This year, the Easter holiday falls between the 15th (Good Friday) to the 18th of April (Easter Monday), with Easter Sunday falling on the 17th. Religious or not, when we think of Easter, we traditionally think about Christianity and the story of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, as well as all the symbolism that comes with the holiday such as Easter eggs, the Easter bunny, Spring and new life. But where do these traditions come from and what is the significance behind all the Easter treats we like to eat?
Chocolate Easter Eggs
For centuries, people have gifted eggs to friends and family for the Easter holiday and spring equinox, but it is only in more recent times that these eggs have been made out of chocolate. Interestingly, chocolate Easter eggs are actually linked to the invention of the chocolate mould.
During the Victorian era, Dutch inventor, Casparus Van Houten invented the press for separating cocoa butter from the cocoa bean, as chocolate had previously only been consumed as a hot drink. His invention allowed solid eating chocolate to be much easier to produce and shortly after his creation, British chocolatier, Joseph Fry discovered that if he mixed cocoa powder, sugar and melted butter together, he could create a chocolate paste which was mouldable.
By 1875, Cadbury's had already started experimenting with moulds and solid chocolates, and they created the company's first ever chocolate egg. In 1919, an early prototype of what we now know as the Cadbury Creme Egg was made, which was finally released and available to purchase by the public forty years later in 1971.
Today, the popular chocolate egg has evolved into many different forms and in the UK alone, we buy and consume around 80 million Easter eggs, each year. Sticking with the nation's favourite, we've worked hard to create a luxurious take on the Cadbury Creme Egg, producing our very own Luxury Marbled Easter Egg. Why not try something a little different this year and make your own Easter Egg using our kit? Filled with a white chocolate mousse centre and fruit purée yolk, this impressive egg is one you'll want to keep for yourself rather than hide away in an Easter egg hunt for your children.
Hot Cross Buns
The Hot Cross Bun. They're a firm favourite at Easter time with the cross on the top representing Jesus' crucifixion. It is claimed that Thomas Rocliff, a 14th century monk was the first to make this sweet and spicy treat, albeit a much more simplistic and medieval recipe compared to the buns we see today.
Initially, they were only given to the local poor on Good Friday before they became increasingly popular across the country. It wasn't until the 19th century that Hot Cross Buns were more commonly eaten nationwide and they became synonymous with the end of Lent. Since dairy products are typically forbidden during the period of Lent, plain buns were consumed during this time, with people switching to the richer, hot cross dairy-filled version afterwards.
There are also many old superstitions surrounding Hot Cross Buns. One claims that if you bake and serve them on Good Friday, they will not become mouldy for the next year. Others suggest that keeping a bun will help you recover from illness or prevent a ship from sinking. Whilst we can't guarantee these things will happen, we can guarantee that our recipe will make 6 soft and delightfully fragrant buns. Our Hot Cross Bun kit contains all the dry ingredients you need to make these delicious Easter treats and we're sure your family and friends will love them too...
Easter Bunny Cream Tart
Legend has it that every year during Easter, a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature hops from house to house to leave behind hidden eggs for children to find. But where did this idea come from and how did the bunny become such a notable symbol of Easter?
It is thought the symbol of the Easter bunny stems from the ancient pagan festival of Eostre, which honoured the goddess of fertility and spring. The goddess' animal symbol was a rabbit, due to their connotations with reproduction and new life. Over the centuries, this ancient symbol has become associated with the holiday, but it was not until the 19th century that the story of the Easter bunny became more commonplace. In some countries, there are also different gift-bearing animals such as the Easter Cuckoo in Switzerland and the Easter Fox in Germany which bring children their Easter treats.
In keeping with tradition, why not have a go at making our fun and whimsical Easter Bunny Cream Tart. The perfect centrepiece to any Easter spread, our showstopper is great to create on your own, or with friends, family and kids. Whilst it's impressive, it's also surprisingly easy to make.
*For information on Royal Mail delivery schedules over the Easter weekend, please click here.