‘No celebration is complete without a sweet treat. Here are a few quick and easy chocolate recipes that require no baking that will be a hit for Easter. ‘
Carrot and date coconut balls
1 large carrot, grated
A pod of vanilla
2 cups oats
1/2 cup dates
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup mixed chopped almonds and Pistachios (optional)
A pinch of cinnamon
A grating of fresh nutmeg
A pinch of mixed spice
Grated zest of a tangerine
2 cups coconut for rolling the balls
In a saucepan, place the dates and grated carrot. Add 1/4 cup of water, the spices and grated citrus zest and allow the dates to break down on low heat. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, if necessary, and do not allow the mixture to dry up. When the dates are soft and mushy turn off the heat, mix and allow to cool.
In a large bowl place the oats, add the vanilla and then add the cooled down date and carrot mixture. Add the chopped nuts (optional) and mix until the consistency is even.
Use a melon scoop to measure out the balls. Shape them lightly in your hands and roll in coconut. Place on a tray covered with baking paper and, if you are making them last minute, place them in the freezer to set quickly.
1 tbsp honey
150g Cornflakes, organic and gluten-free
An assortment of mini Easter eggs
Quick and effective, these gluten and dairy free chocolate nests can be prepared last minute and frozen until needed, then decorated with mini Easter eggs.
I use gluten free organic cornflakes and dairy-free chocolate with no added sugar.
Break up the chocolate and place it in a large bowl with the butter and honey.
Place the bowl on a simmering bowl of water (bain marie) making sure it does not touch the water. Stir the ingredients until the chocolate and butter melt and it appears consistent.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add the cornflakes. Mix until the cornflakes are all coated with the chocolate mix.
Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cases, or line the whole tin and cavities with cling film.
Divide the mixture into the 12 spaces and use a spoon to press down and make an indentation in the middle of each chocolate nest.
Put in fridge for a couple of hours. Peel off the muffin cases or cling film. Arrange the nests on a decorative plate and place the mini Easter eggs in each nest.
2 packets gluten-free, plain biscuits
4 tbsp cocoa powder
100g crushed hazelnuts
50g whole hazelnuts
2 tbsp ground hazelnuts
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brandy/rum
100ml coconut milk
200g melting chocolate
4 tbsp coconut
Our Easter meal nearly always finishes with Baci, either the delicious store-bought ones all the way from Perugia, or homemade ones made with condensed milk. My recipe has reduced sugar and reduced fat and contains no condensed milk.
They still taste marvellous and you would not know the difference. They are also gluten-free!
Crush the biscuits very finely. In a bowl, mix together the biscuits, cocoa powder, crushed hazelnuts, coconut, honey, rum and skimmed milk. Mix well.
Bind the mixture into very small balls. On top of every ball put a hazelnut.
Leave to set for four hours before you cover using the melting chocolate. Cool down quickly and allow to set in the freezer.
135 g butter
300 g dark chocolate
4 tbsp agave
250 g Digestive biscuits
100 g marshmallows
100g Smarties, or M&Ms
100g milk chocolate
This mix of chocolate, marshmallows and biscuits is a firm favourite with children and a great occasional treat.
Melt the butter, dark chocolate, carob syrup and golden syrup in a saucepan.
Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush them roughly with a rolling pin, so that there is a mix of pieces and crumbs.
Mix the biscuit pieces into the melted chocolate mixture, and then add the marshmallows and mix.
Tip into a tin foil tray (24cm / 9 inch square) lined with cling film. Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle over the top. Scatter the Smarties or M&Ms over the surface, followed by the chocolate confetti.
Place in freezer if using on the same day (or overnight in the fridge).
Cut into fingers before serving.
Lea’s Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea and in most bookshops
Lea’s Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books
Trade Enquiries: Rimus Group for President Butter