Five Yummy Easter Treats to Try at Home


“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” 
~
Mother Theresa

I thought I’d share some of the recipes I’m making for Easter. Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced cook – these recipes are EASY, tasty and lots of fun, and there are plenty of ways to get the kids involved too. Giving home-made treats at Easter is a lovely heart-felt gift.

Or, of course, you could just eat them all yourself! Just click on the link to go directly to the recipe.

1.Green Goji Bliss Balls

I often whip up a batch of these healthy, yummy snacks. Green Goji Bliss Balls are packed full of nutrition, and the lemon gives them a lovely fresh tang. They are vegan and gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

They are incredibly easy to make, especially if you have a good food processor or blender. If you’re looking for a super-healthy Easter Treat this one works well.

2. Healthy Bounty Bar Easter Eggs!

Bounty Bars are one of my favourite chocolates. Ben’s too. They have a creamy coconut centre covered in chocolate. Who can resist that kind of flavour combo? But they are full of sugar, so I decided to have a play around in the kitchen and see what else I could come up with that might be a bit healthier.

This version is refined sugar-free, and can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free or vegan depending on what kind of chocolate you use.

3. Walnut and Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites – Fit for a Prince!

In our household we call these little treasures yummy ‘uglies’.  They may not be the prettiest treats, but the taste more than makes up for it. Walnut and dark chocolate is a heavenly combination, made even better with coconut, and they are quick to whip up.

A variation of a macaroon, these Bites are gluten-free and can also be sugar-free, so they are great for diabetics and people with food intolerances or following a paleo diet.

4.Five-Minute Fudge Recipe

A few years ago a friend gave me a recipe she uses to make commercial quantities of fudge for a fudge house.  I couldn’t believe how simple it was, or how great it turned out. And it only takes five minutes.

I make this often for street stalls, gifts and bribes. It may be a cheater’s kind of fudge but it is every kind of delicious. It will be one of the things in my Easter Basket presents for loved ones this year. Sorry, this one is FULL of dairy and sugar. But as an occasional treat it’s just grand!

5. Marshmallow Recipe – Perfect for Easter

Homemade marshmallow is the yummiest, fluffiest thing. Easy and inexpensive too. The recipe will make the sort of standard coconut-covered marshmallows most people know, but it can also be used in moulds to make cool shapes. At Easter, marshmallow eggs or bunnies are very appropriate, and make delicious gifts.

This Easter I’m making quite a lot of marhsmallow eggs for my loved ones – they’ll be nestled in a basket with my home-made fudge, and some rich, moist fruit cake.

I encourage you to give these recipes a try.  Hopefully some of them will become an Easter Tradition in your household too.

Much love to you, ♥ Nicole xx

Best Easy Chocolate Mudcake Recipe

“He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. ‘Guilt’ was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration’.”
Michael PollanIn Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

A friend on the other side of the world asked me for a foolproof but yummy chocolate cake recipe with easily obtainable ingredients that she could bake for her sister’s informal impromptu wedding, which just happens to be tomorrow.

My friend is not a baker, but she wanted to make a from-scratch cake in honour of love. I totally support that, don’t you?

This cake recipe fits the bill – it’s simple to make, and virtually foolproof. Plus soooooo yummy. (PS – Congratulations to Susanne and Adesh. I hope your wedding celebration is magical, and we all send our love!)

The picture above of is a double recipe.  This cake is a triumph – so easy, and it never fails to please.

Ingredients for cake:

250 grams unsalted butter (I’ve used salted and that’s fine if it’s all you’ve got), 200 grams good quality dark chocolate, 1 cup caster sugar, 1 cup soft brown sugar, 3/4 cup plain flour, 3/4 cup self raising flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, or one shot of espresso, 1 1/3 cups of water (a teensy bit less if you used espresso), 3 eggs

Method:

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and dump into a large saucepan.  Add in the chopped butter, sugar, water and coffee.  Melt together until all ingredients are dissolved and then cool.
  2. Sift flours and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Gently mix through the cooled chocolate liquid by hand with a large spoon.
  4. Finally, beat the eggs together to combine, then gently fold the eggs into the cake mix.
  5. Pour the batter into a double lined 20cm deep cake tin, and bake at 150 degrees celcius for 1 and 3/4 hours. **check cake towards the end so it doesn’t overcook.
  6. Allow to cool in tin before removing

Chocolate Ganache:

Melt together 250grams of broken dark chocolate and 1/3 cup of cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it thickens, stirring occasionally and then pour/spread over cake.  (Don’t leave ganache in fridge and forget about it or you’ll have to eat the lot!)

I also made some chocolate leaves by melting dark chocolate and using a clean paint brush to paint camelia leaves.  Just peel the leaf away carefully when the chocolate sets.  Ivy leaves also look brilliant but any non-toxic leaf will work. I used smarties (chocolate beanies) to make flower patterns, although it looks a bit like I channelled my inner 1950s housewife, don’t you think!

♥ Serve in small slices (be warned – this is rich!) with some vanilla ice-cream or a good double cream.  It keeps well, but never seems to last.  Enjoy! xx

 

Cherry Ripe Slice Recipe

We’ve got a party to go to on the weekend – a neighbour’s son is turning eighteen! Like most parties in the country, people will be coming from near and far, and there will be quite a crowd to feed. I’m taking along a huge tray of of these delicious Cherry Ripe Slices and another big tray of my favourite Chocolate Brownies ( click here for the Brownie recipe  – it’s easy and fabulously yum, and I updated it yesterday for American measurements as well!)  .

The base of the Cherry Ripe Slice is a tasty chocolate biscuit, topped with a rich sweet coconut and cherry layer, finished with a drizzle of dark chocolate. It keeps very well, and also makes a lovely gift. It can also be made gluten-free very easily and still tastes heavenly.

Ingredients (American equivalents in brackets):

Base: 1 and 1/4 cups self raising flour ( or 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour with 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder) * Substitute your favourite gluten-free flour here if you have an intolerance – it works fine in this recipe, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, 3/4 cup dessicated coconut, 1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar), 125g butter (1 stick or 4 ounces of butter), 1 egg

Cherry Layer: 2 and 1/2 cups of coconut, 200g glace cherries, quartered (7 ounces of glace cherries or 1 cup glace cherries, quartered), 1 x 395gram tin of sweetened condensed milk

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Your choice, dark or milk.  You’ll need between 150g to 200g (3/4 to one cup, or 7 ounces) melted.

I also make this in paper cups for easy individual serves.  I’ll show you both ways today!

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C (moderate or 355F), and line a 20cm x 30cm (8 inch by 12 inch) slice tin with non-stick paper, or grease it well. You may also use a muffin tin or similar and line with paper cups. (*If you are being fancy-schmancy, make this in a spring-form flan dish, and serve in small wedges as your next dinner party dessert!)

Melt butter and cool slightly.  Beat egg well.  Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, then stir through the butter and egg until well combined.  Press into the slice tin, or push a spoonful of the mix into each individual cup and press down with fingers to form a base.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes – check to see that it is firm and cooked through.  If not give it another five minutes.

Remove from oven but leave the oven on.  Cool slice for five minutes.

While the slice is baking, mix the topping ingredients together in a bowl.  Press over the chocolate biscuit layer and return to over for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Melt chocolate and drizzle over top. Don’t worry too much about how it looks, let it be homespun and groovy. (If you are a total chocolate fiend, melt enough to spread a thick layer over the entire slice, adding a spoonful of vegetable oil or butter to stop it cracking when you cut it. This is divine but be warned, it is also very rich!) When chocolate has set, cut into small squares and store in an airtight tin.

This goes very well with coffee, tea or a glass of milk. It also makes a special dessert when served with some whipped cream, pouring cream, or a good vanilla ice-cream. ♥