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!
Here’s something to make a bit of a change from Simnel Cake and Hot Cross Buns – these delicious cookies are from Greece, and are traditionally baked at Easter. There are loads of recipes out there on the web (many of them for HUGE quantities!), all very subtle variations on a theme – this is my version, based on those.
Having never tried an authentic version, I have no idea how close they are to tasting just right, but the boys love them, and that’s all that matters in our house! It’s quite hard to describe how they taste – the flavour is a lot like shortbread, but the texture is different – more cakey I guess, because of the eggs. They are utterly addictive though – so let this be a warning to you!
From what I can gather, it’s traditional to form them in all kinds of different shapes – rings, twists, snakes, balls and more. I chose to do a curly S shape and also a twisty one, but if your kids are joining in with the making you can go for any shape you like. Just don’t make the biscuits too thick or they wont cook through and the texture will be affected.
This quantity of dough makes about 50 biscuits – which sounds like a lot, I guess, but they keep for 4-5 days in an air-tight container, and we didn’t seem to have any trouble eating up a batch in a few days… If you want to make just a few, you could always try dividing by 2 or 3..
- 225g softened butter
- 225g granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 650g plain white flour
- 150g rice flour/fine cornmeal (semolina) (or if you don’t have either of these to hand, you can use 800g plain flour).
- 1-2 eggs, beaten, for the glaze
- sugar and sesame seeds for topping
- Preheat your oven to 190C, Gas Mark 5, 375F, and line baking sheets with baking parchment – you’ll need around four, or two in two batches.
- Beat together the butter & sugar until it is soft and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat thoroughly after each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir gently until thoroughly mixed. You should have a soft dough, which isn’t too sticky to handle. Depending on the size of the eggs you used, you might need to use a little more plain flour if the dough is sticky at this stage.
- With lightly floured hands, break off pieces of dough about the size of golf ball, and roll out to make a shape a little longer & fatter than a standard pencil. To make the twist, fold the dough in half and twist the 2 sections around each other. To make the S shape, just roll each end in opposite directions! Don’t I make it sound simple….!
- Lay the biscuits on the baking tray, leaving space for them to grow a bit.
- Brush the biscuits with beaten egg to glaze, then sprinkle with sugar or sesame seeds.
- Bake in your preheated oven until they are golden brown. This takes about 15 minutes in my fan assisted oven.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack. Then pack in an airtight box to store.
These are delicious with mid-morning cuppa, and I think they’d be fabulous for spring and summer picnics, because they pack up really easily, and they’re not too messy…
Hope you enjoy these – and Happy Easter everybody. xx