Finding dairy-free chocolate was one of our most difficult tasks. Other than Whittaker’s 50% Dark Chocolate (or 72% Ghana) we were pretty limited for options. However, I have managed to find a new brand called ‘Sweet William’ which offers a larger range of chocolate which are all dairy, gluten, and nut free! I grabbed a bar of the white chocolate for this recipe and the taste is really pleasant - obviously not as sweet or creamy as the original recipe but actually tastes surprisingly nutty considering it's nut free.
These recipes use a gluten free flour mix. We will be sharing our gluten free flour mix in a future blog post however in the mean time we recommend using rice flour (brown/white) perhaps in combination with a little tapioca flour or quinoa. Or, there is a gluten-free all purpose flour which most common supermarkets stock.
For me, growing up Easter was all about the annual family Easter egg hunt, having hot cross buns for breakfast and enjoying an element of chocolate with every meal. While gluten free, dairy free hot cross buns are still on our list of recipes to tackle, we have managed to crack 2 baking recipes!
The first is a delicious brownie nest with an overflowing chocolate easter egg. We wanted to use brownie as the nest of this recipe as brownie has a richness and decadence which cakes cannot compete with. The easter eggs which decorate the cake were all made by hand. The arranging of the cake is definitely the most enjoyable and creative part - the kids would certainly enjoy this.
This recipe is a layering system of brownie, chocolate ganache, and decoration! So check out the recipe below:
To make the chocolate easter eggs:
To make the small, solid Easter eggs, fill the small moulds completely with the remaining white chocolate (both coloured and uncoloured). Place the moulds face up (so the chocolate DOESN’T drip out) in the freezer. Leave overnight.
Once the large egg moulds have been in the freezer for 1 hour, melt the dark chocolate over a pot of boiling water. Removing the large egg moulds from the freezer, brush the insides of the moulds with most of the melted dark chocolate creating a thick layer. Place the eggs back in the freezer face up overnight. Save the remaining dark chocolate in the fridge, you will need this to arrange and compose the cake tomorrow.
* I found mine at Dante’s here in Cambridge, Spotlight supposedly stocks them too!
Once the eggs have frozen well, gently pop them out from their moulds and keep in the freezer until decorating.
To make the brownie nest:
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Place a pot of water on the stovetop.
2. Add the coconut oil and dark chocolate to a large glass bowl. Place the bowl over the pot of water and heat until the oil and chocolate have melted.
3. Add the granulated and brown sugars, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to combine.
4. Whisk in the eggs until fully combined.
5. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in with a spatula
6. Line a 9-inch (23-cm) round baking pan with parchment paper and grease with a small pastry brush with a little coconut oil. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
7. Bake for 35 minutes (it will be a little jiggly in the middle still). Once cooked, remove from oven and leave to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edge and turn the brownie out onto a plate. The middle of the brownie will sink slightly (forming a nest-like shape).
8. Place the brownie in the fridge to cool completely.
To make the chocolate ganache:
To arrange and decorate:
Once your components are prepared, here comes the fun part! Remove the brownie nest from the fridge and the eggs from the freezer. Warm the reserved dark chocolate from the Easter eggs and melt this over the stove. Using a small spatula or teaspoon, spoon a small amount of melted dark chocolate into the centre of the nest. Place one half of the large egg into the chocolate and prop if required to stay up. Adding a little more chocolate if required, add the second half (slightly displaced from the other). At this stage, I popped the brownie nest and egg back into the fridge so it didn’t begin to melt in my hands and so the chocolate holding the eggs up could harden. Next, fill the centre of the large eggs with mini marshmallows, candy decorations, sprinkles, and mini easter eggs. Finish the nest with coconut shavings, surrounding the bottom of the large eggs to conceal the chocolate holding them on. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge until serving!
Our second recipe is a simple vanilla cupcake with an easter-spiced ‘butter’cream topped with a homemade easter egg. This is an easy and simple recipe to whip up before an Easter lunch.
For the vanilla cupcake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium mixing bowl combine oil and sugar.
3. Add eggs and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for one minute. Add flour, salt, baking powder, dairy-free milk, and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed for one minute.
4. Spoon batter evenly into cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the centre springs back when touched and cupcakes are very lightly browned.
5. Let cool in the pan on rack for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan onto a rack and cool completely before frosting.
For the spiced buttercream:
Add softened butter and vanilla to the mixing bowl and mix until completely combined. Add icing sugar and beat on low until it is incorporated. Then move mixer up to medium-high speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When completely mixed the frosting may appear dry. Add milk a little bit at a time until frosting is the proper consistency. Add the spices, to taste. Continue to beat until light and fluffy, then place frosting into the glad bag, seal and cut the corner off. Pipe thickly. And top the cupcake with two halves of a solid mini easter egg.
I hope you enjoy these easter recipes as much as we did! Be sure to share your creations with us by using the hashtag #livelivelynz
Hope you all have a lovely Easter with your families! Stay safe and enjoy the chocolate - whether you’re DF/GF or not!
From our home to yours,
Hi there! Thanks for checking out the Live Lively blog. I am so excited to share my passion for productivity, personal growth and wellbeing!