A super-fast recipe just in case you don’t have enough chocolate in your life this weekend. Fun to make with kids too. If you want to make it gluten-free then you can use gluten-free digestives – they work really well.
Easter Crunch Cake
- 200g 70% chocolate
- 100g butter
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 200g mini eggs
- 50g dried cherries (optional)
- Line a 20cm x 20cm (8inch) baking tray (I use one with a loose bottom which is really helpful when getting the cake out of the tin) with foil or baking parchment – the liner needs to come up the sides of the tin.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and put into a heatproof bowl with the butter. Put the bowl over a pan of water on a very low simmer and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth a glossy. Take the bowl off the pan and leave to cool for a minute or two.
- Put the biscuits in a large bowl and smash them up, using the end of a rolling pin. Alternatively put the biscuits in a strong polythene bag, tie closed and bash with a rolling pin. Don’t reduce the biscuits to crumbs, you need smaller and larger pieces.
- Stir the syrup and cocoa powder into the melted chocolate, along with the broken biscuits and the 3/4 of the mini eggs and the cherries (if using).
- Put the mixture into your prepared baking tray and press down. Sprinkle the remaining mini-eggs over the cake and press them down a little.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into 12-16 pieces. You will need a very sharp knife, so watch your fingers.
- This will keep for up to a week in an airtight tin. I tend to keep it in the fridge so it stays fairly firm.
Happy Easter to you all!
Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer…Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.
(How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1966)
My last Christmas recipe for you before I take a blogging break for the next few days. But it’s a real goodie, I promise, and so quick and easy to do. These Christmas-spiced muffins, scented with the warm flavours of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice and packed with the deliciously sweet chunks of marzipan and sharp fruitiness of currants, really hit the spot if you are a fan of a Christmas stollen but haven’t got round to making/buying one. They’re also brilliant if you love those rich spicy flavours of Christmas, but fancy something a bit lighter for festive breakfasts and coffee-time treats.
If you don’t have marzipan spare, or you don’t like marzipan (NO!) you can add more currants, or other dried fruit, or some almonds maybe, and up the sugar content to 75g. I have included a list of spices to add – but another option is to use a level teaspoon of a pre-mixed Speculaas spice mix, or a level teaspoon of the leftover spice mix from my recipe for speculaas cookies.
If you want to line the muffin tin with baking parchment rather than muffin cases – here’s how to do it.
Spiced Christmas Muffins with Marzipan
- 250g self raising wholemeal flour (you can use white flour if you prefer, or a mix of the two)
- 50g butter
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- pinch of ground coriander
- pinch of ground allspice
- pinch ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g granulated sugar (75g if you aren’t using the marzipan)
- 100g currants
- 50-100g marzipan (whatever you have spare is fine), cut into small 1cm cubes
- 2 eggs
- 250ml buttermilk (or half and half plain milk and natural yogurt, or even just milk will do)
- handful of flaked almonds for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190C (170C fan). Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases.
- Rub the butter into the flour until you have a fine sandy mixture. You can do this by hand or machine, either is fine.
- Stir in the baking powder, spices, sugar, currants and marzipan chunks.
- Measure the buttermilk (or equivalent) into a jug and then beat in 2 eggs.
- Add the liquid mixture to the flour and stir very gently until just combined. Don’t beat it, and don’t worry if it’s a bit lumpy – the key to a good light muffin is to stir as little as possible.
- Fill the muffin cases, sprinkle with the flaked almonds and then bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are firm to the touch and just lightly browned.
- These are best eaten while fresh and warm from the oven. If you want to eat them for breakfast you can prepare the dry ingredients and the wet (keep the milk/egg mix in the fridge), and line the muffin tin the night before, then they only take about 30 minutes to get ready in the morning. They also freeze well and can be reheated after freezing by wrapping them in foil and putting them in a hot oven (Gas 7/220C (200C fan) for 5-7 minutes.
Hope you enjoy these over the Christmas holidays! Have a wonderful time. 🙂