It’s the time of year for all things ‘Creme Egg’…….. Each year there seem to be more and more variations on what you can do with these little fondant-filled chocolate eggy wonders. It’s quite amazing where they end up (in culinary terms), with everything from brownies, cheesecakes, ice-cream cakes and cupcakes….. to ice cream, cookies and even pop tarts, deep-fried Creme Eggs, milkshakes and Creme Egg-filled croissants.
The appeal of the Creme Egg seems to be a little of an obsession in the foodie blogosphere……. Is it the colour, the texture the addictive sweetness I wonder that makes them such a compelling Easter ingredient? There are, of course, a million and one chocolate egg varieties out there to choose from, yet the Creme Egg stands out as the egg of choice for so many Easter-inspired treats.
Should I declare that I was actually around when the first Creme Egg (in its current form) was introduced back in the UK in 1971? Scary as it feels, I actually remember going to the sweet shop on the corner of the ‘parade’ and buying my first Creme Eggs (along with Curly Wurlys which were launched a year earlier). They were an absolute (but occasional) treat…… biting off the top, licking out the fondant middle (whilst trying not to lose too much melting chocolate from the warmth of my hands) and then stuffing the rest of the chocolate shell in my mouth in one go, and trying not to dribble because it was really way too big to fit! Perhaps some things don’t change as much as they should have done…….
As I have got older, I have struggled to eat a whole larger-sized Creme Egg in one go without feeling a little sick….. But the mini Creme Eggs are a different matter……. A couple of those to savour and I am a happy Easter bunny. I think the lesser ratio of sugary fondant to chocolate makes for a better balance and allows for greater control in knowing when I have reached my egg-eating threshold.
Last year, I made some amazing gluten free Creme Egg Cup Cakes, which were not only topped with half a mini Creme Egg, but had a hidden Creme Egg baked within the sponge. They were perfect for the school Easter fair and disappeared extremely quickly!
This year, I wanted to try and invent something a little different….. Encouraged by the many larger cakes around that have Creme Eggs as their inspiration, I have made a gluten free Creme Egg Mousse Cake……
With a slightly dense, chocolate sponge base (which maintains a great texture despite being kept in the fridge), the cake is then topped with two separate and differently-coloured vanilla mousse layers, intended to hint at the contrasting yolk and white colours found in the fondant of a Creme Egg.
The cake is decorated with mini Creme Eggs and dark chocolate ganache…… but don’t feel misled…. Hidden within, there is also a layer of Creme Egg pieces waiting to be discovered, somewhere between the top of the sponge and the start of the mousse.
Stuffed full of calories I am sure, this Mousse cake is a rich and decadent Easter treat….. the combination of firm, dark, very chocolatey sponge, contrasted with soft, creamy, melty, vanilla-steeped mousse, is divine. The unexpected discovery of little fragments of Creme Egg on the tongue, feel like discovering edible treasure on a beach……. The wanton addition of smooth, dark drizzles of ganache, dribbling down the sides of the mousse, is literally and figuratively the icing on the cake…..
Looks like my Easter is sorted……. what will you be making?
I am sharing my Easter Creme Egg Mousse Cake with the following linkies :
Bake of the Week with Casa Costello.
We Should Cocoa…. this month with Lancashire Food on behalf of Tin & Thyme, with an Eastery theme of ‘eggs’. This cake requires eggs of the chicken variety in the sponge and the chocolate variety in abundance…..
#FoodYearLinkup with Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen….. celebrating Easter Sunday.
Simply Eggcellent with Belleau Kitchen…… Plenty of eggy stuff going on here Dom!
Cook Blog Share – this week with Hijacked by Twins.
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.
Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.
Easter ‘Creme Egg’ Mousse Cake (makes 1 x 8 inch or 1 x 7 inch (slightly taller) cake) – your cake tin will need to be 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) tall, with a loose bottom.
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch fine sea salt
12g cocoa powder
110g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
40 ml plain or greek yoghurt
40 ml milk
Method (for sponge)
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. Base-line your cake tin with baking paper.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl with the butter. Melt together, either over a pan of lightly-simmering water or in the microwave on medium setting, 30 second bursts, stirring between each. When the chocolate and butter have melted and been blended to a smooth liquid, set aside.
- Weigh and mix together the almonds, flour, xanthan gum. baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa, until all lumps have been broken down and set aside.
- Beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until pale and thickened.
- Add the chocolate mix and beat again.
- Add the yoghurt and milk and beat until fully combined.
- Finally, add the dry ingredients and fold through until even. You should have a batter which is thick, but will still drop off the spoon with minimal encouragement. If the batter seems a little too thick, just add a dash more milk and carefully fold in trying not to over-mix.
- Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cake is completely cold, use a sharp knife to level it so that the top is flat and even.
- Wash and base line the cake tin that you used to bake the cake and cut a piece of baking paper so that it completely fits round the inside sides of the tin and overlaps on itself by a couple of inches (or use an acetate cake collar if you have one). The collar needs to be a little taller than the top of the tin.
- Place the sponge back into the cake tin inside the collar.
15 mini Creme Eggs – cut into quarters
Method (for mousse)
- Arrange the pieces of chopped Creme Egg on the top of the cooled sponge inside the cake tin.
- Combine the chocolate, about 80 ml of the cream and the salt and heat until the chocolate has melted and the liquid is smooth. You can do this on the hob over a low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently (be careful not to over-heat) or in the microwave on 20 to 30 second bursts (medium setting), stirring between each. Set aside.
- Mix together the gelatine with the water and leave for a few minutes for the gelatine to absorb the liquid.
- When the water has been absorbed, heat the gelatine in the microwave for about 15 seconds until liquid and stir thoroughly until smooth.
- Pour the gelatine into the chocolate mix and beat immediately and thoroughly until smooth.
- Whisk the remaining cream until it forms stiff peaks (be careful not to over-whisk).
- Add the vanilla extract and about half the chocolate mixture and quickly, but gently fold together to combine, then adding the rest of the chocolate mixture and folding again.
- For the tinted mousse layer, add a good few drops of colouring and fold through until you reach your desired orange colour.
- Tip the mousse into the tin on top of the sponge and Creme Egg pieces and smooth the top. Lightly place a disc of baking paper on top and refrigerate for about 4 hours to set completely.
- Make the second mousse layer (without the food colouring) and tip onto the first mousse layer, smoothing the top. Place a piece of cling film over the tin (not touching the mousse) and chill for about 4 hours until completely set.
- When set, carefully push the cake up out of the tin, and remove the base paper and collar. Set the cake on a serving plate.
Method (ganache and decoration)
- Place your finely chopped chocolate into a glass bowl.
- Heat the cream to simmering point, either in a small saucepan over a low heat or in the microwave (be careful not to boil)
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to sit for about 15 seconds, before stirring through. Keep stirring until the chocolate has completely melted and the ganache is smooth.
- Leave to cool at room temperature (do not refrigerate or you will lose the shine), stirring occasionally until the ganache has started to thicken, but is still pourable.
- Drizzle the ganache in decorative swirls or patterns on the top of the mousse, allowing some to trickle down the sides.
- Cut some of the eggs in half and arrange both halves and whole eggs on the top of the cake.
- Add some sprinkles (if using).
- Store refrigerated, but remove from the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving. Especially good served with cream!