Childhood Easter egg hunts are the very stuff of dreams, no? They’re one of those experiences that are utterly magical when you’re small, and it’s the sort of magic that, sadly, cannot be replicated as an adult. Never again will dashing around the garden, crazy high on sugar and looking for your next hit, basket clutched in sticky hands, hold the same delight. Now I am unlikely to run for anything unless being chased by something genuinely dangerous, and I have the means to simply go out and buy chocolate of my own accord. These developments are welcome, but they sadly come at the expense of the exhilarating Easter egg hunts I once knew.
Just a quick post today with a very simple idea: Easter brownies for kids and adults. I love brownies and I go on about them on here all the time, but so far I have only posted one recipe, so now it’s time for me to start slowly expanding my archives. Here, I’ve taken one basic brownie recipe, inspired by the standard in my Leiths textbook, and have suggested two completely different variations. For kids, a lighter chocolate, pieces of toffee, and an assortment of bright eggs. For adults, rich and dark 85% chocolate, homemade marzipan, cherries, a hefty dollop of kirsch, and some white chocolate drizzle. I mean, in theory, one was for kids and one was for adults, but there’s nothing to stop adults eating the kid version, as James proved when he took them into the office. Er, maybe kids shouldn’t eat the adult version though, because they’ve got quite a bit of booze in them.
So it’s just a quick post today, because I have eaten a horrifying and wonderful amount of chocolate and I need to go and have a lie down. Whatever you are up to on this Sunday which is both sunny and stormy (somehow), I hope you’re having a lovely time and enjoying some shameless decadence.
Source: My base recipe is adapted from the one in the Leiths book, which I use on a daily basis.
Notes: This recipe will work best in a 20cm x 20cm square tin. They keep very well and freeze excellently (simply zap a frozen brownie in the micowave for 30 seconds in a chocolate deprivation emergency and enjoy a gooey treat). I always undercook my brownies so that they are fudgy and delicious and, when hot from the oven, almost spoonable, but feel free to leave yours in the oven for an extra 5 minutes if you are looking for something a little bit more robust.
The method is the same for both versions, with slightly different additions.
200g chocolate (60% for the kid version, 85% for the adult version)
225g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
90g plain flour for kid version, 120g plain flour for adult version
For kid version
2x 90g packets of little eggs (I have used Cadbury and Galaxy here, but anything will work), half left whole and half chopped roughly
3 Creme Eggs cut in half (I find a knife dipped in hot water best for this)
50g toffee pieces
For adult version
100g marzipan, cut into roughly 2cm chunks (I made my own but shop bought is fine – let me know if you want a home made marzipan recipe and I am happy to post one)
4 tbsp kirsch
100g pitted cherries, chopped roughly (I used tinned here)
50g white chocolate
- Break your chocolate into pieces and chop your butter into rough cubes and place them both in a glass or metal bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and leave them to melt, stirring occasionally. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Grease your square tin. I line the base too, because, you know, belt and braces, but if you have a good non-stick tin or one with a removable base then you can get away with not doing that.
- While your chocolate and butter melt, mix your eggs with your extra yolk and your vanilla, and weigh out your sugar. Chop and prep whichever additional ingredients you are using. When your chocolate and butter have completely melted, beat in your sugar (I use an electric hand whisk), followed by your eggs. Sift the flour and salt over the mixture and then beat that in too. For the kid version, stir through some chopped and whole eggs and half your toffee pieces. For the adult version, stir through your cherries, marzipan, and kirsch. Pour the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface, and bake for 25-30 mins or until done to your satisfaction. You want a crisp and crackly top, but remember they will firm up a bit as they cool.
- For the kid version, grab your brownies out of the oven 5 minutes before they are due to be done and press the Creme Egg halves and remaining mini eggs into the surface of the mixture, then continue to bake for 5 mins until they are slightly melted into the surface. For the adult version, melt the white chocolate while the brownies are cooking and let them cool for five minutes before drizzling it over the finished product.