Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter treats

First up, cookbook is finally finished and edited!  Hopefully it will be sent off tomorrow, and then we play the waiting game.

This week I have something for all those crème egg fans out there!  I happened to see this on Facebook and had to make it!  It's called Easter egg fudge, though I don't really see it as a fudge, more of a slice perhaps.  Anyway, it's so simple to make - way easier than I would have expected, and it really does taste like the real deal - old school crème egg!  Hubby actually wants to buy a large hollow egg, drill a hole in it and have me fill it with the gooey centre!

Crème Egg Slice

Two blocks of Milk Chocolate
1/4C butter
1/2C corn syrup (glucose syrup)
1tsp vanilla
3C icing sugar
pinch salt
3Tbsp milk
Yellow food colour

Beat butter and syrup until well combined.
Add vanilla, icing sugar, salt and milk.  Beat until smooth - I happened to find this ended up in a big blob rather than a smooth cream, I added a smidge more milk to soften it, but left it reasonably firm - makes for less mess when eating.
Remove a small portion and add yellow food colour to this, mix.
Melt one block of chocolate and spread in the base of a square tin - their picture had thicker choc, but you really don't need more than this.  I used a 20cm tin. LINE IT FIRST
Spread/blob white mix over choc base, get it spread as evenly as possible.  Blob yellow around.
Melt second block of chocolate and spread over top.
Chill for 30mins then cut into squares.  I would recommend this as I didn't slice it up so the longer you leave it, the more the chocolate cracks when you slice it.  The only problem is that it is gooey still after 30mins.  The longer you leave it the better it stays together.

I also made some Hot Cross Buns - though I didn't think about taking a photo until we'd already eaten them!  They were awesome.  I used the breadmaker recipe, but I'll share it with you anyways, you may be able to try it in your own breadmaker or perhaps try it from scratch.

350ml water
1 egg beaten
3Tbsp milk
2Tbsp oil
1tsp salt
2Tbsp sugar
4C high grade flour
1Tbsp cinnamon
1Tbsp mixed spice
1tsp bread improver
2 1/4tsp yeast
When the beeps sound, add 1C sultanas 1/4C currants

When dough is ready, you shape it into 18 balls and place on oven tray with greased clingfilm overtop, leave it to double in size.
Mix together 1/4C flour with 2Tbsp water to form a batter, using a piping nozzle, make the crosses on top.
Bake for 20 mins at 190C
You can glaze them, but I thought they were fine without.

I found a recipe for energy bars, which is again super simple and very tasty.  My problem was that I didn't process it enough so it didn't hold together as well as it should have, so I decided to add a few extras and turn it into a muesli bar.
Firstly, for just the energy bar all you need to do is 1C date, 1C nuts of your choice and 1C dried fruit processed until fine and forming a dough type consistency.  You can also add chocolate or seeds.  I used dates, cranberries, brazil and almond nuts plus a small handful of dark chocolate.

If you want to make it into a muesli bar, then you don't need to process it as much.  Add about 1C rolled oats to it (after blending).  In a saucepan, heat 25g butter, 2-3Tbsp honey/golden syrup/maple syrup and 2-3Tbsp brown sugar.  Heat until bubbling and cook for a few minutes.
combine with dry ingredients and press into a slice tin.  Bake at 180C for around 15mins until starting to brown a little.

Another sweet treat I made, is White Chocolate and Pecan biscuits.  This recipe is from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook.  The recipe calls for you to freeze the dough before slicing and baking and yields only 24.  I decided not to freeze the dough as it was perfectly pliable and not in need of freezing in my opinion.  I managed to get 48 decent sized biscuits out of the same recipe.

White Chocolate and Pecan Biscuits

250g butter
100g caster sugar
200g brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2tsp vanilla
400g plain flour
1/2tsp salt
1/4tsp baking powder
100g white chocolate (I put in a few dark ones too)
70g Pecan nuts chopped

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.  Add vanilla.
Add flour, salt, baking powder and mix until a smooth dough is formed.  Add chocolate and pecans.
Roll into tablespoon size balls and place on baking tray with room to spread.  Press down gently.
Bake at 170C for 10-15mins until edges are golden.

So there you have it, some lovely Easter treats to share with your family.  I hope you all have a fabulous long weekend.  Happy Cooking!