Happy Easter! Chocolate Egg Inspiration!

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I guess that it’s been a rather long hiatus. Excuses, excuses abound, but you’re not here to read those. You’re here to see the goods! And in today’s case, they are totally worth it: vegan easter eggs filled with marshmallow or peanut butter fillings, or solid fruit-and-nut eggs.

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The first Easter after I went vegan was hard, because (as I think I mentioned before) I love seasonal candy. Take cheap jelly beans, make them egg shaped and speckled, and I’m sold. I loved Reese’s eggs and those malted-milk Robin Eggs, too. I’m still working on a malt ball substitute, but the eggs I present to you today are a huge hit with my family – I make several dozen to give away.

In order to make these, I had to use a mould, which I bought from Bulk Barn several years ago. As I wrap the completed chocolates in foil and store them in the refrigerator, I didn’t brother to temper the chocolate after melting it. I just used vegan semisweet chocolate chips and melted them in the microwave.

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The recipes below fall more into the “unrecipe” category, as the amounts are suggestions; the number of eggs will depend on the size and shape of moulds you use. Mine were the same general shape as a chicken’s egg (but halved).

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Finally, the marshmallow recipe that I used produces far more than the filling required for one dozen eggs (I moulded six chocolate shells, popped them out and moulded six more to fill all at the same time). I  experimented with making a vein version of Peeps, those chick shaped, sugar coated marshmallows. They are in some of my photos above, but they look more like chick-elephant hybrids. The rest of the marshmallows I made into traditional cylindrical mallows. To get the pastel fine sugar, I just pureed coloured sanding sugar in a spice grinder until it was a coarse powder.

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Ok, so here goes:

Chocolate Easter Eggs

A collection of original recipes by Agent Minty

Marshmallow Eggs (Vegan version of Russell Stover Eggs)

Makes 12 or more eggs, plus extra marshmallow filling

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave and use 1-2 tsp per cavity to line walls.Freeze for 5 minutes.
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  2. Check to see if chocolate is thick enough. If you can see light through, add another thin later and chill for another 5 minutes or more.
  3. Prepare marshmallow filling according to recipe and transfer 2 cups to a large piping bag with no tip.
  4. Dollop about 2 Tbsp of rolling per moulded egg.
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  5. Using a damp fingertip, smooth top of marshmallow down to better fill egg mould.
  6. Chill for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Re-melt chocolate and smooth chocolate over marshmallows, paying special attention to edges of the first half shell.
  8. Chill for at least 20 minutes before removing from mould and wrapping with foil.
  9. Optional: Pipe out remaining marshmallow mix onto sheets of parchment paper coated with fine sugar. Toss with more sugar. If cutting long tubes into short marshmallows, let cure for at least 30 minutes before cutting with scissors. Cure, uncovered, overnight for best texture.

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Peanut Butter Eggs (Vegan version of Reese Eggs)

Makes 20 or more eggs. Scale as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2-3 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 3/8 tsp salt (if the peanut butter you use has salt, cut to 1/8 tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave and use 1-2 tsp per cavity to line walls.Freeze for 5 minutes. Coat a second time if needed.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Press 2-3 tsp of filling into each cavity and top with more melted chocolate.
  4. Store excess peanut butter filling in fridge between uses.
  5. Chill for at least 20 minutes before removing from mould and wrapping with foil.
  6. Repeat steps 1 and 3 to make more eggs as desired.

 

Fruit and Nut Eggs (Vegan version of Cadbury Fruit&Nut Bar)

Makes 8 or more eggs. Scale as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbsp blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1/4 – 5Tbsp raisins

Instructions:

  1. Toast slivered almonds for about five minutes until light brown.
  2. Coarsely chop raisins and toasted almonds.
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  3. Melt chocolate and stir in chopped raisins and almonds.
  4. Fill moulds. Tap on a counter to remove air bubbles.
  5. Chill at least 30 minutes before removing from mould and wrapping with foil.
  6. Re-warm chocolate mixture briefly if needed to fill more moulds.

 

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Happy Easter!

Triple Cookie-Splosion Ice Cream

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Wow, it’s been hot around here. Sleeping with no sheets and wet hair to cool down, going through a litre of water on bike rides, running through the garden hose’s spray like a little kid kind of days.

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You know how they say not to grocery shop hungry? Well, you also shouldn’t bike home on a hot day past an Oreo McFlurry billboard. Two days in a row. Or you’ll start getting ideas. This delicious monster came about from my fantasizing while finishing my ride home.

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The ice cream base is your classic nostalgia white vanilla cream, but the three cookie types – oreos, peanut butter cookie dough, and spekuloos – balance it nicely and add enough crunch and chew to it. The spekuloos do double duty by also adding a mild bit of nutmeg-ish spice. Spekuloos are a Dutch crunchy store-bought cookie, also called windmill, Lotus, or Biscoff cookies. If you can’t find any, use store-bought gingersnaps. It’s important to use ones that are a bit “greasy”, as a low-fat or digestive cookie would go soggy in the ice cream.

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Unlike my previous recipe, this ice cream is not instantaneous – the cooked mixture needs to cool completely before freezing, and then the churned mixture should be frozen for several hours before scooping. However, it scoops beautifully straight out of the freezer, and has a wonderfully soft texture. It’s well worth the wait.

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Triple Cookie-Splosion Ice Cream

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

Ice cream base:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup almond milk, divided
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 Tbsp of alcohol (I chose half vodka and half amaretto)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cookie parts:

  • 3 large spekuloos cookies
  • 4 oreo cookies
  • 2 Tbsp margarine
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • pinch of salt, two pinches if peanut butter is unsalted.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped-up chocolate chips

Instructions:

Make ice cream base:

  1. Whisk together sugar, salt, coconut milk, and 1 1/2 cup almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once sugar has dissolved, bring to a medium simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together corn starch and 1/4 cup almond milk in a small cup.
  4. Pour corn starch mixture into simmering base, while whisking continuously.
  5. Rinse cup with remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk and pour into the base.
  6. Whisk continuously while bringing back to a simmer.
  7. Cook while whisking for two more minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and cool at boom temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  9. Stir in alcohol and vanilla.
  10. Transfer to a bowl or similar and cover surface of cream directly with plastic wrap.
  11. Refrigerate overnight or for at least three hours until completely cold.
  12. Transfer to your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Prepare add-ins:

  1. Chop up cookies into small bite-sized pieces (about 1 cm across) and place in the freezer to chill for a few minutes while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Cream together all remaining ingredients except flour and chocolate chips. I used a soup spoon in a small bowl.
  3. Stir in flour and then chocolate chips.
  4. Form cookie dough into finger-thick logs and place in refrigerator to chill while ice cream is mixing.
  5. Once ice cream base is frozen, plop approximately 1/5 of it into your storage container, and sprinkle with 1/5 of the chopped cookies. Tear off four or five short pieces of cookie dough and add on top.
  6. Continue filling container by alternating ice cream and cookies, gently mixing a few times with a butter knife to ensure filling is more randomly distributed here. I found I only used half of the cookie dough, but you may use more based on your preferences.
  7. Freeze for at least three hours before serving.

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