In Poland our celebrations of Easter involves ordinary eggs, this is the main reason why it was such a huge shock for me to get used to chocolate eggs being everywhere at this time of the year.
Don’t get me wrong I love chocolate but sometimes too much is simply just too much.
So, if you like me, think that chocolate eggs aren’t necessarily the best idea I have an alternative for you – rainbow jelly Easter eggs.
The creation process is long and quite strict so you really will have to be on the ball if you decided to make them.
Start your preparation by acquiring some plastic “two part” eggs – like the ones you would find in a kinder surprise sweet, just a bit bigger than that; they are widely accessible this time of the year (you can buy a set of 12 from an eBay UK seller for around £5 delivered). Once you have your plastic eggs, you will need a syringe and:
- A few packs of jelly; in different colours
- Some natural yogurt
- Some vanilla sugar
- Pinch chia seeds (optional)
- Sachet of gelatine
Drill a small hole in to the top of each plastic egg. The hole has to be big enough for your syringe to get inside the egg mould.
Wash all the parts of plastic eggs in hot water and wipe them dry with some kitchen towel.
Lightly grease or spray the inside of each egg mould with some cooking oil.
With a black marker make some lines on the side of your eggs or make some notes of how many ml’s of jelly goes into each layer.
We also discovered that some judicial application of masking tape was required around where the two halves come together of the mould as we experienced some slight leakage.
Mix the first colour of jelly (we used only 1/3 of the water when comparing to the advised amount on the packet; I wanted my jelly to set quicker and be firmer) and fill the eggs with the amount you want.
Pop to the fridge and allow it to set for about 30 minutes.
Now, this next part might be a bit of trial and error as your jelly might be setting at a different time span than my ones did. To be totally honest I wasn’t even sure if my egg scheme would work out so I didn’t make any real notes… The first attempt didn’t work out very well at all; we tried to make it using real egg shells… as it turned out this was a mistake… imho plastic eggs are the only way to go.
When your first colour is almost set but still a bit wobbly it is time to add a white stripe.
Fill each egg up to your second mark with your white coloured filling and again pop them all back in to the fridge for 30 minutes.
Continue until you run out of colours, space in your egg or have simply lost the will to go any further…
After the whole egg is filled pop it back to the fridge for a longer chill out session. We left ours overnight just to be sure all is well set.
Unscrew your eggs and admire your work!
This easy to prepare treat is one of our family favourites. It takes very little time to prepare and it always taste good. Who wouldn’t like the taste of crunchy chocolate bites as a treat?
The ingredients list isn’t very complicated. Basically all you need is some cornflakes and a chocolate bar or two 🙂
Place a large bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure that water doesn’t boil to rapidly so yours chocolate can melt slowly.
Once your chocolate has melted pop some cornflakes into the bowl and mix gently.
Ideally you want to cover every little bit of the cornflakes with chocolate but stir it gently so you don’t break the cornflakes pieces too much.
I was planning to “sit” my eggs on a grass-like green cornflakes. I used a green liquid food dye and the white chocolate but it didn’t work as well as I hoped. The food dye made my chocolate curdle, hence quite poor coverage of my cornflakes. I think powder food colouring would be a better option – lesson learnt and I will put this new found knowledge into a good use next time.
Once your cornflakes are nicely covered it is time to start filling those silicone muffin cases. Remember to leave a small dip in the middle so you have some space for the mini eggs.
Pop a few eggs into each nest and place the entire lot in the fridge so it can set.
Allow them to set for at least 45 minutes.
Serve straight from the fridge.
You don’t need to know anything else bar those three delightful words that bring the promise of all-time favourite loved by all. They may not be the focal point of our Easter celebrations but I would hazard a guess that they would be sorely missed if someone forgets to put them in the basket whilst shopping.
Though as ever that nagging question starts to surface again, how hard can it be to coin a popular phrase?
So to the kitchen I go and start to prepare, though for some reason, maybe I was awash with confidence but instead of sorting all my ingredients out on my worktop before I began like I usually do I had just decided to dive straight in. I had scalded the milk that was now slowly cooling, I had whisked my eggs and I had even started my yeast on its journey to happiness. Then I came to needing some flour, uh ho! The cupboard was bare and I briefly danced with the idea of just using plain flour but then rejected that notion, it just wouldn’t be the same. Then the clouds parted and in the dazzling light I saw it, tucked up in the back left corner of the lowest shelf a 1.5kg bag of strong white bread flour, though on closer inspection I find it is apple and cinnamon flavoured, least I now remembered why it was stored where it was.
So, a crushed passion for a tasty crispy tea time snack or that passion realised with a distinctly apple and cinnamon twang. I talked myself into thinking that they would probably be quite nice and you know what, they were indeed.
As for the recipe I turned to my most trusted tomb, Leiths baking bible. I know I have said it before but I will say it again do check out their range of books, informative, educational and loads of gorgeous recipes.
So what do we need for this culinary wonder….?
- 200ml milk
- 20g fresh yeast
- 55g caster sugar
- 450g strong white bread flour (apple and cinnamon wins the day)
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 tsp ground mixed spice
- 2 eggs beaten
- 115g raisins
- 30g of mixed peel diced
- Sweetened milk (for the glaze)
- 115g flour (for the white cross)
- Spoonfull of water
Scald the milk and then allow to cool to body temp.
Mix the yeast and 2tsp of the sugar with a couple of spoonfuls of the warm milk.
Sift the flour, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl and with your finger tips rub in the butter. Then add the remaining sugar and make a well in the middle of your flour. Pour in the eggs and the yeast mix and enough of the milk to make a soft dough.
Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes or 6 minutes in a mixer. Once the dough is smooth and elastic put it into a greased bowl with enough spare room so it can double in size. Cover with some oiled cling-film and a tea towel draped over the top and set aside somewhere warm for an hour and a half.
Put the oven on with a shelf set in the middle so that it heats up to 200C.
Check on your dough and it should be at least double its original size, if not leave it for another half an hour until it is. When it is remove from the bowl onto a lightly dusted work top and lightly knead again for a minute. Roll out flat till the dough is about 1/2cm thick and then sprinkle your raisins and mixed peel all over. Fold the dough up and knead gently for a couple of minutes to make sure the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Split the dough into equal sized portions, the recipe states 16 but I only made 8 as 16 seemed to make them far too small in my opinion. Shape each portion into a nice bun shape and place on a baking try that you have either dusted or oiled. With a sharp knife cut a cross into the top of each bun and set aside till they double in size again.
Mix 115g of flour with just enough water to make a paste with the consistency of toothpaste and put into a plastic syringe or small piping bag and use to make the cross on the top stand out.
Pop into the oven for 20 minutes and remove briefly. Now either brush your buns again with the sweetened milk or some heated up and melted apricot jam, this will add an amazing shine to your finished buns.
Pop them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Serve with lashings of butter, some lovely jam of your choice (we opted for an apricot one) and a cup of your favourite brew.
Are you tempted to give it a whirl for this years’ Easter surprise for the family?
* Hartley’s provided me with a hamper full of baking ingredients needed to create hot cross buns.