Happy Easter!! It’s that time of year again when we over indulge, begin to lose layers of clothing, celebrate long weekends with copious amounts of alcohol & all become chocoholics. Isn’t it great?!
I am one who is guilty of all of the above. I begin to reluctantly lose layers of clothing as I fool myself into thinking its not that cold outside anymore, it’s Spring! I may or may not indulge in one too many ciders owing to the fact that it’s a bank holiday here in the UK, it’s simply British culture (if the sun were shining we’d even have the BBQ going!). Undeniably I consume far too may hot cross buns than I ought (breakfast, tea, snack… all are perfectly acceptable at Easter).
Already a chocoholic, I’m not alone at this time of year when I say that chocolate becomes a part of everyday life for at least a week. Purchasing bags of Mini Eggs & boxes of Creme Eggs in pure excitement as soon as they appear on the shelves of the supermarket. All ready to be tucked away for Easter only for them to mysteriously disappear in the run up (the good intentions were there).
Eggs are a traditional symbol of rebirth in Christianity & the story of Jesus is something that we’re taught from a young age at school. Although Easter during my school years also meant returning home with a hollowed out egg-shell, cheerfully given a face & filled with soil & cress seeds. This commenced the long agonising wait as my little egg head proudly sat upon the kitchen windowsill , slowly sprouting an afro-like bouffant of cress. Later these would end up in a buttery cress sandwich (anything could be used in a sandwich during my youth, I love sandwiches).
Even more thrilling than waiting for herbs to grow however was the classic Easter egg hunt. What child didn’t enjoy hunting for Easter eggs, especially when your mam forgets where she hid them all leaving you with a forgotten chocolate treat when all other eggs are long demolished.
Easter egg hunts weren’t all too challenging when you consider how much packaging was used to house a simple hollow chocolate egg back then, the challenge came with the little cardboard decorative eggs that would be filled with small treats (anybody else remember these?).
How I escaped diabetes bemuses me, as every year, without fail I would receive all of my favourite chocolates & treats. Although mam would swap any eggs that I wasn’t particularly fond of with one from the pile of eggs yet to be handed out to friends & family (sorry guys!).
My favourite egg growing up though was always my personalised Thornton’s egg. A hollow creamy milk chocolate egg, adorned with my name written in royal white icing (I was a bit of a nerd for anything personalised). Habitually I would always save this egg to be eaten last, where it would be halved & its edges nibbled leaving nothing but a chocolate name plaque.
As I grew older & my younger sister came along, evidently her favourite egg also became her personalised Thornton’s egg, except her personalised egg would not be of the creamy milk chocolate variety that I had grown to love but an exceptional white chocolate egg.
Even with the extensive selection of Easter eggs to purchase these days, there seem to be very few made out of white chocolate & with a tremendous sweet tooth, I tend to favour white chocolate over its milk or dark counterparts these days. I’ve attempted to make my own Easter eggs over the years but white chocolate is a difficult temptress to work with & soon gave up in favour a much more forgiving dark chocolate with more cocoa solids.
With a serious gap in the market for a good quality white chocolate egg, I find that I can indulge in far too much milk chocolate, so much so that I become bored & tired of it. Chocolate almost (almost..) loses its satisfaction & become resigned to a baking ingredient or becoming cornflake chocolate nests.
Not content with this, I’ve decided to restore the balance & create a cake that really showcases how fantastic white chocolate is. A cake that is not for the health conscious, the dark chocolate lovers or those without an unthinkable sweet tooth.
Three layers of light white chocolate sponge, sandwiched together with Mini Eggs & a perfectly creamy, indulgent white chocolate frosting. Topped with some Easter favourites, this truly is an Easter showstopper. Almost too pretty to slice & definitely too rich to warrant a second slice. Be creative & decorate with as much or as little chocolate of your choosing or even try colouring the frosting for even more of an impact. Personally, I love the pure creamy white colour of its star ingredient.
WHITE CHOCOLATE EASTER CAKE
(makes one 20cm layer cake)
For the cakes:
- 250g butter
- 140g white chocolate, chopped
- 150g caster sugar
- 100g light soft brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
For the frosting:
- 500g cream cheese
- 100g icing sugar
- 250g white chocolate
- 150g Mini Eggs
- 2 – 3 Creme Eggs
- 20g Mini Eggs
- Golden Eggs
- Grease & line x3 20cm sandwich cake tins
- In a large saucepan gently melt the butter & sugars together
- Once melted, remove from the heat & add in the white chocolate. Stir until all of the chocolate had melted
- Leave to cool slightly before adding the eggs & the vanilla to the chocolate mixture & beat to combine
- Sift over the flour & baking powder before folding through until well combined & no dry flour remains
- Divide the mix between the sandwich tins
- Bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes until the cake is golden brown & springs back when pressed
- Leave to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before releasing & cooling fully on a cooling rack
- To make the frosting beat the cream cheese together with the icing sugar until smooth
- Add in the melted white chocolate & mix until thoroughly combined
- Chill the frosting for 10 minutes before using
- When ready to assemble the cake, level the sponges if needed
- Divide the frosting between two seperate bowls
- Take the Mini Eggs, place in a food bad & smash with a rolling pin to break them up
- Add the Mini Eggs to half of the frosting & mix
- Use the Mini Egg frosting to sandwich the cakes together
- Take the remaining frosting & use to cover the sides & tops of the cake
- Decorate the top of the cake with the Creme Eggs, Mini Eggs & Golden Eggs