I have to admit, given that March has been something of a hell-month for me, I’d rather decided that I would let the March Vegetarian Challenge slide quietly into oblivion. But then the fabulous Johanna of Gourmet Green Giraffe made the most stunning Easter Egg pizza (really, you have to go and look at it, because it’s quite something), and before I knew it, three more people had joined the Easter Egg bandwagon, and here I was, the hostess with absolutely nothing to show for the month.
So, rather belatedly, I’m going to post two recipes, one today, and the other either this evening or tomorrow, depending how I go, for some creative interpretations of Easter Eggs.
Today’s recipe, I admit freely, is more than slightly weird, and not even a little bit vegan. I blame the Spanish nuns. (No, really – that’s where this recipe originated. Apparently, the Spaniards liked to use egg-white in their mortar, so the yolks went to the nuns, who obviously got bored with making custard tarts and started experimenting…) But who can resist an Easter Egg recipe made from real egg? Not me…
This recipe comes, almost in its entirety, from Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra’s fabulous book, Sugar and Spice, with only a few very small changes from me. First, I have doubled the lemon, because I am constitutionally incapable of using the zest of only half a lemon. Second, I have made the sweets themselves much, much smaller – these little morsels are unbelievably rich, rather like an extra-thick version of lemon curd. Finally, I let the sugar syrup go a little further than recommended, from thread stage into firm ball. This was partly by accident, because I couldn’t find a candy thermometer that would behave for me today, but actually, I rather like the results, which are much firmer than my first attempts at this candy, and thus dip a lot better into the white chocolate coating.
If you were much cleverer and more patient than me, I’d recommend the possibilities of tempering your white chocolate, so that your egg-shell would crack nicely. But I just melted mine, and that worked too. You could also decorate the eggs in a much tidier fashion by using a piping bag, rather than using a fork and dementedly flicking coloured chocolate all over the kitchen, but I was in a hurry, and the results were actually strangely appealing even with the flicky method, so I can recommend that, too.
Your Shopping List6 egg yolks (wondering what to do about the egg whites? Fear not – I have it all planned! Just put them aside in a bowl in the fridge for now, and you can use them in tomorrow’s recipe!) zest of 1 lemon 125 g white sugar 45 ml water 50 g ground almonds approx. 175 g white chocolate (Cadbury’s white melts are actually surprisingly good, and I used them here)