On Good Friday we make Hot Cross Buns to remember Jesus’ death on a cross and it therefore seems appropriate to mark Easter Sunday and beyond with the symbolic use of eggs to represent the resurrection and the new life that Jesus brings. I bought some little pastel coloured sugar coated eggs to decorate my Simnel Cake in a ‘take a bag and scoop and do-it-yourself’ shop. Then, on a whim, I bought a few more: I, or perhaps my daughter, could make some little chocolate cereal nests. Most people with children are likely to have had these brought home from school and may even have made them in a family home cooking session. However I realised that the last time I made them it was with a special kit that came with a packet of Rice Krispies so I did not really have a recipe. Searching online was simple and there seem to be two methods. One includes butter/margerine and golden syrup. The quick and simple method, the one I have chosen, is just melted chocolate and cereal, with the optional of adding extra ingredients such as coconut, raisins or cherries. Cornflakes can be substituted for Rice Krispies as can, I understand, Shredded Wheat: I have not tasted this last, though it could look rather like the twigs in a nest.
An internet search led me to the Netmums site and a recipe called Chocolate Crispies. There are two or three other simple recipes (including one for Banana Flapjack, which is a good way of using a glut of ripe bananas). We included some sultanas for good measure, finishing with sugar eggs – a hen and chicks were also added as Easter decoration. The original recipe is for a larger amount of chocolate but we scaled it down for the one bar of chocolate that I had bought and found 24 nests to be ample (I was more generous with the raisins than the original). There is also a suggestion that cornflakes or other cereal could be used if you don’t have rice crispies and that the nests could be served with chopped bananas.
Chocolate Rice Krispie Nests
150g/5ozs chocolate (I used dark: Green & Blacks Fairtrade 72% Chocolate for Cooks)
80g/3ozs Rice Krispies
Mini eggs: sugar coated, foil coated or jelly type – 1 per cake
Alternative extra ingredients: coconut, glace cherries, dried cranberries, chopped nuts – amount may be more or less than 50g depending on personal preference.)
1. Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of water on a low heat. (Alternatively use a bowl and quick bursts of heat in the microwave.)
2. Put in the rice crispies and raisins (or alternative extra ingredient if you have chosen one) and stir until well covered with chocolate.
3. Place individual paper cases into small tart or muffin tins and put spoonfuls of the mixture into these.
4. Place 1 or 2 mini eggs on top while still the chocolate is still soft (number depends on size of eggs/nests and personal choice). Leave to cool and set – can be put in the fridge for a short time.
5. Lovely for tea-time on Easter day decorated with a small edible egg, or at any time of the year replacing the sugar egg with half a glace cherry. At Christmas a piece of cherry and two pieces of green angelica give the seasonal look of holly.