Easter Treats To Make With The Kids
With Easter just around the corner, there’s no time like the present to roll up your sleeves and treat your mini chefs to a fun baking session.
Chirpy chick cupcakes
The secret to these cute cupcakes lies in the decoration. To make the cupcakes, you need:
- 50g self-raising flour
- 1 medium egg
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g soft margarine
Preheat your oven to 190°C and ask your little helper to arrange colourful paper cases in a baking tray. Sift the flour into a bowl, then add all the other ingredients and beat the mixture firmly with a wooden spoon. Using a teaspoon, half fill each paper case with the mixture. Bake the cakes in the oven for 18-20 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. For the decoration, you will need:
- Either vanilla frosting or homemade butter icing coloured with lemon juice and/or yellow food colouring
- Mini Smarties and/or coloured writing icing
- Orange jelly diamonds or slices
When the cakes are cool, cover them with the yellow icing, either piping it into a clear head and wings shape for the chick, or simply spreading on top and adding ‘feather’ texture with a fork. Make eyes for each chick using the Smarties or two drops of writing icing. Cut the jelly diamonds in half and press two halves onto each cake, pointed ends up, to form the beak.
Chocolate Easter nests
Chocolate nests are a real playgroup staple! Here’s how to make them at home:
- 100g cornflakes or Shredded Wheat (crushed)
- 50g butter
- 250g milk chocolate
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 30 chocolate mini eggs
Place 10 paper cases on a baking tray. Break the chocolate into squares, then melt it with the butter and golden syrup in a large saucepan on a low heat, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat, then add the cereal and stir together gently until thoroughly covered. Fill the paper cases with the mixture and press the back of a teaspoon into the centres, to make a hollow for each nest. Place the baking tray in the fridge for about an hour. When the nests have set, add the chocolate mini eggs, Easter chicks, or anything your little kitchen assistant fancies!
You will need:
- 175g plain chocolate, broken up
- 50g unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- Food colouring (optional)
- 1 tbsp icing sugar, to decorate
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl, either over a pan of simmering water or by microwaving on a medium setting. Stir until smooth. Put the egg yolks into another bowl and gradually whisk in the chocolate. Cover and chill for about 45 minutes, until the mixture is just set. To make the truffles into an egg shape, roll a teaspoonful of the mixture in the palm of your hands to make a ball, then squeeze each end gently. Put the truffle on a sheet of baking paper and repeat with the remaining mixture. If your young artist is colouring the truffles, place a small drop of food colouring onto her fingertip, and allow her to rub it over a small area of a plate. Add the icing sugar and mix into the colouring. Use this to coat the truffles with a pastry brush (or finger). Cover and chill.
Marzipan can be used to fashion chicks, Easter bunnies, flowers and eggs in much the same way your child would use play dough. To add colour to marzipan, put half a 250g pack in a small bowl and add approximately 12 drops of food colouring (yellow for chicks, mix red and yellow to make orange for beaks, pink or blue for bunnies, and so on). If the marzipan refuses to stick together (e.g. adding ears to bunnies), dip the ends in a little water.
The creations can then be used to decorate Easter cakes, or munched as they are – they can be stored in an airtight container and eaten within three weeks. Please note marzipan contains ground nuts, so be aware of food allergies.