Cadbury's Creme Eggs are the nation's favourite Easter confectionary, selling 200 million a year. But thanks to the genius of food blogger Ashley Rodriguez you can now make your own in the comfort of your own kitchen. OK, it might be easier to pop out to the shops and buy them, but these don't come with a list of ingredients as long as your arm!
Writing on Food52.com, Ashley – who like most of us has enjoyed Crème Eggs ever since she was little - says: "This little chocolate tradition is egg-shaped and stuffed with a creamy center that oozes sweetness and memories with each bite... But the list of ingredients did deter me a bit - until I decided to make my own."
While the homemade version may not share the same distinctive flavor of the mass-produced candy, it is no less delicious.
The butter-and-golden syrup-based filling is flecked with vanilla seeds and flavored with orange blossom water. Yellow food dye provides that distinctive yellow center, while the dark chocolate coating makes for a more grown-up take on the seasonal treat.
Here, she shares her recipe, adapted from another foodie site called instructables.com.
Homemade 'Cadbury's' creme eggs
Makes approx 15 eggs
Half cup Lyle's golden syrup
6 tbsp butter, softened
Half tsp salt
3 drops orange blossom water (optional)
1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Quarter to half tsp yellow food coloring
12 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or 1 bag bittersweet chocolate chips)
1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment (this can also be done by hand or with a hand mixer).
2. Add the golden syrup, salt, orange blossom water (if using), vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium-low to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is mixed well.
3. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
4. Place a third of the mixture into a small bowl and add enough yellow food coloring to obtain your desired colour. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for at least 15 minutes; your mixture must be very cold while you work with it.
5. When the sugar mixture is thoroughly chilled, remove from the freezer. Working quickly, take about half a teaspoon of the yellow 'yolk' mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
6. Once the yolks are complete, place them on a plate or a sheet tray covered with parchment and then put that back into the freezer.
7. Now, scoop out a tablespoon of your 'whites' and roll it into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the white portion of the sugar mixture. If the whites are too soft to work with, place back into the freezer for a few minutes.
8. Remove the yolks from the freezer. Place a white in the palm of your hand and gently flatten it a bit. Create an indent in the center to rest the yolk in. Place the yolk in the centre of the white, then cover it up and roll the white into an egg shape. If at any point the sugar mixture gets too soft, quickly put it back into the freezer. Continue this process until all your eggs are complete. Return them to the freezer.
9. While your eggs are chilling, temper your chocolate or microwave it in 30 second intervals, stirring very well in between. If you use the microwave method, add a tablespoon of canola oil to the melted chocolate and stir well; this will give you a little more flexibility with your chocolate. You will not, however, get as nice of a crack as you bite into the egg.
10. Working with one egg at a time, remove the egg from the freezer and stick a toothpick in it. Dip the egg into the chocolate and carefully let the excess chocolate drip off. Place the other end of the toothpick into something - like a yam (or a sweet potato) perhaps - while the chocolate sets.
11. Place the chocolate-covered egg into the fridge for 10 minutes while the chocolate sets.
12. Carefully remove the toothpick from the egg and cover up the small hole with a little bit of tempered chocolate.
• Check out more of Ashley Rodriguez's recipes on her blog, Not Without Salt.