Who doesn’t love trying a new recipe? It’s the best way to find delicious desserts and tasty treats. Well, most of the time, but let’s face it, sometimes experimenting in the kitchen can lead to an absolute disaster.
Obviously, there is never a good time for a cooking catastrophe, but before a special occasion or a holiday is the worst. So what exactly can save you from a baking blunder this Easter?
Well, why not use one of your favourite recipes that you know is reliable? Typically these recipes might not seem festive enough for an Easter celebration, but we’ve found the best decorating methods to turn any treat into an Easter extravaganza.
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Chocolate tracing is the ultimate decorating hack. Basically, it involves tracing a design using chocolate, leaving you with a stunning chocolate decoration. Firstly you need to find a picture you like. Since we’re working with an Easter theme, maybe a bunny, a painted egg, or the word Easter in a fancy font. If you’re going to do writing, cursive is your best bet as it’s all one piece.
It’s a good idea to go with a colouring sheet for this, as they have simple, bold lines and not a ton of detail. A quick Google search or Pinterest prowl should provide plenty of options. Then print it out so you have a physical copy.
Take your colouring sheet, sit it on a baking tray, and put a sheet of grease-proof paper on top. Since grease-proof paper is typically translucent, you should be able to see your picture through it.
Then, take a freezer bag and cut off the tip in the corner to create a makeshift piping bag. Of course, if you have a piping bag and small nozzle, or an icing pen, you can skip that step and use those instead.
Next, it’s time for the chocolate. Melt your choice of chocolate, either in the microwave making sure to stop every few seconds to mix, or in a bowl atop a saucepan of boiling water on the stove. Once it is melted, add some flavourless oil like sunflower oil to help with consistency.
If you want a colourful design, it’s best to use white chocolate, and at this stage, add your chosen colour. Make sure you don’t use water-based food colouring as they cause the chocolate to seize, going dry and getting crumbly. Stick to some gel food colouring, and it should be fine. They are much stronger than liquid ones, so you’ll only need a little.
When your chocolate is ready, put it into the bag and then pipe on to the grease-proof paper using the picture as a guide. Then pop them in the fridge until they’re set.
And, voilà, the perfect chocolate Easter decoration. These can be used on anything from cheesecake, sponge cake, buns, and traybakes. They can be stuck on using buttercream icing or chocolate and placed standing up or lying flat. The possibilities are endless!
Our favourite Gemma Stafford has a brilliant video explaining this technique. She makes butterflies but the method is the same for what ever design you choose.
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Nest decorations are some of the easiest to make, but they still manage to look absolutely stunning. What’s not to love? An Easter staple, they can top any dessert from buns, cakes, puddings, and tray bakes.
All that’s needed is a flake bar and some miniature egg sweets, like Mini Eggs or Kinder Choco-Bons, and some icing to hold them in place, any should work, but buttercream is best.
To start, break your flake bar into smaller flakes. Then add your icing to the dessert, and simply make a ring with the flakes on top. Then just add the eggs to the middle and… TA-DA a little edible nest perfect for Easter.
They can be made in any size, although they do look best when kept small. If you’d like to use them for a bigger dessert like a cake, you could do a few small ones on top instead of one bigger one. Either way, they’ll be delicious.
Strawberry Bunnies and Carrots
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Dessert topped with fruit is already a staple, and it’s also the easiest to turn into festive Easter decorations. All thanks to the humble strawberry, which surprisingly makes for the perfect bunny and carrot. All you should need is some white chocolate, gel food colouring, and strawberries.
First, melt your white chocolate, and when it’s done, add some flavourless oil. For bunnies, you can leave it plain but for carrots, add some orange gel food colouring. Then dip the strawberries in the chocolate, right up to the calyx. For the carrots, you can add an extra drizzle of orange chocolate to create a striped pattern.
Sit them on a tray lined with grease-proof paper, and pop into the fridge until the chocolate sets.
At this point, the carrots are finished, but the bunnies need a bit more work. Prepare some more white chocolate making the colours pink and black. Then pipe the chocolate onto the strawberry using the black to make some eyes, whiskers, and a mouth. Use the pink to make a nose and some lines for ears. Then just let that chocolate set.
The cutest Easter treats that can be used to decorate any dessert.
One of the oldest tricks in the book, you probably watched your granny sit a doily on top of a cake and sprinkle some icing sugar to create a pattern on the cake. Well, we’re using the same principle but a different design. It works on pretty much any iced dessert and cheesecakes but if you’re not making a non-iced dessert, don’t worry, just switch sprinkles for icing sugar and your good to go.
Simply pick an Easter design you like. Just make sure it doesn’t have much detail, as you’re only going to get a silhouette. A bunny, chick, or egg would work well. Print it to have a physical copy, and cut out the design from the inside. Simply fold the paper in half, snip a hole in the middle of the design, unfold and cut from there. This will be the stencil.
Once your paper has a hole in the shape of the design, hold it over the iced dessert of choice (or non-iced if you are using icing sugar) and pour the sprinkles or sugar on top. When you lift away the stencil, you should have a gorgeous sprinkle design.