My collection box of Easter memories is pretty small. I grew up with Buddhist parents, so I was off the hook when it came to the religious significance of the holiday. Mainly, I remember peeling foil off chocolate, and knowing that the little solid eggs were nowhere near as prized as the large hollow ones you could sledgehammer into pieces with your egg-crushing hands. That satisfying soundtrack – the multi cracks of the shell – and then prising away all those cocoa shards to savour, that was a fun ritual to repeat each year.
Now that I’m older, I no longer need to bargain with (or outsmart) the Easter bunny to get a good stash of holiday sweets. So, in the lead-up to this weekend, I’ve enjoyed the excellent Hot Cross Macarons ($32 for 12) from MakMak Macarons in Newtown. The mixed-spice shell paired with the rum-and-raisin cream ganache makes for a winning combination that will also accelerate your addiction to this flavour. A baker’s dozen of these, please! If you pick up these Easter-only treats at Makmak, make sure to check out the store’s new Botanicals collection, which includes a knock-out Smoked Vanilla & Pecan Praline addition.
Kakawa Chocolates has Hot Cross Pralines at its city and Darlinghurst stores and they’re damn good, too. The whipped ganache is airy and delightful (cue flashback of eating Milky Way bars as a kid) and the honey, clove and cinnamon accents evoke the original bakery-filling treats. Other Easter-Bunny-appeasing choices include the Potato Head Eggs ($16.50), heart-shaped cartons of eggs, Ninja Eggs, and Quail Eggs (top) flavour-charged with sea salted caramel, raspberry mint, blueberry and crunch hazelnut praline fillings ($15.50).
And Black Star Pastry has the real deal; its buns are a fragrant flashback to owner Chris The’s church-attending memories as a kid. As you may have read in Good Food, his version of hot cross buns ($4 each/$18 for six) has a frankincense glaze and is rolled out of spice-scented and fruit-moist dough. You can also pick up an 80’s Lip if you’re feeling cheeky, too.