It turns out that we have the Hot Cross Bun to thank for chocolate’s relationship with Easter!
Those sticky cinnamony treats have been the symbol of Good Friday for over eight centuries: the top of each bun is crossed in white icing to signify the crucifixion. But they didn’t start there … as with most traditions in England, Hot Cross Buns were first baked by pagans to celebrate their worship of the moon. The cross divided each bun into four quarters, signifying the pagan goddess’ progress through medieval skies.
Hip missionaries, seeing the opportunity baked into the sweetness – adopted the bun. Reinterpreting the icing to represent Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Then, in 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rockcliffe began giving Hot Cross Buns to the poor of St Albans on Good Friday. As the tradition spread the buns grew mythical powers – representing a cure from many superstitions, and holding claims of healing and protection from evil spirits.
Queen Elizabeth I was a practical girl and had no truck with old wive’s tales. In the 16th century she banned Roman Catholicism and passed a law that Hot Cross Buns could only be eaten during festivals like Easter, Christmas and funerals. But, as ever – their banning only served to make the buns even more popular.
Elizabethan chocolatiers, with an eye to food trends: started trying to figure out how they could compete with the mighty bun. They had to find a way into the hearts and wallets of both lower class families and high class societies. So – they hit upon the idea of creating a chocolate egg. Eggs had long symbolised life and rebirth .. and wasn’t Easter a time of celebrating the new? The first chocolate egg was born: small and solid and made with bitter dark chocolate.
It wasn’t until 1873 that the first mass-produced eggs appeared in England. Cadbury had taken the early prototype and perfected a sweeter, more fragile, less expensive mouthful. And as clever marketeers – they only sold them at Easter. The Egg’s popularity soared and when milk chocolate Easter eggs appeared in the early 1900s: the deal was sealed. Chocolate was now irrevocably a part of Easter world-wide.
As proud chocoholics, we thought we would bring your the fifth basic food group: Triple Chocolate Chocolate chip cookies. And we wish you a delicious weekend – whatever your belief.
TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
(Makes 6 – 8 cookies depending on size and thickness)
225g Brown Sugar
125g Butter – at room temperature
1 large egg
5ml vanilla extract
185g self-raising flour
5g bicarb of soda
35g Cocoa Powder
100g white chocolate or chocolate nibs
100g milk chocolate or chocolate nibs
100g dark chocolate or chocolate nibs
Pre-heat oven to 180°C
Sift the dry ingredients
Cream butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
Fold in the sifted dry ingredients
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well
Divide into 110g portions and form into round balls
Chill in the fridge for an hour
Place dough balls onto a well-greased baking sheet,
Do not flatten the dough into biscuit shapes – it will spread out in the oven as it bakes
Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes
Remember: the cookies will feel soft when they come out of the oven. As they cool down, they will firm up.
Tip: The cookie dough can be frozen and kept for later use. Or, for a sublime treat: break the leftovers into smallish pieces and add to slightly softened ice-cream.