It’s Easter Monday! This means two things: it’s a bank holiday and it’s probably raining. For once the latter of these doesn’t bother me as I decided to work and take the two days (I was working on Friday as well) off at another point when I’m actually going to do something more than stuff myself with chocolate. Actually, I can do (and am doing) that in the office. In fact I’m currently eating a rocky road muffin (the keyboard’s getting a bit messy) — the recipe for which will be up here on Thursday from lunchtime.
Easter – the only holiday in the calendar entirely dedicated to chocolate and fluffy baby animals* – is one of my favourite holidays for food. And by this I, of course, mean chocolate. I love chocolate and spent most of Easter Sunday eating various chocolate things: Easter Egg (a bit of a dark mint Green and Blacks and a couple of Hotel Chocolat Dark Ginger Egglets, in case you were wondering), half a chocolate/rocky road muffin (making sure they weren’t poisonous before bringing them into the office, obviously), a slice of chocolate tart (as part of dinner), and the obligatory – a chocolate nest.
Chocolate nests are, in my eyes, an integral part of Easter. Partly because there’s something quite childish about them, but ultimately because they are just very satisfying to eat. And I know they’re not technically baking (as you don’t actually bake them), but as I don’t really see what other category they come under it will do for now.
200g half decent milk chocolate
40g (or there about, I didn’t really measure mine) butter
5 or 6 shredded wheat ‘pillows’ – don’t crush until they go in (you can also use cornflakes, but they don’t make for such a good texture)
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
Mini eggs to decorate
Spotty bun cases (optional, but it adds to the childishness)
These are really simple to make, and eggcellent (sorry) for making with kids.
1. Break up the chocolate and heat in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
2. Once (and only once) the chocolate has melted add the butter, stir it in and then do likewise with the golden syrup.
3. Stir gently until this forms a glossy, runny liquid.
4. Crush in the shredded wheat ‘pillows’ one by one and mix until they are fully coated in chocolate — you might not need the sixth, depending on how runny your mixture is.
5. Spoon into bun cases and add a few eggs on top to decorate.
These nest will take a while to set, and unlike those made using just chocolate they will not set solidly. This slight softness to them gives them an almost fudge-like quality too, making them even more addictive than their pure chocolate counterparts. You can also add in raisins/sultanas alongside the shredded wheats, if you feel you need a little fruit in there. I’ve also heard of some people adding a splash of brandy in as well, although I cannot vouch for the results as I have never tried it.
Once cooled, pretend you are under the age of ten and munch them like you’ve not eaten a single crumb of chocolate all weekend.
*chickens are not just animals, I know, but ‘fluffy baby creatures from the kingdom animalia’ sounds a little too biologically correct for this blog… Oh and there’s the whole Christian and Pagan ceremonies as well…