Some recipes out there are very serious. They use serious ingredients, they are talked about in serious circles. They are treated with the reverence and dignity they no doubt deserve.Then there are the recipes that are not quite so serious. This is one of those recipes. This recipe is just a bit silly.
A few weeks ago my friend Chantal sent me out a Creme Egg care package. With a mere 7 weeks to Easter, Creme Eggs still haven’t made it to the Hong Kong shops. How on earth am I supposed to get my chocolatey, fondanty fill before Easter?! Along with the Creme Eggs, she also sent an idea she’d seen floating around the internet for Creme Egg Scotch Eggs.
For those of you not familiar with Scotch Eggs, the regular savoury ones are made up, most commonly, of boiled eggs wrapped in a layer of sausage meat. They are then coated in a layer of bread crumbs and baked. In England we see them as perfect picnic food, or as an excellent side to a Ploughman’s lunch.
My little Creme Eggs from England were just crying out to be made into a sweet version.
The Creme Egg is wrapped up in a gooey cake mixture, then coated in chocolate and biscuit crumbs. As you bite through you’re rewarded with a wonderful mix of textures. First there’s the initial crunch of the biscuit crumbs. This gives way to a deliciously rich, very fudgey chocolate cake. Finally you have the satisfying bite of the Creme Egg’s chocolate, and you sink happily into that wonderful sugary fondant centre.
The recipe looks quite long and scary, but actually it’s a really simple recipe to put together, it just has a few stages to follow.
It’s the perfect recipe for anyone struggling to keep the centre in the eggs of their Creme Egg Brownies. The Creme Eggs here don’t get baked!
You start by making a very simple chocolate sponge cake. Bake it, let it cool, then crumble it all up into fine little crumbs.
These crumbs are mixed with a cream cheese butter cream. This binds it all together, makes it extra rich and delicious, and allows you to mould the cake around your Creme Egg. Its rich and fudgey, and tastes rather like a perfectly gooey brownie.
Rolled up into balls, the Creme Egg filled cake is put into the freezer for about half an hour. This is a very important stage. If the cake balls aren’t really hard and cold, they’ll start falling apart when you dunk them into hot melted chocolate.
Once you’ve dunked them in the chocolate, they get rolled around in a mixture of biscuit crumbs and grated chocolate.
This gives them the look of savoury scotch eggs, and finishes them off perfectly with a lovely crunch.
Just try and resist biting straight in!
*note – when I originally made this recipe, and took these pictures, I made 8 Scotch Eggs. However when I tasted them I realised that I’d used a little too much cake mixture. They were absolutely delicious, but the Creme Egg got a bit lost amidst all that cake -the Creme Egg should be the star of the show here! Therefore the instructions I am giving are to make 12 Scotch Eggs. The cake layer will look a little thinner than those pictures, but you’ll getting a much stronger Creme Egg flavour! Of course if you’d rather have more cake, like the ones pictured, just divide the cake mix into 8 balls rather than 12.
Cadbury Creme Egg Scotch Eggs
for the cake
55g unsalted butter, softened
55g caster sugar
1 large egg
55g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30g cocoa powder
6 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the buttercream
60g unsalted butter, softened
60g icing sugar
10g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
45g cream cheese (low fat is ok), softened to room temperature
to assemble the scotch eggs
12 mini creme eggs (the ones that come in bags)
200g dark chocolate
150g shortbread biscuits, or another similar biscuit such as digestive
50g finely grated chocolate
First, bake the cake.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the egg and beat until well combined.
Next, add in the dry ingredients, the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa power. Mix until combined. The batter will be very stiff.
Add in the milk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 6 inch (15cm) round tin, or a 5 inch (13cm) square tin.
Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the top is risen and firm to the touch, and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave for a few minutes to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. The cake might look a little heavy, thats completely fine as we’re going to break it up into the buttercream.
While the cake cools, make the buttercream.
Cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth.
Beat in the icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla extract. You should have a soft, smooth buttercream.
Crumble the cooled cake with your hands, you want it all to be fine crumbs, or very small lumps of cake. If you have crisp edges, take them out. (perfect excuse to nibble on cake!).
Add the cake crumbs to the butter cream and mix until combined into a thick, sticky paste. You should be able to mould it with your hands.
Divide the mixture into 12 evenly sized balls. (Please see note above)
Take a ball of mixture. Squash it in your hands to a flat disk. Put an unwrapped mini Creme Egg into the middle of the disk. Wrap the cake mixture around it, then roll it in your hands until you have a ball shape again.
Put the finished balls onto a baking sheet or plate lined with grease proof paper.
Place in the freezer for at least half an hour, until the cake is very cold and hard. You need them to be very solid or they won’t stay together when you dip them in the warm chocolate.
Next, prepare your coatings.
In a food processor, pulse the shortbread biscuits until you have fine crumbs, the texture of coarse sand. Alternativly, put the biscuits into a zip-lox bag and bash into crumbs with a rolling pin. Stir in the finely grated chocolate. I used pre grated chocolate by a German brand called Ulmer. The product is called Raspel Schokolade. Grating a bar of dark chocolate will work just as well. Out the crumb and chocolate mixture into a wide bowl. You’re going to roll the chocolate coated balls around in the crumbs.
Next, melt the chocolate for coating your cake balls. Heat 200g dark chocolate in a deep bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. When the chocolate is completely melted its time to coat the cake balls in chocolate.
Take them out the freezer one by one as you’re ready to use them, this will keep them nice and cold. Drop the cake ball into the melted chocolate. Use a fork to swirl them around in the chocolate, turning them over until they are completely coated. Pick them up across the prongs of the fork, don’t try to stab them. Allow the coated ball to sit on a fork for a few seconds for excess chocolate to drip off. Carefully place the chocolate coated ball into the bowl of biscuit crumbs. Using a spoon, roll the ball around until its fully coated in the crumbs. You may need to spoon the crumbs over the cake ball to get complete coverage. Gently lift it onto a grease proof paper lined tray. Allow it to cool, and the chocolate to set completely before eating.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge. For the best texture and flavour, bring them out of the fridge about half an hour before you want to serve them to bring them back to room temperature.