Happy Easter

IMG_0870I think it was 2016 that I first come across the concept of the Creme Egg “Scotch Egg”. As a vegetarian, I often find myself adapting traditionally meat-based dishes into something using different ingredients, but I loved the idea of taking something savoury and making it sweet too.

I found lots of recipes online, but I wanted to do things slightly differently as I wanted to achieve a crumb coating, rather than a chocolate based coating. The steps below are less of a recipe, more construction suggestions.

 

Creme Egg Scotch Eggs

  • I used 2 packets of mini Creme Eggs. A lot of the recipes I looked at online used full size Creme Eggs, but for me the smaller size was perfect.
  • For the covering, I went for a cake pop style mixture, I crumbled 200g chocolate cake and mixed in 150g of chocolate icing. This creates a mixture that is easy to mould around the eggs. After coating the eggs I put them in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the mixture firm up.
  • For the outside coating I went for a biscuit base. I crumbled 75g of shortbread biscuits, getting the crumbs as fine as I could. I melted 75g milk chocolate. I dipped each covered egg in the chocolate and rolled this in the biscuit crumb to fully coat. I would recommend using one hand to get the egg coated in chocolate and the other hand for the biscuit mixture. Let the chocolate set before serving the eggs.

2017 so far – the year of Chocolate?

The start of 2017 came with a trip to London to see the stage show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also indulged my sweet tooth with a trip to Fortnum and Mason for cream puffs (expensive but amazing!), a Baileys Hot Chocolate on the Carousel Bar at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and a Red Velvet cupcake from the Primrose Bakery.

(I forgot to take a picture of the cupcake, but I DID take a picture of the delicious Bermondsey Porter Cake that I had from Peyton and Byrne when we popped back to London to see The Lion King a month later.)

On returning to Yorkshire, I went with some friends to see The Witches in Leeds.

I was feeling inspired to work on some sweets of my own (not ones laced with Formula 86 or with the ability to transform you into a blueberry!) and, luckily, for Christmas I received a copy of Hope and Greenwood’s Sweets Made Simple. I decided to have a go at English Almond Butter Toffee. I’ll definitely make this again. It was a bit of a challenge, but it was so tasty and moreish.

Marshmallows and Movies

The challenge for today’s post was to write about some of my favourite films. My list would include Strictly Ballroom, Big Fish, Edward Scissorhands, Notting Hill, Clueless, The Little Mermaid, Heathers, Forrest Gump, The Notebook, Mulan, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, Muriel’s Wedding and The Help. And when watching movies I like to have something yummy to snack on …

One of my missions when I began this blog was to master vegetarian marshmallows.  I’m still working on that aim!  In the meantime, I though I’d check out some mixes that are available, the first one being Ananda’s Vegan Marshmallows.

The box contains two sets of mixture.

I used one packet and made around 75 marshmallows.  I kept some white and used food colouring to turn some pink.Ananda's vegan marshmallows

The marshmallows were very soft and squidgy.  They improved in texture after a few days when they developed more of a crust.

So, once I had them I needed to use them to indulge in all the desserts I’d been missing out on.

I wanted to make Smores, (which are melted marshmallows, usually grilled over a fire or BBQ, squidged between two chocolate digestive biscuits – chocolate side in).  Unfortunately I found the marshmallows were too soft to stay on a skewer long enough to toast them – they just fell off.

Smores

I had similar issues when making Rocky Road, particularly as the marshmallows melted into the chocolate.

Rocky Road

Where they did come into their own was in making Marshmallow Toffee Bars, which I haven’t had since junior school.  Eating these made me very happy! I used this recipe.

Overall, I was impressed with the mixture and would purchase it again.  Based on the FAQ’s on the site, I’m going to try heating the syrup for longer and hopefully my next batch will be a little firmer.

Marshmallow Toffee Bars

Marshmallow Toffee Bar

 

Mini Egg Florentines

I make Florentines a lot at Christmas as they make great presents and my mum loves them. I thought I’d have a go at adapting them for Easter and this is the result.  This is a simple version of Florentines. I’ll share my fancier recipe (which includes double cream) another time.

Mini Egg Florentines

Mini Egg Florentines

50g butter
50g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
50g plain flour
100g flaked almonds
50g Cadburys Mini Eggs
100g Dairy Milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a pan and stir well. Mix in the flour. When the mixture is well combined, mix in the flaked almonds and stir thoroughly.
3. Spoon the mixture into silicone cupcake moulds, trying to only just put enough mixture in to cover the bottom – you don’t want the Florentines to be too thick.
4. Bake for 7 – 8 minutes until lightly golden. While the Florentines are baking, crush the Mini Eggs gently.
5. As soon as you remove the Florentines from the oven, decorate them with the crushed Mini Eggs. (I’d love to tell you to just sprinkle the crushed Mini Eggs over, but you need to be a but more artistic to get them looking good!)
6. Leave the Florentines to cool.
7. Melt the chocolate and coat the bottom of each Florentine with chocolate. Leave to dry.

Enjoy!

image

Tip – Ruth who blogs at The Pink Whisk has a fantastic technique for coating the Florentines with chocolate.

Baileys and White Chocolate Bites

One of my friends had a birthday party this week and these delicious little morsels were the perfect present.

Baileys and white chocolate bites

Baileys and White Chocolate Bites (makes approximately 30)

300g white chocolate
60ml double cream
2 tbsp Baileys
1 tsp vanilla essence
25g dark chocolate

1. Break the white chocolate up into chunks and heat slowly with the cream in a bowl over a pan of boiling water until the mixture is smooth.

2. Stir in the Baileys and vanilla essence.  Allow the mixture to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

3. Use a melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out evenly sized balls of chocolate.  Roll the balls in your hand and place on a sheet of baking paper.

4. Melt the dark chocolate and use to drizzle over the chocolates.  You can do this with a spoon, but if you’re not very neat like me you might want to use a piping bag to keep the chocolate under control.

5. When the dark chocolate is set place the chocolates into mini foil cases.