Thursday, March 22, 2018


Do you love Cadbury Eggs? Are they a part of your Easter tradition? Want to make your own?

Instructables has a great recipe for Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs. I think they're really good. They're easy to make, although a bit time consuming. Even if they don't come out egg shaped, or the shell breaks, they're yummy! And, you can use good quality dark chocolate for even better flavor!


1/2 cup Lyle’s golden syrup or light corn syrup
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cup powdered sugar
yellow food coloring
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips)

The Filling:
Cream together corn syrup, butter, and vanilla. Sift in confectioner's powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. Separate filling into whites and yolks! Take out about third of filling and stir in some yellow food coloring. Put the two bowls in fridge to set up a little.

Shaping the Yolks:
This step is sticky! Keep your hands clean and cold. Make little yolk balls out of yellow mixture. Place them on parchment. Put them back in the fridge or freezer to firm up.
When yolks are set up, start embedding them in whites. Scoop an amount of white filling out and flatten it into circle. Place yolk ball inside, and wrap white around it. Put them in fridge.

Hint from Instructables: 
If you decide to use egg molds instead of dipping method, pipe whites and yolks into chocolate molds with  pastry bag. This would save a LOT of time. 

Filling the Molds 
Melt chocolate in double boiler or short bursts in the microwave. Fill molds with  chocolate and swirl to coat  sides. Once molds are set, put filling ball into half of each mold. Using more melted chocolate, join two halves of egg together. Let set and unmold. Use freezer to help set this up.

Alternative Method: If you aren't using molds, try this:
Melt chocolate + 2 teaspoons of butter in microwave in short bursts until just melted. Either dip fillings into chocolate with fork and let set on parchment, or skewer fillings and dip them --kind of like cake pops! Once chocolate is set, dip them again for a thick chocolate shell!

Want to see another recipe -- similar...but always good to have two to compare! Check out Ashley Rodriguez's (Not Without Salt) adaptation of this recipe on Food52.

No time to make these? Buy yourself some Cadbury Creme Eggs!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies for Passover

Here's a recipe I posted a few years ago. Perfect for Passover--or for anyone who's looking for a great Gluten-Free cookie.

Top pastry chef Francois Payard makes keeping kosher for Passover look easy, offering a range of non-leavened, grain-free desserts for the holiday. This is a fabulous and simple recipe for Passover or any time, and these cookies are Gluten-free. As always the quality depends on the cocoa! Thanks, Chef Francois, for the recipe and photo!

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Makes about twelve 4-inch cookies

1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3/4 cups walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place racks in upper and bottom thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Combine cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and walnuts in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute.

With mixer running, slowly add egg whites and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, until mixture has slightly thickened. Do not overmix or egg whites will thicken too much.

With  2-ounce cookie or ice cream scoop or generous tablespoon, scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet, to make cookies that are 4 inches in diameter. Scoop 5 cookies on each pan, about 3 inches apart so they don’t stick when they spread. If you have extra batter, wait until first batch of cookies is baked before scooping next batch.

Put cookies in oven, and immediately lower temperature to 320°F. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until small thin cracks appear on surface of cookies. Switch pans halfway through baking. Pull  parchment paper with cookies onto wire cooling rack, and let cool completely before removing cookies from paper. Store in airtight container up to 2 days.


François Payard is a third generation pastry chef, who, after honing his skills by his family’s side and in the finest pastry kitchens in France, moved to New York where he was named “Pastry Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. Francois Payard has won numerous awards, such as the “Ordre du Mérite Agricole” by the French Government in 2004, he became a member of Relais Desserts International in 2006, an association of the 85 best pastry chefs in the world and in 2010 received the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence. 

Not just a chef, François is also the author of the popular cookbooks Bite Size: Elegant Recipes for Entertaining, Simply Sensational Desserts and Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone and PAYARD DESSERTS.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Here's a staple to make during Passover. These Chocolate Chip Meringues are easy and tasty and fun to make with children. I always think of Meringues as a little bit of heaven--Light, Airy, and Sweet. You can serve them on a bed of chocolate chips to dress them up for dessert--or just stack them on a platter. Recipe from with a few tweaks.

Chocolate Chip Cocoa Meringues

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK premium cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3 egg whites
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, and salt into small bowl.
In large bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Mix in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar gradually, and beat until medium-firm peaks form. Sprinkle in cocoa mixture gradually, and continue beating until egg whites are stiff. Fold in mini-chocolate chips.
Drop mixture onto baking sheets by rounded teaspoonfuls, spacing about 1 inch apart.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes for crispy cookies. Cool cookies on baking sheets.

Tip: The parchment paper reduces risk of burning bottoms.

Monday, March 19, 2018

THE CHOCOLATE EASTER BUNNY: History & Culture & Where to Find Them

A "Tail" of the Easter Bunny!

I love the Easter Bunny. If you've been to my home you know I have a giant wooden Easter Bunny in my living room. He should be holding a basket with Easter eggs, but that function has come and gone. I got him at the Oakland Museum White Elephant sale, and although he's not chocolate, he reminds me of other Easter Bunnies I've known and loved. I also have several cement bunnies in the garden...they're all filled with flowers. They are definitely Easter Bunnies, not just rabbits.

But back to Chocolate Easter Bunnies! Some Chocolate Bunnies are filled and some are hollow. Today I'm posting a random tour through hollow and solid Chocolate Easter Bunnies. Perhaps the most famous of U.S. Hollow Easter Bunnies are those manufactured by R. M. Palmer. Back in 1948, Richard M. Palmer, Sr., designed and patented the technology that is still used today in their West Reading (PA) production facilities. Palmer's vision was to give the old, tired chocolate bunnies of the day some new and interesting characteristics and names. The early bunnies named Flopsy, Peter Candytail, and Busy Bigby were not just "sitting" rabbits. Today, the list of their different styles of hollow chocolate bunnies is endless. They come in all shapes and sizes. And, if you're thinking the output of these hopping rabbits is slim, think again. Each year the R.M. Palmer Company produces 25 million hollow rabbits that range in size from 1/75 oz/4 inch high to  a 20 oz foot tall Grandbunny Heffelflopper.

In South Africa, the traditional Chocolate Bunny rabbit reached gigantic height and weight. Duracel built a 3 ton-4 meter tall Chocolate Bunny (Duracel symbol: Energizer Bunny) in Johannesburg. So much chocolate.What to do? Duracel put the edible giant Bunny to good use. It was chopped up and distributed to orphans. South Africa, sadly, has a huge number of orphans because of the AIDS epidemic which has taken many of their parents.  

Watch a video of the Giant Chocolate Bunny HERE.

Some local bunnies at the Drugstores and Supermarkets: Lindt Gold Bunny (in photo at top). I like the looks of this one and captured a few at Cost Plus, Safeway, and CVS. Others: Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny. Being a dark chocolate fan, this is not my favorite. Dove Bunny: tiny little thing but tasty.

More High End Sophisticated Rabbits...are more to my taste. Anything from Jacques Torres. I love their chocolate. This year's Easter Bunny is a bit frightening in appearance. It's hand-painted with white chocolate features, bows, ear tips hands and tail. At $17, you've got to like the chocolate--and their chocolate is great. The 10 inch hollow rabbit comes in Milk and Dark Chocolate. I think the $9 Large Sitting Rabbit is more my style..a classic.

Speaking of retro, Christopher Norman Chocolates has a Racer Bunny. It's a hand-painted molded chocolate hollow bunny sitting in a woven convertible. Sooo cute. Who can eat this?

Martine's Chocolates has all kinds of lovely Bunnies, both sitting  (solid and hollow), Bunny Cartoon (solid), Bunny standing with Baskets and colored chocolate. Martine's chocolates, plus special artisan chocolate bunnies.

Vosges Rabbits: These are fabulous and they come in exotic flavors. These are molded with waving rabbit ears. Barcelona Bunny (Hickory smoked almonds  with grey sea salt (45% milk chocolate). Amalfi Bunny (Lemon zest and pink peppercorns and white chocolate) The Orchid Vanilla Bunny is really Tahitian vanilla bean with 62% dark chocolate. Toffee Bunny is the one after my heart. He's the Vosges sweet butter toffee with pink Himalayan salt and deep milk chocolate. I've never met a toffee I didn't like, and bunny shape? Well, of course.

But I fell in love with Vosges' Mad Hare Orchestra. All five members of the Mad Hare Orchestra arrive together in solid 62% dark chocolate infused with Tahitian vanilla Bean. Each is individually wrapped in its own bag and tied with ribbon. The Mad Hare Orchestra also comes in Solid 42% Milk Chocolate with a touch of pink Himalayan salt. Problem: They're so cute, I want to put them on the shelf.. I might just need to bite off an ear now and again.

Li-Lac Chocolates in New York has two giant Easter Bunnies--a Father Bunny and a Mother Bunny (unavailable as of this writing). The Father Bunny is 24" tall and weighs 10 pounds and serves 80 people. It's also $195!! It ships within 24 hours.

Moonstruck Chocolate Company has a Milk Chocolate Hand-Painted Calico Bunny. Love floppy-eared bunnies.. 

Bay Area Chocolate Bunnies!
Poco Dolce has several Chocolate Bunnies: An Olive Oil Bunny, an eight piece box of Raspberry Bunnies and a Bittersweet & White Chocolate Rabbit. They're all delicious!

Charles Chocolates sells a collection of Honey Bunnies, avaiable in a small and large size box. Within the box are many individual Honey bunnies with each bunny filled with a rich bittersweet Chocolate ganache with black button sage honey.

See's Tall Milk Chocolate Rabbit. A hollow, foil-covered Chocolate Bunny with a basket. 10 oz. There's also a small milk chocolate bunny in colored foil. These are a tradition, and they taste great. I'm a sucker for See's Candies. See's also has smaller Milk Chocolate Bunnies and Mini Milk Chocolate Bunnies (24 pack)

I haven't really mentioned the filled Easter Bunnies: marshmallow, coconut and more exotics fillings. And, Apologies to all my chocolatier friends who provide fabulous chocolate bunnies at Easter. Couldn't get to them all, but welcome comments. Nice thing about a Blog is that I can add at any time.

And, the age-old question of what part of the Bunny do you eat first? With all the new Bunny shapes and molds, it's not an easy answer. Which part do YOU eat first?

Love to hear about your favorite Chocolate Bunnies. I bet there's a chocolatier near you that does some outstanding work.