can paint on eggs and draw Easter bunnies together. 

Aside from the chocolate, I’m really looking forward to having four days to switch off and spend quality time with my family, that’s what it’s really about.

Need to make water interesting for kids this Easter? Try one of these fruit-infused water recipes. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Below I've pulled together some of my favourite Easter-inspired recipes from the Keep it Cleaner (KIC) app

The Berry French Toast Casserole is brand new to KIC - it’s such a wholesome, delicious way to start your Easter Sunday - and the Apple Cinnamon Scrolls do take some time to whip up, but trust me they are worth the wait. 

Then there's the Chai Caramel Popcorn Slice and Peanut and Caramel Weet-Bix Slice, the perfect sweet treats to keep in the freezer for when you have people over. But honestly, they won’t last long...

Here are the four dietician-approved recipes I'll be making this Easter.

Berry French Toast Casserole.

Image: Supplied.

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Serves: 5.

Nut-free. 

Note: To make this recipe dairy-free, use dairy-free yoghurt and milk. To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free bread.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 loaf of wholegrain bread
  • 6 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup low fat natural yoghurt 
  • 1 1/2 cups milk 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150g frozen berries

Method: 

1. Preheat oven to 175°C and lightly grease a 33x23cm baking dish.

2. Chop bread into 4x4cm squares and place in the baking dish.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the yoghurt, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract. Whisk thoroughly to combine, then pour over the bread. Gently toss to ensure everything is well-coated. Scatter the berries on top. 

4. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden. If the top starts browning, loosely cover with a sheet of aluminium foil. 

5. Once cool, let sit for 5 minutes, then serve! 

Chai Caramel Popcorn Slice.

Image: Supplied.

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Ingredients: 

  • 160g lightly salted popped popcorn 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 2 teaspoons all spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon

Method: 

1. Pour popcorn into a large bowl with dry spices and mix to coat. Leave aside while you make the chai caramel.  

2. Place sugar, butter, vanilla and tahini into a saucepan over medium heat. Add a dash of water and stir well to combine caramel ingredients while cooking. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until caramel is bubbling and coming away from the edges of the pan. 

3. Pour hot caramel over the spiced popcorn and leave to cool for 5 minutes before handling. Meanwhile, line a large baking tray with paper. Once it's cooled enough to touch, combine caramel evenly through the popcorn with your hands, crushing the popcorn, then pour into your lined baking tray. 

4. Firmly press the popcorn into the pan, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Store your popcorn slice in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer. 

Baked Apple & Cinnamon Scrolls.

Image: Supplied.

Serves: 12.

Egg-free.

Notes: Use dairy-free butter and milk to make this recipe dairy-free and or suitable for a vegan diet. To make this recipe nut free, remove walnuts from the glaze.

Ingredients:

  • 250ml milk of choice
  • 10ml apple cider vinegar 
  • 345g self-raising flour 
  • 1x7g sachet dry yeast 
  • 70g coconut sugar 
  • 50g butter
  • 250g red apple 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 80ml maple syrup 
  • 30g walnuts 

Method:

1. In a small bowl, combine milk and apple cider vinegar; whisk together. Set aside for a few minutes to curdle and thicken. 

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2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, yeast and 20 grams (2 tablespoons) of coconut sugar. Add the milk and vinegar mixture and butter to the bowl. Mix everything until just combined. 

3. Use the dough hook on your electric mixer and beat the dough on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, or until it appears smooth and elastic. Feel free to add more flour if the dough starts sticking to the base of the bowl. If you do not have an electric mixer, simply mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. 

4. Grease a clean large bowl with oil, then place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean damp tea towel and place in a warm area for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. If your oven has a 'proof' function, set the temperature to 35°C and prove dough for 1 hour. 

5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by chopping the apples into small cubes; approximately 1.5x1.5mm in size. Place in a medium bowl along with cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, salt and remaining 60 grams of coconut sugar. Mix together and set aside until needed. 

6. Once the dough has doubled in size, liberally dust a clean surface with flour, and gently turn out the dough, then sprinkle with more flour. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, approximately 35x20cm. Sprinkle the apple and sugar mixture on top and gently press into the dough. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a tight log and place it seam side down, then cut into 2.5cm pieces using a sharp serrated knife. 

7. Line a large circle or rectangle baking tray with baking paper, then carefully place the rolls inside. Cover again and let rest in a warm place for another 30 minutes, or until they have grown in size. 

8. Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden on top. We recommend covering the rolls with aluminium foil at the 15-minute mark to prevent them from getting too dark. 

9. For the glaze, roughly chop the walnuts and set aside. Place maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer for 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and add your chopped walnuts. Bush rolls with glaze and serve! 

Peanut & Caramel Weet-Bix Slice.

Image: Supplied.

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Serves: 12.

Dairy-free and egg-free.

Notes: To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free Weet-Bix. To make this recipe nut-free, use tahini instead of peanut butter and sprinkle sesame seeds on top instead of the crushed peanuts. 

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 7 Weet-Bix
  • 35g KIC protein powder 
  • 35g almond meal 
  • 15g desiccated coconut 
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup 
  • 120ml almond milk 

Filling:

  • 165g dates
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 70g dark chocolate 
  • 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts

Method:

1. Place the dates (pitted) in a small bowl and pour over 1/2 cup of boiling water, ensuring the dates are submerged in water. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, crumble the Weet-Bix, then add the protein powder, almond meal, desiccated coconut, maple syrup and almond milk. Stir well to combine. The mixture should stick together when pressed with your fingers. If it is too dry, add another dash of milk. 

3. Line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper and firmly press the mixture into the tin. Place in the refrigerator. 

4. Transfer the softened dates and water to a blender or food processor, along with the peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. 

5. Remove tin from refrigerator and pour the caramel on top of your base layer and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 

6. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a saucepan (or Bain Marie) over low heat. Once melted, pour it over the caramel and sprinkle the crushed peanuts on top. Return to the freezer for another hour, then slice and serve. 

Which recipe of these will you be making this Easter? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Instagram/@stephclairesmith/Supplied.

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