How to use up those rogue Easter eggs to calm the kids
IT IS Easter Monday - the kids have woken from their sugar comas and you can bet there are more chocolate eggs in the house than there are hours in the day left to eat them.
What to do?
Take a leaf from my mum's book. Without fail one week after Easter my stash of hollow tempered milk chocolate joy would be denuded, picked clean without a trace nor explanation.
And then, to the delight of the senses, the aromas of chocolate cake, custard and cookies would waft from the kitchen.
The Easter bunny may have left us the eggs, but mum could control how we would eat them - better in a nutritious pudding than riding a sugar wave and plummeting into a moody tantrum-prone crash.
There are a couple of rules I find handy to keep in mind when baking with the Easter leftovers.
1. The simple eggs are the best. I have my favourite brands and without naming names, the plain thin-shelled hunting eggs are practical for melting down and upcycling, as are the solid little milk chocolate ones.
2. Avoid melting truffles. It doesn't end well and you may end up with a goopy mess that is only good for scraping into the trash.
3. The little filled eggs are great for garnishing cakes
4. Chocolate eggs don't make the best baking chips - they won't hold their shape in the oven and the little chocolate shards folded through a mix will melt into the batter - which is great for a chocolate fudgy mudcake, not so great for choc chip cookies.
5. Melt the eggs in a double boiler once you've broken them up into even sized pieces, or in a microwave. Avoid spilling water into melted chocolate or it will seize up and instead of a bowl of silky smooth chocolate you'll have a mean grainy sticky mess.
Give rogue Easter eggs new life
Chocolate ganache is one of the most versatile sauces and fillings to have in your cooking toolbox. For a layer cake or a cake glaze, melt equal parts chocolate to simmering cream.
For more of a pouring sauce, increase your cream ratio. For a stiff chocolate cookie filling a la chocolate kiss, bump up the chocolate.
Add some salt for more depth of flavour and if you want an enriched sauce, temper an egg yolk through the hot ganache.
EGGS IN A BLANKET
My wife once introduced me to the best five-second dessert ever devised for time poor but sugar deprived. I have tweaked it slightly - instead of fun size chocolate bars use the little filled eggs. Those filled witth caramel would work a treat.
Pre heat your oven to 220C.
Dig around your freezer for puff pastry.
Cut strips of puff pastry - wide enough to wrap a line of three or so eggs about the same length as a fun size chocolate bar.
Wrap the eggs (please remove the foil- it had to be said), ensuring there are no gaps in the 'blanket'.
Egg wash the little bundles and bake until puffed and golden brown.
Serve with double cream dipping sauce.
If you are on in a Mexican mood and are willing to do the work, a from-scratch mole sauce is the bomb. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate isn't the main ingredient in this robust, nutty, spicy sauce.
It is there to give the recipe a depth of flavour - best achieved with dark chocolate. If you happen to have a few dark eggs post Easter, you can add them to your chosen mole recipe. Hint - there are a number of gourmet providores in Portsmith who can order dried chillies for the sauce.
And if you're making mole for chicken, then using the eggs is deliciously ironic.