Hello there! Hope you all had a great Easter break! Easter celebrations here in the Duckie household were, naturally, happily full of food!
Easter marks the end of Lent and the end of Lenten fasting. Which for us means celebrating with meat and chocolate!
To mark this special occasion, I got up early on Saturday morning to prepare an Easter chocolate cake for our Easter feast that night. In the weeks leading up to Easter, I began my search for the perfect chocolate celebration cake. I eventually found a very yummy salted caramel chocolate cake recipe and when I saw it I knew that was going to be the one! I carefully prepared for the cake-making by doing a thorough search of my local supermarkets to find suitable Easter-themed chocolate items for decoration (and eating!).
|Caramel oozing everywhere, creating a sticky mess!|
Here are some more pictures of the festivities! First, some mini beef burgers:
Some pigs in blankets (sensing a miniature foods theme here?)
And finally I had also prepared some cherry chocolate truffles the night before, but we were so full that these were barely touched! They did taste very nice the next day though ;)
Hope you've all had your share of yummy Easter chocolates and feasts too! I'm off to work my way through the rest of my Easter chocolate stash ;)
Chocolate Caramel Easter Cake
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
115g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
225g light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs separated
150ml sour cream
200g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sea salt crystals
Chocolate bunnies and eggs, to decorate
For the caramel
450g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
115g salted butter
125ml thickened cream
2 tbsp sour cream
For the chocolate ganache
225g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
250ml thickened cream
Dessertspoon sea salt crystals (or to taste)
1. First, make the caramel. Pour 100ml water into a large saucepan. Add the sugar and golden syrup, gently cook until melted, then turn up the heat a bit and cook until the caramel is a dark golden brown colour. Swirl the pan occasionally to prevent sticking but to not stir (add a few drops of lemon juice if any big crystals are forming). Turn off the heat and carefully whisk in the butter, cream, and sour cream - it will bubble up quite high. Whisk until smooth, then leave to cool slightly set (you may need to put the caramel in the fridge for a bit to make it thicken up). You can make this up to 3 days in advance and chill in the fridge - just gently reheat until soft enough to spread before assembling the cake.
2. For the cake, heat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate, butter and milk in a large pan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, then beat in sugar and vanilla. Cool slightly.
3. Beat egg yolks and sour cream together, then mix into chocolate mixture, followed by the flour and baking powder.
4. Whisk egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the egg whites into the cake mix, then gently fold in the rest along with the sea salt.
5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 mins until firm to touch. Leave to cool for 20 mins, then remove from tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.
6. For ganache: heat chocolate and cream together over a low heat until chocolate has melted. Pour into a bowl to cool.
7. To assemble: slice cooled cake in half horizontally. Sandwich together with some of your caramel - you may not need it all, but be generous in order to balance the bittersweet ganache topping. Spread ganache over the top of the cake and sprinkle with some sea salt crystals if you like. Decorate with bunnies and eggs.
Cherry Chocolate Truffles
Recipe adapted from taste.com.au
200g dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup thickened cream
2 tbsp brandy
20 glace cherries
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1. Combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered on medium (50%) for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth. Stir in brandy. Cover. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm.
2. Line a baking tray or plate with baking paper. Using 1 teaspoon of chocolate mixture at a time, roll into balls.
3. Flatten balls using palm of hand. Wrap discs around cherries and form into a ball. Place cocoa into a shallow dish. Roll balls in cocoa to coat. Place on prepared tray or plate. Refrigerate until firm.