I love chocolate, I love eating it and cooking with it. I even have a hand cream that makes my hands smell of chocolate that sometimes tricks me into believing I have had my chocolate fix for the morning without actually consuming any – this is a bonus as it means that I can eat more chocolate later! So chocolate is always good, but when combined with any sort of cake it becomes better and I seem unable to put my finger on why this is. It is the reason I tend toward homemade edible gifts at Christmas and Easter. This year I have made ‘Easter Scotch Eggs’ for family and friends. I made these for the first time last year and they went down so well that they had to have an encore. I mean the Creme Eggs were practically begging from the pantry to be snuggled in a chocolate-rich mixture to keep them warm in the unseasonably cold weather we have been experiencing recently.
Essentially what they are is a mini Creme Egg or equivalents encased in brownie mixed with buttercream and covered in crushed ginger biscuit or desiccated coconut (or sprinkles if you like). You don’t even have to bake: if you really want to cheat you could buy shop-bought brownie and buttercream. Part of the attraction of these for me though is making the brownie and buttercream. Children could put them together. That said, my oldest is only 5 and I doubt he would be able to resist licking his fingers during the process and as these were destined to be gifts, the kids made Easter cards and received a running commentary of the process. Needless to say, the boys are both desperate to help make some so they are already on our list for next year, but in a smaller batch so they can help.
To make this recipe you will need:
For the brownie
- 300g butter or margarine
- 300g dark chocolate
- 450g caster sugar
- 5 eggs
- 200g plain flour
- 1tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 or 2tsp of ground cinnamon – you could omit this or use another flavouring if you like.
For the buttercream: the below amounts are guidelines as I never measure exactly, it just goes in the mixer. However, the buttercream does need to be quite rigid to hold the crushed brownie together around the Creme Egg.
- 175g butter or margarine
- 350-400g icing sugar
- 2tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 2tsp cinnamon
For the coating
- Crushed ginger biscuits, desiccated coconut, sprinkles or even plain cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 180ºc fan and line a baking tin (I used 28cm x20cm) with greaseproof paper.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan over a low heat.
- Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together until they become thick and creamy.
- Once the chocolate mixture is fully melted, remove it from the heat and beat it into the egg mixture.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon and the salt together, add it to the chocolate, egg mixture and beat until smooth.
- Pour it into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should have formed a crust and the brownie shouldn’t wobble when it is ready.
- Leave to cool completely while preparing the buttercream.
- Cream the butter/margarine with the icing sugar, cocoa and cinnamon until smooth.
- Crumble the cooled brownie and add it to the buttercream bowl and gently mix it together (I did this by hand). Place the crushed biscuit (or alternative) on a small plate.
- Unwrap the Creme Eggs and cover them in the brownie-buttercream mixture and roll into a ball. Then roll them in your covering of choice.
- Repeat until all the brownie-buttercream mixture is gone – for me it covered 2 large Creme Eggs and 18 mini ones.
For these I do recommend using mini Creme Eggs or Caramel Eggs because the large ones do make a very big scotch egg, especially if you want to cover them in a thick layer of brownie like I do. However, the larges one look good when sliced in half as it is easier to expose the fondant yolk and if you don’t intend to have any other calories that day, why not?!