Homemade Easter Eggs

I have wanted to try making my own cream eggs for a while and found a variety of recipes. After a bit of tweaking this is what I came up with. 

I made three versions: cream egg, coffee egg and sweet filled (actually I did a nail varnish filled for my neice too but the container didn’t quite fit). 
Making the shells:

I used a silicon mould which made it very easy to get them out. I found the best method was to pour the chocolate in and then spread it around the mould with a food safe paintbrush. 

I found 3 layers created quite a thin shell and 4 layers quite a thick shell. 

I haven’t learnt to temper chocolate properly especially for small amounts but I did see a demonstration where they said the easiest way was to use seed chocolate to cool it down quickly having a tempering effect. This may be complete nonsense as I’ve not looked into it but it seemed to work fairly well and my chocolate dried fairly hard and shiny.

1. Melt your chocolate on 50% power in the microwave until completely melted (I found bursts of 40, 30, 20, 15 seconds worked about right. 

2. Chop up one square of chocolate into small pieces and pop these in the melted chocolate then stir until it has all melted. 

3. Pour chocolate into each mould and push around the edges with a food safe paintbrush. Run a sharp knife edge across the top to remove excess.

4. Pop in the fridge for ten minutes.

5. If the chocolate has hardened too much, repeat the melting process above, including the chopped chocolate. Pour some more ibto the moulds and repeat as above. 

7. Repeat for 3 or 4 layers as desired and after the last layer leave in the fridge for 30 mins.

The fillings:

Sweets – any you choose – I used Dolly Mixtures.

Cream egg:

The first recipe I saw asked for butter and this was delicious but not particularly cream egg like. I think this batch had too much vanilla too. I really liked the taste but for a more authentic cream egg flavour I found trex with just a little butter worked best and just a touch of vanilla. The picture below shows the butter version.

1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup shortening (trex) or butter

1/4 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

Roughly 2 cups sifted icing sugar

1. Soften the butter or shortening as necessary and pop in your mixer and beat on high for a few minutes until very smooth. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and mix on medium until smooth.

2. Add the icing sugar a little at a time on low, stopping when it is still smooth and a bit runny.

3. Keep covered until ready to use as it develops a skin if left without a cover.

Coffee eggs:

Make as above but put 2 tsp instant coffee in an egg cup and add hot water. Stir until dissolved and use about 4-5 teaspoons until it has the coffee strength you like. Add more powdered sugar to thicken back to desired consistency.

Filling the eggs:
1. Push the eggs out of the mould and make sure you have 2 halves that match. Annoyingly my mould has 6 halves so you only get 2 matching halves each time. 

2. Make sure the chocolate is melted and repeat the seed chocolate process as above.

3. Spoon your desired filling into each half. If you are doing cream eggs, then spoon a little of the filling out and mix with yellow or orange food colouring (I found one drop of each looked best). Then spoon a little of the yellow filling on top of the white. 

4. Use the paint brush to brush melted chocolate round each edge then press together making sure it matches well. Use your finger to brush off any excess from the join. Chill in the fridge to set. 

Enjoy!

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Sticky Toffee Cake

A delicious moist and sticky toffee cake with caramel buttercream and toffee topping. 

Cake ingredients:

3 1/2 cups of plain (all purpose) flour  with 1 tbsp baking powder OR 3 1/2 cups self raising flour with 2 tsps baking powder.

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

1/2 tsp salt.

1/2 tsp mixed spice (allspice).

1/2 cup rapeseed (canola) oil.

1/2 cup melted butter.

1/3 cup honey.

3/4 cup golden syrup.

2 tbsps treacle

3/4 cup dark muscovado sugar.

3 eggs.

1 tsp vanilla.

1 cup cool tea/coffee (I mixed both).

1/4 cup dissarono (amaretto).

3 tsp sour cream.

10 drops of honeycomb flavour (optional).

Treats toffee sauce.

Method:

Preheat oven to 170C (fan)

Top tip: weigh your mixing bowl before you begin to make it easy to weigh equal amounts into each pan. 

1. First mix 1/2 tsp instant coffee with a small amount of water and add a teabag. Top up to 1 cup with cool water and leave to cool. 

2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and bicarb together and mix with the other dry ingredients except the sugar. Whisk together well. 

3. Mix the sugar and all the wet ingredients except the tea/coffee and toffee sauce whisk together will with a fork until smooth. 

4. Pour small amounts in and mix gradually to avoid lumps. Mix in the tea and toffee sauce at the end.

5. Line the bottom of each tin with parchment circles and grease well with margarine or butter. 

6. Weigh the bowl and minus off the weight of the empty bowl. Divide the amount by 4. Weigh this much into each tin. 

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is ready when the top springs back wheb touched and a knife comes out clean.

8. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes before running a knife around and turning out.

Toffee Buttercream:

600g icing sugar

165g butter

1can carnation caramel

1 tsp vanilla

Treats toffee sauce

Method: 

1. Beat the butter til smooth 2-3 mins on high).

2. Add sieved icing sugar and beat on low until ut starts to clog together.

3. Add 4 tbsps caramel and mix on low. Keep adding tablespoons of caramel until almost at the desired consistency then add 2 tbsp treats toffee sauce. 

4. Beat on high for 5 minutes.

5. Spread between layers of cool cake.

Toffee Topping:

200ml double cream

150g light brown sugar

50g butter

2tbsp golden syrup

Method: 

1. Melt together over a low heat until smooth. 

2. Simmer for 7 minutes.

3. Cool in a bowl placing a circle of parchment or cling film to avoid a skin forming.

4. Mix briskly together with a spoon before spreading. I pushed some bits over the edges to get a drip effect and decorated with chopped up fudge.

Other tips:

The topping works well spread onto a cool cake but I found the fridge dried out the edges of the cake whilst I waited for it to cool. To solve this I mixed a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar with water abd micriwaved for 30 seconds to dissolve and create a syrup. I brushed thus on the edges and top and the returned to being lovely and moist. 

Yum!