Happy Easter 2019: An ‘egg’citing spread, and how to make them with these easy recipes
Easter is celebrated every year as a remembrance of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The festival, which marks the Christ raising from the dead, is celebrated as a day of revival and rejuvenation. The day calls for rejoicing enjoying a delicious spread and spending time with family. And, another important element of the day is the Easter egg. The story goes that it represents Christ’s emergence from the tomb. Decorating eggs as a tradition dates back to the 13th century. It also has a symbolic relevance, because eggs were forbidden food during the lent (40 days prior) period and people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting and eat them after, on Easter as a celebration.
Amit Sharma, chef and co-founder, Love & Cheesecake, says, “The eggs are an age-old custom for gifting. Hard-boiled eggs are painted and were given as gifts in the earliest days. Some traditions include dyed chicken eggs. There’s also the myth of Easter bunny — eggs are hidden by the bunny for kids to find on Easter morning. Easter eggs are also placed on a basket with straw to resemble a bird’s nest.”
In recent times, gifting chocolate, filled eggs or fancy, large eggs with sweets inside are rampant. Most people splurge on Easter as it comes right after a season of lent which is a solemn observation. Manish Khanna, founder, Brownie Point, says, “In olden times, the eggs were painted red to represent the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross. The eggs would be blessed by the priests and then distributed to the people. The hard shell of the eggs represents the sealed tomb of Jesus and cracking the shell represented the resurrection from the dead, of the lord.”
Easter Egg variations
The most popular form of Easter eggs is made of chocolate and candy. The outer shell of the egg is made of decadent chocolate and can be filled with various candy, mousse, silky ganache or brownie. Sharma adds, “Another egg variation we have tried recently is Easter eggs made of cheese. This is made of herbed cream cheese, an in-house recipe that has also been a favourite. Thankfully, cream cheese has a soft, creamy texture that made the cheese spreadable and very easy to use.”
Aabhas Mehrotra, chef Sorrentina at Foodhall adds, “Coming from an Italian kitchen, it does not have to be too literal, but can be something fun with ingredients which can be shaped into or have a similar shape to an egg, for example burrata cheese with its shape.
Khanna adds, “These days egg variations could be made from marzipan or chocolates as they are tasty and these flavours are more universal and hence widely accepted by public. With the availability of flavoured chocolate like orange, strawberry, caramel, even eggs made from these chocolates are very popular.”
Rachel Goenka, founder and CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company shares that Easter cake pops can also be made using cake and ganache mixed together.
This Easter, ensure your Easter basket is full of joy, happiness and a lot of pretty Easter eggs. Make some of the prettiest eggs with easily available ingredients in the kitchen. Avani Davda, MD, Godrej Nature’s Basket, suggests experiments with eggs of chicken, quail, duck and so on. Here are some DIY tricks we have up our sleeves:
All you need for this is whipped cream, food colours of your choice, white vinegar and hard boiled eggs waiting to be marvelled. Thaw the whipped cream in a baking dish and swirl the colours using a toothpick or a knife. Soak the hard boiled eggs in vinegar for 10 minutes, this allows the eggs to absorb the colour. Remove the eggs from vinegar and pat them dry. Then cover them in the coloured cream mixture and let them sit for at least 20 minutes. Remove the excess by gently placing the eggs in a bowl of water. Pat dry and allow to dry completely.
Bring out your colour pots and paint your favourite patterns. If you would like to go the natural way, use spices or vegetable dyes for an organic feel. For example to get a natural yellow dye, boil water with distilled white vinegar and turmeric. Add the eggs in this and let them steep for at least 30 minutes and up to three hours as per the desired intensity of the colour. Swap the turmeric for red cabbage to get a purple dye.
Quick and easy ways to make 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
1. Marzipan Easter Eggs
Ingredients: 250gm almonds, 250gm sugar, 200 gm icing sugar, 2 egg whites, 1 tsp rose water for grinding, 1/4 tsp almond essence
Method: Grind the almonds with the egg whites and rose water into a smooth paste. Transfer the paste into a heavy bottomed pan and add the sugar. Cook on a low heat stirring all the time until the mixture forms a ball. Divide the mixture into 10 even sized balls and mould into egg shapes. Decorate with royal icing.
By Rachel Goenka, founder & CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company
2. Peanut Butter Easter Eggs
Ingredients: 225gm creamy peanut butter, 115gm butter, softened, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 300gm icing sugar, 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 250gm dark chocolate chips, Icing sugar and sprinkles, optional for decoration
Method: In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in icing sugar and cracker crumbs. Shape mixture into 16 eggs; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip eggs in chocolate mixture; allow excess to drip off. Return eggs to baking sheets. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
If desired, decorate eggs with icing and sprinkles. Let stand until set. Store in airtight containers in refrigerator.
By Amit Sharma, chef and co-founder, Love & Cheesecake
3. Oreo crunchy Easter Eggs
Ingredients: 200 gm chocolate, 50 gm Oreo cookies, 30 gm butterscotch, chocolate Easter egg mould or a bunny mould
Method: Melt chocolate in a microwave and stir it till smooth. Mix in crushed Oreo and butterscotch, pour in molds and set in fridge for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove, unmould and enjoy the chocolate or marzipan Easter eggs.
By Manish Khanna, founder, Brownie Point
4. Spiced chicken, cheese and egg melt
Ingredients: 100gm chicken leg boneless, 10gm ginger garlic paste, 1tsp red chili powder, salt to taste, 1tsp crushed black pepper, 1tsp roasted cumin powder, 1 lemon, 30gm hung curd, 20gm fresh coriander, 50ml olive oil, 10gm turmeric, 4 eggs, 20gm butter, 20gm cream, 50gm emmental cheese, 1 multigrain bread
Spiced chicken: Cut the chicken in to long strips. In mixing bowl mix hung curd, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice, roasted cumin powder, ginger garlic paste and bit of olive oil to make a marinade. Marinate the chicken strips in the mixture for 15-20 min and cook them in thick bottom pan over medium heat till the chicken is tender
Scrambled eggs: Scramble the eggs in small pan using butter and cream, season with salt and black pepper: Mix the grated Emmental and cheddar cheese with scrambled egg to make a gooey mixture. Boil one egg for 8 min and transfer the egg in cold water to stop further cooking
For melt: Toast the multigrain bread and drizzle some olive oil on top. In a bowl mix cooked chicken and scrambled egg and cheese mixture, add chopped coriander to make a topping. Spoon the filling on top of the toasted bread and spread it evenly gratinate it in salamander or oven. Garnish with slice egg and micro greens and serve hot with choice of salad or fries
By Rajat Chandna, chef, Alila Fort Bishangarh