Choc Peppermint Easter Eggs

Here is another egg I made last Easter. It my first time experimenting with moulds and soft centres.  It’s a simple recipe of a chocolate and peppermint centred Easter egg.

225g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons thickened cream
2 Peppermint Crisp bars, finely chopped

Melt 125g of dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second bursts, stirring well between bursts. Use a small pastry brush to spread a thin layer of the melted chocolate over the inside of 12 medium easter egg moulds.

Reserve the remaining chocolate for later. Place the moulds in the fridge until set.

Melt remaining chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second bursts, stirring well between bursts until smooth. Stir in Peppermint Crisp and set aside for 15 minutes, or until starting to set.

Divide filling among egg shell halves. Refrigerate until set.

Melt reserved chocolate and brush over the backs of the egg shell halves to enclose. Refrigerate until set.

Upturn mould onto a flat surface and carefully remove eggs by very gently squeezing the moulds.


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Rocky Road Easter Eggs

Easter will be here before you know it, so I thought it best to get in early with the Easter recipes. The first recipe is of course, a rocky road one. I almost decided to not to post it this year, as I know I’ve posted a few rocky road variations already, but I think this is a great gift for Easter.

The recipe below is enough to make 8 medium-sized eggs, but I made 1 giant and 4 medium eggs instead. If you do choose to make a larger egg, allow more time for the egg to set in the fridge.

Also, this post constitutes my entry into Kitchen Wench’s competition to win a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Imagine the things I could make with that!

400 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
100 g raspberry lollies, halved
2 tablespoons pistachio kernels, chopped
2 tablespoons raw cashews, chopped
½ cup mini marshmallows, halved
2 tablespoons shredded coconut

Using a small pastry brush, coat 8 holes of an 8cmx6cm (1/4 cup-capacity) egg-shaped moulds with melted chocolate. Refrigerate moulds for 20 minutes or until set.

Combine raspberries, pistachios, cashews, marshmallows, coconut and melted chocolate in a bowl.

Spoon mixture into moulds, pressing lightly with the back of a spoon.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.

Very carefully remove eggs from moulds.

Rocky Road Bark

For the Christmas just gone by, I tried to be a little smarter with my hamper making time, and so I chose to make Rocky Road Bark instead of plain old Rocky Road.  Bark is another simple yet effective gift food which lends itself to many variations. Another that I like is dark chocolate with roasted hazelnuts and craisins.

Rocky Road Bark


150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted & roughly chopped
1 cup raspberry lollies, halved

 

Line a tray with baking paper and set aside. Melt the milk and dark chocolates together a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.  Heat on high for 30 seconds bursts, stirring in between bursts until melted and smooth.

Stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of the marshmallows, 1 cup of the pecans and 3/4 of the raspberry lollies. Scrape the mixture onto the tray and spread out with a spatula to approx 2cm thickness. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows, pecans and raspberry lollies over the top, gently pressing them into the chocolate to adhere.

Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, which is about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks for serving.

Chocolate Cherry Slice

This recipe is lifted straight from the December issue Good Food magazine, of which I have a subscription.  It’s basically a soft chocolatey brownie with a summery twist, the twist being the cherries and coconut.  Considering the pretty iffy weather we’ve been having so far this summer, why don’t you console yourself with this delicious treat?

Chocolate Cherry Slice

200 g dark eating chocolate, broken into pieces
150 g unsalted butter, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
⅔ cup dark choc bits
415 g can pitted cherries in syrup, drained

 

 

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 30x20cm slice pan.

Heat chocolate and butter in a saucepan on low heat, stirring for 3-4 minutes, until smooth and combined. Cool for 10 minutes.

Use a balloon whisk to whisk the egg into chocolate mixture, then stir in brown sugar, sifted plain flour and coconut. Fold through half of the choc bits.

Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Push cherries into batter and scatter over remaining choc bits.

Bake for 30 minutes, until firm. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto to wire rack to cool completely. Cut into pieces to serve.

Raspberry Rocky Road

Here is the other successful recipe from a Christmas gone by, Raspberry Rocky Road.  I love rocky road but just hate glace cherries and I much prefer to use raspberry lollies.  There are plenty of rocky road recipes – and they’re all easily adaptable – but I like this one in particular because it makes a nice big slab of rocky road, which makes for an attractive and decadent gift item.  My brother always requests this and so I sometimes make some just for him.

Raspberry Rocky Road

750 g milk chocolate
350 g marshmallows, halved
50 g white choc chips
100 g turkish dellight, cut into a 1cm dice
50g raspberry lollies, halved
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup shredded coconut

 

Line base and sides of 26x16cm lamington pan with baking paper.

 

Melt 300g milk chocolate in microwave, stirring often, until it’s smooth.  Pour into the base of the prepared pan.  Arrange half of the marshmallows over the top.  Next scatter over the white choc chips, turkish delight, raspberry lollies, half the almonds and half the coconut, filling in any gaps.

 

 

Scatter over the remaining marshmallows.

 

Melt remaining milk chocolate in the microwave, stirring often, until it’s smooth.  Pour over two thirds of the melted chocolate, covering the marshmallows evenly.  Use a small spatula to gently mix and allow chocolate through the layers.

 

Scatter with the remaining almonds and coconut, pressing down gently to stick to chocolate.  Chill for at least 2 hours to set.

 

Cut into bars or squares to serve.

Cinnamon Crusted Macadamias

For the past two Christmases I have made a kind of hamper for family and friends made up of a few food treats that I made.  The first year I didn’t bother to test the new recipes, so it was a bit of a mixed bag results wise.  That year there were two stand out items; Raspberry Rocky Road and Cinnamon Crusted Macadamias.  It was also the first time I had any success with egg whites.  My lack of success until then was likely due in part to being unaware that I needed to use fresh, room temperature eggs.  The crust is a beautiful cinnamon flavoured meringue that has a nice crunch when you bite into it.

Cinnamon Crusted Macadamias

2 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch sea salt
⅓ cup caster sugar
1 cup demerara sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
600 g macadamias

 

Preheat oven to 180C and line a large roasting pan with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt in a bowl until soft peaks form.

Add caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until well combined. Fold demerara sugar and cinnamon into meringue.  Add macadamia nuts and stir until well combined.

Spread the mixture over the base of the prepared pan.

Bake for 10 minutes, then stir with a large metal spoon to break up the mixture.

Bake for a further 20 minutes, stirring every 5 – 8 minutes, or until the cinnamon/sugar crust feels dry. It’s very important to stir, otherwise the coating will fall off the nuts when cooled.

Allow the nuts to cool completely in the pan.  Break up to serve.