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CHOCOLATE EASTER EGGS

CHOCOLATE EGGS

Be creative with your Easter gifts this year by making your own chocolate eggs. The kids will love getting involved in making them – it’s messy and fun, but the end result is well worth it.

Makes 10-12

150g good quality dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces

2 tbsp golden syrup

2 tbsp cocoa powder

100g butter

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

225g digestive biscuits, finely crushed

To decorate:

Smarties or alternative sweets

Melted chocolate

Tissue paper

coloured ribbon

1 empty egg box

Place the chocolate, golden syrup, cocoa powder and butter in saucepan and gently heat until melted.

Stir in the orange zest and crushed digestives then mix well. Leave the mixture to cool for about 20-30 minutes, or until it is cool enough to shape and then firmly mould into neat eggs using your hands. Sit in an egg box or egg cups, loosely lined with cling film and put in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

The eggs can now be individually wrapped in tissue paper, tied with coloured ribbon, or you can decorate them with smarties or alternative sweets stuck on with some melted chocolate.

PS…

Additional flavours can also be added to the eggs; 50g sultanas, raisins or chopped dried apricots or 50g finely chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts or brazil nuts. Also, a splash of brandy or orange liqueur is rather tasty for the grown ups.

Ideal Home Show – Kids’ Recipes

After a fun day doing cookery demos at the London Ideal Home Show 2011, I thought I would post the recipes I did. They all went really well – with minimal hiccups (okay so the Ham and Sweetcorn Pancakes were a little too ‘golden’ but still tasted great!). The theme was ‘yummy Mummy’ so for anyone cooking for the kids and family, you’ll love these. In addition to the recipes below, I also did Italian Baked Meatballs http://jopratt.co.uk/archives/243

RAISIN AND ORANGE MUFFINS

These are great for a ‘food on the move’ snack when you’re in the car or out and about, as they shouldn’t crumble into a million pieces. The kids (and you) will love the juicy raisins and zesty orange flavour and you can feel happy knowing that they are tucking into a treat that isn’t totally unhealthy. This is also a brilliant recipe for the children to get involved in making.

makes 20 muffins

200g wholemeal self-raising flour (or 100g white and 100g wholemeal self-raising flour)
2 tsp baking powder
100g soft brown sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
125g raisins
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large eggs
250ml natural yoghurt
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/fan 170ºC/gas 5.

Place 20 fairy cake cases in a patty tin.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, soft brown sugar, orange zest and raisins. Add the oil, eggs and yoghurt and mix until just combined. Try not to over mix otherwise the muffins won’t rise as well when cooking. Spoon into the cake cases and scatter demerara sugar over each one.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins have risen and are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before eating warm, or to eat later, leave the muffins until cool and store in an airtight container for a couple of days. You can also freeze the muffins, and defrost at room temperature before eating.

CREAMY PEA SOUP WITH HAM AND SWEETCORN PANCAKES

This soup is a really simple and very quick recipe that’s ideal  for when you’re short of supplies but still want to serve a healthy homemade meal to the family. To accompany the soup the children will love the pancakes, especially if they help make them.

serves 2 adults and about 8 children’s portions

for the soup:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
800ml chicken or vegetable stock
500g frozen peas
100g cream cheese or mascarpone
handful of basil leaves (optional)

for the pancakes:

200g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs, beaten
100ml milk
300g tin of sweetcorn, drained
2-3 slices of ham, finely chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
olive oil

To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until it’s softened but not coloured. Add the stock, increase the heat and as soon as it is boiling, stir in the peas. Return to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese or mascarpone and season with a little salt and pepper if you wish. Stir in the basil leaves, if using.

Blitz the soup in a food processor, blender or using a hand blender until smooth.

To make the pancakes, beat together the flour, baking powder, eggs and milk until you have a smooth batter. Stir in the sweetcorn, ham, spring onion, and some seasoning.

Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan or pancake pan. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the pan and cook as many as will fit comfortably, for a couple of minutes until bubbles rise to the surface and the bases are golden. Carefully turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes, again until the bases are golden.

Keep warm while you continue with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as you go.

Serve the pancakes with the warm soup either in bowls or mugs.

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From My Blog

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  Packed full of festive spices, stem ginger and ginger wine this rich and fruity Christmas cake is a real treat. This recipe was originally featured in a feature I did for Waitrose Food magazine November 2015.  Makes 1 X 25cm round cake   700g mixed currants, raisins and sultanas 200g soft dried apricots, quartered […]

The Gorgeous Kitchen

Next time you are flying from or travelling through London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, then please do come and visit this stunning restaurant and room with a view. Order some of my recipes from our innovative menu’s using fresh, seasonal produce or relax with a drink at our stylish bar.