Intro

What's WIDE CIRCLE COOKING about?
I blog information, news and recipes about gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, alcohol-free and vegan cooking. Right now I've been working on an exciting project where I avoid refined sugar and create recipes using a range of healthier alternatives.

Happy cooking!

ps. ask all guests if they have an allergy (because the recipes use some unusual combinations and they may not expect to find citrus and soya in the chocolate cake, for example).
pps.if you are cooking for someone with an allergy, please read my allergy page first.

Four desirable Easter eggs


Easter is one of those times when not being able to have milk chocolate really sucks, especially if you’re a child.
Anyhow, apart from being egg-shaped, an Easter egg is just chocolate with great (or in many cases, not so great) packaging. So… here are four ideas so you can create your own masterpiece.
I actually made my own eggs by melting dairy-free dark chocolate* and shaping it in moulds I made (see later), but you can buy dairy-free dark chocolate eggs – they often have rather adult-focused packaging – and tart them up using these tips if you prefer. Also, the sugar eggs used in my pics aren’t strictly vegan because they’re coated in beeswax, but it is sometimes possible to find ones that are coated in a plant-based wax.

To make the eggs
Find some egg-shaped objects – I used one of those large cardboard eggs, and two small metal eggs that you often find with sweets in. Press foil or cling film into the shapes and then brush with sunflower oil using a pastry brush (use a new brush if you’ve actually brushed pastry with yours).  I found that 150g of dairy-free dark chocolate was enough.
To melt the chocolate, break up the pieces in a saucepan, place on a medium heat and once half has melted, take it off the heat and let the rest sit in the melted chocolate until the melting is complete. Pour the chocolate halfway up the moulds, and then after about 5 minutes, swirl it around the sides. Keep swirling round the sides every few minutes until the chocolate has become really thick and difficult to move about. Turn the egg shapes upside down and allow to cool completely. Trim the edges with a knife before decorating.

Dinosaur egg
Attach sugar eggs to a half chocolate egg with paste made from icing sugar and water. The egg is sitting in the lid from a pot of jam, with the dinosaurs behind and in front. This would also work well for other children’s favourites: Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder etc. etc.

Rabbit egg
The power of cellophane to make an impact is used here. Once again, sugar eggs have been attached to the chocolate egg with a paste made from icing sugar and water. I used a clear plastic lid as the base, with the egg and the Easter rabbit arranged on top. Everything has been wrapped in cellophane and a bow added on top.

Chick egg
Using a little extra melted chocolate, stick the two halves of the chocolate egg together and then break a small hole in the top. Make the ‘yolk’ from icing sugar, water and yellow food colouring, then dribble down the sides of the egg. Add a chick and present in an attractive egg cup.

Glamour egg
Fill the two halves of the egg with sweets (though make sure the ingredients are OK for the person getting the egg) and wrap the whole lot in cellophane. Top with some attractive ribbon and some flowers. Finally, find a gorgeous egg cup to present it in.

*see my separate page about choosing chocolate.