Saturday, 19 April 2014

Who's hoping the Easter Bunny will hop by tomorrow?

Eggs are one of nature’s most complete foods but because yolks have a high fat content, eggs have moved in and out of dietary favour over the years. These days, an egg a day is believed to be okay (combined with an active lifestyle) - however, sadly the chocolate ones don’t figure in this equation! If you’re looking for some handmade alternatives to the usual commercial chocolate treats to celebrate Easter, then try my specialty baking ideas - real chocolate brownie cut into cute Easter theme shapes and Easter Cupcakes that can be decorated with pretty eggs, or as your heart desires.  When the chocolate items are homemade you know what's gone into them and they just taste better when made with love. Happy baking and happy Easter everyone!

Chocolate Brownie Chicks               
Makes 18, depending on size
150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
150g butter, cubed
1 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 Heat oven to 180°C. Line a 17 x 27cm slice tin with baking paper. Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, to melt. Stir until smooth.
2 Stir in sugar and then stir in eggs. Stir in flour and cocoa to just combine. Pour into prepared tin, smoothing the surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
3 Remove to cool in tin. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out Easter theme shapes, such as chickens or bunnies. Decorate, if desired.

Chocolate Easter Egg Cupcakes    
Makes 12
125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a standard muffin pan with paper cases. Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy.
2 Beat in eggs. Stir in milk alternating with sifted flour and cocoa. Spoon batter into prepared cases and bake for 25 minutes.
3 Remove to a wire rack to cool. Decorate with chocolate icing and small Easter eggs.