My family is completely secular, however we'll take any opportunity to celebrate the holidays. For us, Easter is about many things, from the lamb (deriving from the Jewish Passover tradition), to the hot cross buns (deriving from the last residual traces of Anglo Canada) to the chocolatey explosion of eggs and treats which we can thank our pagan ancestors for. My family is ecumenical - if it allows for better eating, than why not celebrate it!
Based on the latter, I have prepared two desserts for tonight's dinner - a chocolate raspberry cake, and a french lemon tart.
The cake is a basic devil's food cake recipe using unsweetened Ghirardelli chocolate. Between the layers is a raspberry filling. To make this filling I cooked frozen raspberries with some sugar and corn starch, then allowed it to cool and thicken. I also put this raspberry filling on top of the cake, then covered it with my take on a quick chocolate ganache. Butter + chocolate + icing suger + warm milk, boiled for a bit, then cooled in ice water (but be careful! I managed to break the glass in my bowl doing this. Make sure you wait a minute or so, or transfer the chocolate to another dish before placing your bowl over ice water!). Then I whipped the ganache over the ice water and poured it in several layers over the cake. For the last layer I added a splash of almond, some icing sugar and some more butter to make a lighter coloured topping that would add some contrast. The final addition was fresh raspberries on top.
The lemon tart is based on a Ramsay recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie. Instead of a cornstarch filling, he suggested a French custard style one, so I used egg yolks as a thickener. I suppose an eggy filling is more appropriate for Easter anyway! The crust is a simple Pâte Brisée.