Creme Egg Brownies

 

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I love eggs. Growing up the yolk of a normal egg never fussed me, I’d happily eat the white and leave the runny yolk. Not with a creme egg. I could take or leave the chocolate but that gooey centre was my kryptonite. I know Easter is over and the likelihood there’s a couple of crème eggs lying around is pretty low. However, if you’ve got some unbelievable self-restraint, or like me you’d rather eat your own bodyweight in hot cross buns, here’s a little something to make your crème egg taste even sweeter. Image

Crème Egg Brownies:

  • 3 eggs
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 170g butter
  • 1 tbsp. treacle
  • 80g plain flour
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 2 packets of mini crème eggs
  • 6 crème eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare your brownie pan

Melt the butter, treacle and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

* These were a spur of the moment bake and I didn’t have enough dark chocolate, I’d have liked to use 175g but I added treacle instead to give add a rich flavour and subdue of the sugariness – they’re still pretty sweet. Image

Once melted set it aside and allow it to cool.

Whisk the sugar together with the eggs until the mix is frothy and has about doubled in volume, about 5 – 10 minutes. If in doubt, keep mixing

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*This might take slightly longer and not happen so much with brown sugar as it does with caster but I prefer the flavour of brown sugar. Image

Once your eggs and sugar are smooth, glossy and full of volume fold in the melted chocolate.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the mix and fold once again until just combined, don’t over mix. Image

Pour half the mix into a prepared tin and press in your mini crème eggs, pour over the rest making sure the eggs are covered.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C, cut your 6 creme eggs in half ready to place on top.

As you can see my Creme Egg cutting skills leave a lot to be desired. Image

Take the brownies out and place the creme eggs into the top, pressing down gently. I didn’t evenly distribute mine but for you perfectionists out there feel free to arrange them in neat rows.

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Bake for a further ten minutes until the creme eggs start to look a little bit more fried than hard boiled.Image

 

 

I lined my tin with tinfoil as I’d run out of baking paper. I don’t recommend this, particularly not for these brownies where the crème eggs stick to the tinfoil. Also worth noting here is that you must let the brownies cool, preferably in the fridge until stone cold. I was far too keen to start slicing and ended up making a mess of them.

They were still gorgeously fudgy and didn’t last very long in my house.

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The brownies are quite sweet, just as treats should be. If you’ve got a favourite brownie recipe you’d like to use then by all means go for it and just stick a couple of creme eggs in the top. I’m sure the results will be the just the same. You can’t really go wrong with brownies and creme eggs.

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Hot Cross Buns

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Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday I thought this was an appropriate recipe to post. I love hot cross buns. Fruity spicy things always appeal to me and I’d most definitely rather have one of these than a crème egg. You’ve probably been eating them for months but if you’re looking to try something new this weekend give them a go. Like a lighter scone, they’re perfect for breakfast, an afternoon pick me up, or an after dinner treat.

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For the buns

  • 300ml/ whole milk
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong white flour
  • optional:
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • Cardamom pods
  • Cloves
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 200g dried fruit e.g. sultanas (I used a mix of currants, raisings and sultanas)
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 2 oranges, zest only
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger

For the cross

  • 50g plain flour
  • 75g icing sugar
  • Apricot jam (to glaze)

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To make the buns:

Heat the milk gently, bringing it to the boil;

  • I like using a lot of spices when I cook so I infused my milk with some cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, you could also add some saffron.

Remove the milk from the heat and add the butter, stirring it in as it melts.

Allow to cool to hand temperature.

While that’s cooling mix zest your oranges and chop up the apple, put it all in a bowl with the mixed peel and dried fruit and spices (again, I like spices so added the mace, ginger and nutmeg, you could just leave it at cinnamon)Image

Put your dry ingredients, yeast, flour, salt and sugar, in a bowl.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk then add the egg.

Mix together to form a soft sticky dough, bring the dough together with your hands and knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes or until it’s smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm, leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

**Tip – leave your dough in a warm part of the kitchen as this will help the process**

Once risen remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 12 – 14 even pieces. Image

Roll the pieces into smooth balls and arrange them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave to prove for an hour.

The buns should be quite close together, they’ll stick together a little bit when backing but pulling apart the soft edges is so satisfying and makes them look all the more rustic.

 Heat the oven to 220C

 To make the cross mix 50g plain flour and 25g of icing sugar with some water until it forms a smooth paste.

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 Put the paste in a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each of your buns before placing in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

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Gently warm the apricot jam and when the buns come out of the oven, while they’re still warm, brush it over for a lovely glazed effect.

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Let them cool or eat them warm. I had mine for breakfast, toasted and topped with plenty of butter. Delicious.

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Happy Easter!