Cheesecake chocolate eggs

cheesecake-eggs-1

I think I’m a little obsessed with Easter eggs. It seems as though a good portion of my life at the moment is spent trawling the Easter aisles in shops, feasting my eyes on the multitude of eggs to choose from.

I realised I had a problem yesterday when I spent the majority of my lunch break wandering around the Warehouse thinking about what I might possibly buy for Easter gifts this year. And I loved it – though I left empty handed, it was a very satisfying lunch break!

As you might guess, much of this time ogling at eggs is spent pondering how I might be able to use them in my baking. I’m pleased to report that this pondering has paid off and I have a host of egg-related treats to share with you over the next week and a bit! I’m especially fond of today’s creation – cheesecake filled chocolate eggs!

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Creme Egg cupcakes

creme-egg-cupcakes-1

Easter’s such a great time of year – despite it being autumn the weather’s still great, chocolate tastes even better when it’s shaped like an egg and a decent break from work is on the horizon. Now it’s only two weeks until Easter Sunday it’s officially time to get some seasonal baking underway!

One of my very favourite things about Easter is Creme Eggs – they’re spectacular, gooey little orbs of happiness. I totally buy into their seasonality and indulge in quite a few over the months leading up to Easter and despite this they don’t taste any less amazing on Easter weekend than they did several weeks earlier.

So I wanted my first piece of Easter baking to reflect my love of all things Creme Egg – both the chocolate and filling. With this in mind I decided to make a batch of Creme Egg cupcakes!

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Double chocolate chunk biscuits

marvellous-creations-cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 225g butter, softened and cubed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Beanies by Cadbury)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  4. Add flour mixture to wet mixture in three additions, mixing well between each. Add chocolate and stir until evenly dispersed through mixture.
  5. Scoop out tablespoon-sized heaps of mixture and roll into balls. Place on baking tray and lightly flatten with fingers.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until biscuits centres are set but still soft – this can be tested by inserting a skewer into one biscuit. Allow to cool on baking tray for approx. five minutes before carefully transferring to cooling rack.

Vanilla white cake

vanilla-white-cake

Adapted from Sweetapolita

Ingredients

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk, split into ¼ cup and ¾ cup
  • 3 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 3 cups cake flour (instructions below)
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 170g butter, softened and cubed

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
  2. In a small bowl, combine egg white, ¼ cup milk and vanilla. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Make cake flour by removing 1 Tbsp of plain flour for every cup and replace each with 1 Tbsp cornflour. For this recipe, remove 3 Tbsp plain flour and add 3 Tbsp of cornflour. Sift several times to combine.
  4. Place all dry ingredients in large bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Add butter and remaining ¾ cup milk. Mix until just moistened. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix for approx. 90 seconds.
  6. Gradually add egg mixture in three additions. Mix well between each addition (approx. 20 seconds).
  7. Divide batter equally into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes before turning onto rack to cool completely.

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Soft salted pretzels

homemade-salted-pretzels-3

Before we even left on our American adventure we had a sizeable list of foods we had to try. Armed with tips from friends, blogs and iconic films we had a pretty good idea of what we absolutely must try at least once during our month in the USA. The list included turkey legs at the theme parks, cheese steaks in Philadelphia and New York City hot dogs.

One thing you might notice about this list? Everything’s packed with meat – not the most ideal eating for a vegetarian such as myself! I left these food experiences to Kevin (who as always happily obliged) while I worked my way through a smaller, sweeter list of American treats.

One of the very first things I ticked off the list were giant New York City pretzels. On the afternoon of our first day in the city we headed into Central Park, spotted a street vendor and bought a couple of warm, salted pretzels to munch on as we ambled around the park. I fell in love with them. Their doughyness, saltiness and warmth totally appealed and I ended up eating one at least once a day.

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