Sweet Easter treats

Whilst we’re all relaxing over the Easter holidays, I thought I would share some recipes that are fun and easy to make. I always enjoy baking over Easter weekend and some of these recipes even use up left over chocolate (if that even exists).

Chocolate ‘bark’

A great use for the illusive left over chocolate and can even be given as a gift. It’s easy to make and fun to decorate, so great for children to join in with too.

Ingredients:

  • 600g milk chocolate
  • 1 bag of mini chocolate eggs
  • 1 bag of Maltesers
  • Mini marshmallows (or any other chocolate/sweets you like)

Cost: £4.00

Serves: 10

  1. Break the chocolate into a large glass bowl. Get a large pan of water boiling, then bring it down to a simmer. Sit the bowl on top of the pan but make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Let the chocolate slowly melt, stirring now and again with a spatula.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly grease your tins and line them with baking parchment. Put your mini eggs, Maltesers and any other chocolate of your choice into a food bag. Bash them with a rolling pin until broken up a little (this is a great way to release some revision stress).
  3. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour it into the tin. Tip the tin from side to side to make sure that the chocolate goes into the corners and levels out. Scatter with the smashed up chocolate and then the marshmallows. I put on quite a lot of toppings so had to push them gently into the chocolate so they wouldn’t just fall off.
  4. Leave to set, I left mine out of the fridge until they reached room temperature and then put them in the fridge so they set firmly.
  5. When they are set remove them from the parchment and snap into shards. You can pack them in boxes or bags and they make great presents.

Chocolate bark can be made all year round, just switch the toppings!

Chocolate and nougat semi-freddo

It may sound hard to make, and I will admit that I had no idea what a semi-freddo was (was it a small chocolate frog?) but actually it was a lot easier than expected. Semi-freddo is basically a delicious frozen chocolate mousse!

Easter4

Ingredients:

  • Butter for the tin
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 450ml double cream
  • 140g nougat or torrone, chopped into ½ cm chunks (I used pink and white nougat but hard nougat is recommended)

Cost: £4.10

Serves: 10

  1. Butter and line a loaf tin with cling film.
  2. Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer. Put the sugar and eggs in a glass bowl, then place over the water and whisk until pale, thick and doubled in volume. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Remove the bowl from the heat, plunge the bottom of the bowl into cold water and continue whisking until the mixture has cooled.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on a low setting (be careful not to burn it), stir, then fold gently into the egg mixture.
  4. Cut the nougat into ½ cm pieces, this is quite tricky so take your time.
  5. Whip the cream to soft peaks (I recommend using an electric whisk) and fold into the chocolate and egg mixture with the nougat.
  6. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, smooth the surface with a spoon, then cover and freeze until firm.

To serve the semi-freddo, turn out onto a plate, remove the cling film and leave in the fridge for 15 mins to soften slightly before slicing.

You can add nuts like pistachios, or even freeze dried raspberries to this recipe, simply add them at the same time as the nougat. If you don’t like nougat you can miss this step entirely.

 

Chocolate nests

I remember making chocolate ‘nests’ like this every Easter when I was younger and feeling like a Michelin star chef. An easy recipe that again, is great as an activity with kids.

Easter5.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 225g milk chocolate
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 50g butter
  • 75g cornflakes or rice krispies
  • 1 bag of mini chocolate eggs

Cost: £3.90

Serves: 12

  1. Fill a cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Place the chocolate, butter and syrup into a glass bowl and exactly the same as in the chocolate bark recipe melt the mixture over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Take the bowl off the heat and stir in the cereal until it is all combined.
  4. Spoon into the cupcake cases and add mini eggs to the top for decoration.
  5. Place in the fridge to set.

 

Gooey brownies

I cannot resist a gooey brownie and these certainly fulfil that criteria. You can bake them all year round, but I added some mini eggs to the top to make them a little more seasonal. They do take the longest to make out of all of the recipes but I would definitely say they are worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar

Cost: £3.40

Serves: 16

  1. Cut the unsalted butter into small cubes and break the dark chocolate into small pieces and put both into a glass bowl. Melt the chocolate and butter over a pan of water as in the chocolate bark recipe. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.
  2. Turn on the oven to fan 160°C, conventional 180°C or gas mark 4.
  3. Using a shallow 20cm square tin, cut out a square of non-stick baking parchment to line the base.
  4. Sieve the plain flour and cocoa powder into a bowl.
  5. Chop the white chocolate and milk chocolate into chunks.
  6. Break the eggs into a large bowl and tip in the golden caster sugar. Using an electric mixer whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume.
  7. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula, you don’t want to knock out all the air!
  8. Resift the cocoa and flour mixture into the egg mixture. Gently fold in this powder. The mixture will look dry at first, but if you keep going very it will end up looking fudgy. Stop just before you think you should, as you don’t want to overdo this mixing.
  9. Stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout.
  10. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin.
  11. Put in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. When the timer goes, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin (my brownie took over 30 minutes). Then take it out of the oven.
  12. Decorate with mini eggs or other chocolates if you want to.

Leave the whole brownie in the tin until completely cold, then you can cut them into whatever serving size you like. It’s useful to know that they’ll keep in an airtight container for two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month.

Let me know if you make any of these recipes, I would love to see pictures!

Recipes were adapted from BBC Good Food.

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