Easter is celebrated annually as a remembrance of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The festival is celebrated as a day of revival, rejuvenation and calls for a delicious meal shared with family and friends. Easter eggs are an important part of the day’s celebrations. The story goes that the eggs represent Christ’s emergence from the tomb. Decorating eggs as an Easter tradition dates back to the 13th century. The eggs also have a symbolic relevance as they are forbidden food during Lent (40 days before Easter, which begins on Ash Wednesday) and people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting.
A traditional Easter meal includes dishes such as lamb pie, classic devilled eggs, au gratin potatoes, Easter breakfast casserole, hot cross buns and more. In India, an Easter spread usually features popular regional dishes along with traditional European treats all of which are believed to strengthen friendships. In India, an Easter menu would often feature popular regional dishes along with traditional European treats.
Easter Eggs and their variations
The most popular type of Easter eggs are made of chocolate and candy. The outer shell of the egg is made of decadent chocolate and can be filled with various candy, mousse, ganache or brownie. Egg variations can also be made using marzipan. Chefs around the world have also begun using cheese as a filling in Easter eggs. Matcha or powdered green tea too can be used to make Easter eggs along with other bakery products.
How to make classic Easter eggs
Polish the inside of each mould with a piece of paper kitchen towel. Then dampen a piece of kitchen towel with a little flavourless oil, sunflower will do, and polish the inside of each mould with the oil. This ensures a highly polished finish to the chocolate and also helps to release the set chocolate from the mould.
• It is essential to temper the chocolate – this is a method of heating and cooling chocolate for coating or moulding. The heating and cooling separates the cocoa solids and ensures the set chocolate will have a high gloss and smooth finish. To temper the chocolate you will need a cooking thermometer, a heat-proof bowl and saucepan of hot water. Break the chocolate into small, even pieces and melt gently in a bowl over a saucepan of hot, not boiling, water. Place the thermometer into the chocolate and heat until it reaches 43C/110F. Take off the heat and cool to 35C/95F. Now it is ready to use.
• Pour spoonfuls of the chocolate into each mould. Swirl around until coated, use the pastry brush if necessary and then remove excess chocolate. Leave to set, flat side down on a surface, like a large tray, covered in greaseproof paper. Fill each mould in the same way. You will have to repeat the process another two or three times to build up a good layer of chocolate in each mould. Wait for about 20 minutes for the chocolate to set in between layers. Draw a clean ruler or the flat edge of a knife across the chocolate to ensure a clean edge every time you add a layer. This is important so that the two sides of the egg stick together evenly. Leave to chill in a larder or cool place until set.
• Carefully un-mould the egg halves and place on a clean surface taking care not to handle the chocolate too much as it will start to melt from the heat of your hands.
• To stick the two edges of an egg together, heat a baking sheet and then place the edges of two halves on it for a few seconds, then gently push the edges together.
• To decorate the eggs, sit an egg in a glass or small cup and use as a stand while you pipe your desired message on the egg.
By Sabyasachi Gorai, chef, Mineority by Saby
Healthy Matcha Mousse Chocolate Easter Egg (Vegan and Gluten Free)
For the chocolate egg shell:
400g baking chocolate
¼ cup maple syrup/honey/powdered xylitol/erythritol
For the matcha mousse:
¾ cup cashew/almond milk
½ cup cashews (soaked over night)
¼ cup coconut oil
25g cacao butter
2-3 tbsp maple syrup/honey/powdered xylitol/erythritol
1-2 tbsp Tea Trunk Pure Matcha Green Tea
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
For the chocolate shell,
* Melt baking chocolate using a double boiler. Add sweetener of choice
* Remove when it’s slightly thick but still easy to pour
* Pour this chocolate into one large mould for Easter eggs uptil the brim and do not let it overflow
* Place the moulds in your freezer for around 15 mins. Once it’s reached the right thickness (1 cm), remove from the freezer
For the matcha mousse,
* Blend all of your ingredients for your matcha mousse in a high speed blender
* Remove the egg moulds from the fridge and pour the mousse into the shells until almost full
* Place the filled egg shells into the fridge to set for about 3 hours
* Melt some baking chocolate to a same consistency as in Step 1
* Pour this into a piping bag
* Twist the bag and let it cool, but the consistency should be still easy to pour
* Remove your moulds from the fridge and carefully join the two halves of the chocolate shell
* Start piping around the outer rings of both eggs before quickly closing them together with a firm push
* Place this assembled egg in the freezer for 5 minutes and then remove it
Your Matcha Mousse Chocolate Easter Egg is ready to be served.
— By Snigdha Manchanda, founder of TeaTrunk
Other sweet and savouries you can try:
* Pot Pasta with Olives And Mushrooms
2 Cups Del Monte Whole Wheat Spaghetti
4-5 Mushrooms (Sliced)
6 Cloves Garlic (Chopped)
1 & 1/2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 Drops Lemon Juice
1 & 1/2 TSP Red Pepper (Crushed)
Some salt to taste
Few Olives for garnish
Boil the velvety Del Monte Whole Wheat Spaghetti according to the package directions. Add a little olive oil and a pinch of salt to prevent the pasta from sticking.
While the pasta is boiling you can grill whole tomatoes and dice them up. Just keep checking the pasta from time to time to make sure it’s not sticking.
Next, heat oil in a pan and toss in chopped garlic and mushrooms with crushed red pepper.
Add roasted and diced tomatoes and cook till they are mushy.
Season the now cooked sauce with salt and a dash of lemon juice.
* Hershey’s Classic Gingerbread Mugcakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 90 seconds
1 cup Refined flour
½ cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa Powder
¼ cup Sugar
75 ml HERSHEY’S Chocolate Flavored Syrup
½ cup Butter, melted
1 tbsp Flax seed powder
1 tbsp Yogurt
½ tsp Baking soda
½ tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Gingerbread spice (anise, mace, ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon in equal quantities)
Add in refined flour, Hershey’s Cocoa Powder and sugar in a bowl
Also add in butter, Hershey’s Chocolate Flavored Syrup, flax seed powder and yogurt
Mix all the ingredients well
Now add in gingerbread spice powder, baking powder and baking soda and mix thoroughly.
Take 4 large mugs and fill half the mug (to stop it from overflowing in the microwave) with prepared batter
Centre the mugs in the middle of the microwave and cook on high for 90 seconds, or until it has stopped rising and is firm to the touch. Don’t forget to watch it rise as it cooks!
Remove and serve warm.
— By Chef Ranveer Brar, a creation for Hershey India
* Hot Cross Buns
Recipe for 30 buns of 75 gms each
For the dough:
1 Kg flour (maida)
600 ml full-fat milk
100 gms butter
15 gms gluten
10 gms bread improver
2 teaspoon salt
150 gm sugar
150 gm raisins
15 gms dry yeast
100 gms mixed orange peel
2 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
2 eggs (beaten)
1 zest orange
For the Cross
50 gms flour
For the glaze
6 tablespoon apricot jam (or any jam available)
Boil milk in a saucepan and add butter and set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast, gluten, and bread improver). Start kneading the dough by adding milk butter mix and beaten eggs.
Once the dough is properly knitted add raisins, oranges and mixed peels and cinnamon powder. Once the dough is all mixed, oil the bowl and keep the dough for proofing. Once the dough is of double sized divide into 75 gms ball and set proofing again.
Add water to the flour and the flour-dusted table knit the dough and cut strips and place over the bun to create a cross. Bake at 200 degree celsius for 25 minutes.
Method for the glaze
Gently heat apricot jam to melt while the jam is still warm brush over the top of the hot buns and leave it to cool.
* Easter Fruit Cake
Flour 300 gms
Baking powder 7.5 gms
Castor sugar 215 gms
Butter 200 gms
Vanilla essence 5 gms
Apricot jam 15 gms
Cinnamon 1 gm
Nutmeg powder 1 gm
Clove 2 pieces
Cardamom 2 pieces
Tutti fruity 150 gms
Orange peels 150 gms
Figs 150 gms
Cranberry 100 gms
In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well (flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, ground cardamom, ground cloves). In a planetary mixture, whisk butter and sugar until creamy.
Once the butter and sugar are mixed add eggs one by one and mix. Once the eggs are incorporated with butter and sugar add dry ingredients and mix well to form the cake batter. Now add vanilla essence, raisins, white cranberry, orange peel, tutty fruity and figs to the batter.
Once all the ingredients are mixed properly then set aside. Grease the mould and pour the batter and bake at 200 celsius for 45 minutes. It’s the season to rejoice and indulge in the celebration of life, death, rebirth and survival by spreading the happiness through well-loved Easter foods.
— By Olivier Vincenot, Corporate Chef at Foodhall and Sahil Wadhwa, Director, Wadhwa Bakers