Meltdown: Ravneet Gill’s recipes for using up Easter egg chocolate
Can you bake with Easter egg chocolate? Sure you can. After getting my hands on a variety of Easter eggs this year (dark chocolate, caramelised white chocolate, orange-flavoured, nougat-filled mini eggs, the ones with pretzels stuck all over them … ), I found a place for them all: melted and turned into something else. For these recipes, I encourage you to use up whatever chocolate you have. Easter eggs are typically sweetened (even the dark varieties), so taste them beforehand (as I’m sure you have already) and judge if you need to add any salt, for example.
Flourless chocolate fondant
This is a classic take on a chocolate fondant, but we’re having some fun using up any milk chocolate you have and lowering the sugar content to make up for it. If you have any mini caramel-filled eggs lying around, unwrap them and push one into the centre of each fondant; it will make for a fun surprise.
Prep 25 min
Chill 4 hr
Cook 12 min
80g unsalted butter, plus 30g softened butter extra, for greasing
10g cocoa powder, sifted, plus 5g extra, for dusting
100g milk chocolate
2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
30g caster sugar
1 pinch sea salt
4 mini caramel eggs (optional)
Butter four dariole moulds (I used 8½cm x 6cm foil pudding dishes) really well, dust them with cocoa powder and put in the fridge.
Melt the butter and chocolate over a bain-marie, or in short bursts in the microwave, until fully melted.
In a large bowl, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar until slightly thickened (use an electric mixer or whisk, if you have one). Pour in the melted chocolate and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Fold in the sifted cocoa powder and sea salt, until you have a homogeneous mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the moulds, leaving a 2cm gap from the top, then, if using, push a mini caramel-filled egg (or any mini Easter egg with a filling) into the middle of each fondant. Put in the fridge for at least four hours (you can at this point also freeze them. Defrost overnight, or if cooking from frozen, add four to five minutes extra to the bake time).
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Bake the fondants for 10-12 minutes, until they have risen slightly to the top of the mould and no longer look wet in the middle. Remove, leave to stand for a minute, then turn out on to a plate, lift off the mould and serve at once.
Chocolate cereal clusters
Is it possible to grow out of chocolate cereal treats? I think not. The fun thing is that you can make up the rules: I had a caramelised white chocolate Easter egg and some extra random bits of milk and dark. If you have a flavoured Easter egg, such as mint chocolate, there’s no reason you can’t melt it down and use it here, too. And, yes, you can use different cereals and even add chopped nuts, if you like. Best eaten cold and from the fridge.
Prep 15 min
Chill 30 min
Cook 5 min
40g unsalted butter
120g varied milk chocolate
30g Rice Krispies
20g bran flakes
40g caramelised white chocolate
In a large, heatproof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water, stirring frequently (especially if using white chocolate, because it can seize up quite quickly if overheated).
In another large bowl, stir the cereals, then pour in the warm, melted chocolate and mix to combine.
Line a large tray with greaseproof paper. Spoon clusters of the cereal mix on to the paper – whatever size you like, really; no one is judging– and put in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
Chocolate and hazelnut spread
Turn those Easter eggs into something you can spread on toast in the morning! Or at least on the odd occasion. You can use varied milk and dark chocolate here, and flavoured ones work, too. I’ve kept the blitzed roasted hazelnuts quite chunky, but if you prefer, you can grind them down finer, or switch to peanuts, almonds or cashews. This spread will keep quite happily at room temperature for 10 days, but it may harden slightly, because we aren’t adding any extra oil. If that’s the case, warm it very gently for a few seconds in the microwave, or just give it a good stir to loosen. The maple syrup is optional, because the chocolate might be sweet enough as it is, but if you leave it out the spread will set a bit more firmly.
Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
Makes 1 pot
140g Easter egg chocolate
100g blanched hazelnuts
1 pinch sea salt crystals
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
Melt the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts, or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Roast the hazelnuts on a tray at 170C (150C fan)/325F/gas 3 for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave them to cool, then blitz in a high-speed blender until slightly chunky and a paste starts to form.
Scrape down the sides of the blender, add the chocolate, sea salt and maple syrup, if using, then blend again. Decant into a clean container with an airtight lid and store in a cool, dark spot.