• 57°

Don’t make the little Easter bunnies cry

Can you have Easter without chocolate?

Probably, but it would make all the little Easter bunnies cry, including me. I think the two go hand in hand so I’ve got two really good Easter chocolate goodies for you to try. The first one is a little more in depth, for my new friend at the cafe in Linden and the second is supper easy for the kids with mom’s help.

Chocolate Cloud Cake

For the Cake:

9 ounces bitter sweet chocolate

one-half cup unsalted butter, softened

6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated

one-half cup plus 2 tbs sugar

2 tbs Cointreau (optional)

9 inch spring form pan

For the Whipped Topping:

2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs Cointreau (optional)

3 tbs powdered sugar

one-half tsp unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate, either in a double boiler or using the microwave instructions on the bag of chocolate, then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.

In a bowl, beat two whole eggs and four yolks with the one-third cup of the sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture and Cointreau.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining sugar and whisk until the whites hold their shape but are not too stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a large spoon of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake has risen and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack. The middle will begin to sink.

When you are ready to eat, place the still pan bound cake on the cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove. Don’t worry about the cracks or rough edges. It’s the rough look we’re going for. Whip the cream until it’s soft and then add the vanilla, Cointreau and powdered sugar, and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped topping, easing it out to the edges of the cake. Dust the top lightly with cocoa powder through a fine strainer.

You can make this into an Easter Nest Cake by folding 7-ounces of melted milk chocolate into the cream topping. Then, after spreading the whipped topping, rest little hard shelled candy eggs in the topping. Too cute. (Leave the Cointreau out of both the cake and the cream.)

Easter Nest Candy

8 ounces milk chocolate

2 tbs unsalted butter, softened

one-half cup shredded-shredded wheat

about 25 multicolored sugar coated little chocolate eggs

1 baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Melt the chocolate using the microwave instructions on the side of the bag. Melt the butter in the warm chocolate. Crumble the shredded wheat into another bowl. Pour chocolate mixture over the shredded wheat and mix well. Form mixture into a nest of your desired size.

When the chocolate cools, add the eggs to the center of the nest. If the chocolate is too hot the eggs will crack.

Leave in a cool place but do not put in the fridge or the chocolate will change color. Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.

Laura Clements is the pastry chef at Napoleon’s.