Cheesecake swirl Easter brownies

 

The Easter weekend is almost upon us and today’s recipe is packed with all the chocolate and all of the treats. I’ve included dark chocolate as well as Chuckles and speckled eggs (two of my weaknesses) for good measure in these rich and gooey Easter brownies. This is the type of recipe I reserve just for special occasions, and if you’re looking for a weekend splurge you have come to the right place!

 

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Hot cross bun bliss balls

Date balls with dark chocolate

 

If the walls of boxes filled with marshmallow eggs and armies of foil wrapped Easter bunnies piled high in the shops weren’t enough of a reminder, Easter is just around the corner! Autumn is probably my favourite season of the year, and Easter is definitely a highlight. I love the weather, the autumn colours of the trees, the cooler evenings, and of course – the food!

 

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Chocolate hot cross bun loaf

Hot cross bun bread

 

School holidays are just a hop, skip and a jump away and many of you may be thinking about how to keep the kiddos busy over the Easter break. This time last year my kids, who LOVE their hot cross buns, and I decided to make our own buns from scratch using a recipe by Jamie Oliver, and we were all pleasantly surprised by the results. I’m not sure why we were so surprised but it was probably the combination of a potentially tricky yeast dough recipe and two small children that could have gone rather wrong, but didn’t!  They were so delicious! It was also a fun baking project for the three of us…many hands make kneading a breeze after all.

 

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Ginger and orange biscuit truffles

Easter biscuit truffles

 

I’ve got a real treat for you today, and this recipe for biscuit truffles actually makes me feel rather nostalgic for two reasons. Firstly, as promised, it is the first in a short series of Easter recipes that I have planned for the next few weeks. Easter always conjures up childhood memories of school holiday visits to family living further up the coast, torrential rain that lasted for days (how I miss that rain now!) and of course the much anticipated Easter morning egg hunt in our garden after church. Fast forward a decade or three and I am now the one searching around the garden for spots to hide the eggs, ha ha! I can’t decide which is more fun actually – searching for chocolate treats or watching the faces of my children as they spot bunny footprints on the pathway outside or discover their Easter treasures in their hiding spots!

 

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Chocolate Easter nest cupcakes (with video)

Chocolate Easter nest cupcakes.
I suppose I should be used to it by now, but I could not believe my eyes when just one week after Christmas the supermarket shelves were already filling up with Easter eggs! Of course now that it is March you cannot maneuver your shopping trolley without bumping into a chocolate bunny but it is a bit more acceptable now that Easter is just a few days away, yay! A few weeks ago a friend sent me a photo of a beautiful Easter bird nest cake. It reminded me of some Easter cupcakes I made years ago, and I decided they would be perfect to make again and share with you this week. They will make a colourful and delicious addition to your Easter table!

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Chocolate hot cross buns

There is a little back story to this recipe which was inspired by a good friend of mine. She recently left Australia where she has been living for the past few years, and where chocolate hot cross buns are readily available. During a recent chat a few hints were dropped about creating a similar recipe… I suspect that since she will be making her way to Cape Town in the next few weeks (and has confessed to being addicted to them) that she was actually being serious! Well of course I accepted the challenge and thought these would be a gorgeous treat to enjoy at Easter.

 

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