Having helped you out with some main course suggestions in our previous post, we thought we’d better recommend some tasty dessert options too.
Easter, of course, is the season of chocolate, so it shouldn’t be too hard to encourage a little family participation in the preparation of your puddings. We imagine children will be especially keen to help, and there’s plenty you can do to get them in kitchen in a safe and entertaining way.
Here are a few family-friendly ideas for sweet Easter treats that everyone will enjoy.
Make your own Easter eggs
Sure, you could buy your own from the shop, but what could be more special than creating homemade Easter eggs with your kids?
First things first, you’ll need some egg moulds. These can be bought for as little as £1 at your average home store, or you can get them online. The recipe below will get you one good-sized egg, so you’ll obviously need to make adjustments depending on how many you need.
Aside from a steady hand, the key to a successful Easter egg is the quality of your chocolate. Without this, you will have trouble melting the chocolate properly and it will also be unlikely to set properly in the fridge. You should aim for around 75% cocoa content.
Here’s the first step:
Melt 200g of chocolate in a pan.
Let it cool.
Brush ¼ of your mixture between your two egg moulds – this is the point where you can start to get the kids involved.
Once this is done, the eggs need to go in the fridge for five minutes to help them set. While you’re waiting, you can get started on the second stage:
Reheat the chocolate and then leave it to cool again.
Brush the remaining chocolate as evenly as possible into the two halves of your mould - remembering to keep a little back to seal the two halves of your egg together later.
Leave to set in for 2 hours – you can leave it on the side this time, it will only need a quick final five minutes in the fridge at the end.
While all this is happening, you can make a start on the decorations. This is a particularly good strategy if your children aren’t the sort to wait two hours for chocolate, which we imagine is most of them!
There are no rules here, so it’s entirely up to you what you do with your egg. You could choose to write messages on them in icing, or decorate them with sweets. A little more melted chocolate would be ideal for sticking on any decorative additions to your egg.
Once the two-hour setting time has elapsed, you’ve reached the make-or-break moment with your egg. Here’s what to do:
Carefully ease the two halves from their moulds. Make sure you do this close to the kitchen worktop. Obviously, the shorter the distance your chocolate has to fall, the better.
Brush a small amount of melted chocolate around the edges and gently place one half on top of the other.
Leave this on the side to dry for 20 minutes.
Add your decorations.
And there you have it. Your very own homemade Easter egg!
Hot cross buns – more versatile than you thought
It wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns, but what happens if you’ve bought too many and have lots left over? You don’t want them to go to waste, and fortunately, you don’t have to.
Once again, we think this is a great chance for you to get in the kitchen and create something truly special. In this case, we’re talking about a variation on bread-and-butter pudding, where you’ll simply substitute the bread for all your leftover hot cross buns.
We’re also throwing chocolate into the mix here because, well, it’s Easter. Add a delicious homemade custard, and you’ve got a really indulgent dessert that will perfectly round off your lunch.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Six hot cross buns – you can use plain or chocolate variety
125g dark chocolate
1 vanilla pod – you can substitute this for a dash of vanilla extract if you like
170g caster sugar
600ml single cream
600ml double cream
Start by cutting the buns in half and buttering them. Chop up your chocolate and put a generous helping in the middle of each bun, then lay them in the baking dish. Obviously, you want them to be cross-side up so you get the full visual effect later on.
Next, it’s time to make your custard. Start with the single and double cream, vanilla and orange zest in a saucepan, and warm this through. While that’s happening, beat your eggs and sugar together and pour them into your mixture.
Now that eggs are involved, two things become vital. Firstly, don’t be tempted to turn the heat up. Patience is a virtue with custard, and a higher heat is just going to leave you with scrambled eggs. Secondly, keep stirring to ensure an even mixture.
When it’s warmed through, pour the custard over the buns, making sure each one gets a good splash on top.
Now, the one thing you absolutely must not do at this point is put the pudding straight in the oven. Leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes, allowing the buns to soak up all the lovely custard. If you’re putting it in the fridge, remember that it will need to be brought back to room temperature before it’s baked.
The actual cooking is the easy bit here. Put your pudding dish inside a roasting tin, boil some water and fill the tin so that it comes about halfway up your dish. This will ensure the pudding is cooked through.
Place it in a pre-heated 170°C oven and bake for 45 minutes, which should be enough time for the custard to set.
What will you be making this Easter?
Do you think you’ll try your hand at some of our ideas here? Or have you got your own plans for delightful desserts this Easter?