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Leg of Lamb Photo by: Google Images

Delicious Irish Easter recipes for the special day

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Leg of Lamb Photo by: Google Images

EASTER BASKET CAKE

Ingredients:

Cake:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 & cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Butter Icing:
1 cup softened butter
5 cups icing sugar alternately with 1/3 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
Fluffy Icing:
1 cup white corn syrup
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Method:

1. Grease sides of three 9-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla extract.

3. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir into butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 additions of buttermilk.

4. Divide among the three prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops. Bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees F. (180 C) oven for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

5. Run knife around edges and turn the cake out onto the rack and peel off the paper. Turn right side up, let cool on racks. While cakes are cooling, mix up the frostings.

Butter Icing

This easy all purpose icing covers the cake with delicious flavors. In a bowl, beat 1 cup softened butter till fluffy; then beat in 5 cups icing sugar alternately with 1/3 cup of milk; making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of milk. Then beat in 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

Fluffy Icing

This light-textured, not too sweet icing is ideal for matching feather-light angel food cake. It works well on cupcakes as well. Freeze any leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

In a saucepan, bring corn syrup to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, in a bowl set over simmering water, beat egg whites with cream of tarter until frothy. Beat in corn syrup in a thin steady stream; beat for about 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form.  Remove from heat; beat in vanilla.

Cake Assembly

For the basket handle, we painted one we removed from an inexpensive Easter basket.

1. Spread Butter Icing over top of two cake layers.  Place 1 of the layers on a flat serving plate and stack remaining layers on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until icing is firm.

2. Remove 1 cup of Fluffy Icing, set aside.

3. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. While the icing is still soft, make a "basket weave" on the sides of the cake. Pull a skewer vertically from the bottom to the top at æ-inch intervals. Pull the skewer horizontally at æ-inch intervals from 1 line to the next, stopping at each line and lifting at end of the stroke.

4. Using a piping bag fitted with a º-inch plain tip, pipe the reserved icing into beads around the top and bottom edges.

5. Decorate with cookies (if you wish) propping them up with small marshmallows. Or "fill the top of the basket" with assorted Easter candies. Makes 12 servings.

Variation: One year we made Easter "grass" with shredded coconut and placed it on top of the basket cake and then placed colored eggs on top of it.  Combine 3 drops of green food coloring with a teaspoons of water. Stir it into 1 1/2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes until evenly tinted, but you must use it immediately.

Read more: Gilligan's Gourmet: Traditional Easter treat Hot Crossed Buns

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