Easter Nest Cups with Mini Egg Cheesecake Dip

Easter is nearly here! The run up to Easter always means several things to me: it means that summer isn’t too far away, that the sun might start to appear and it brings the anticipation of being able to complete whatever challenge I’ve set myself in Lent. Easter is also a very child-like holiday, we are encouraged to eat sweets and chocolate, celebrate new life (spiritually or otherwise) and there is the expectation that comes from the fact that if we have ‘behaved ourselves’ over lent, we can splurge at Easter! This recipe takes a classic kids Easter recipe (Easter Nests) and puts a little twist on it for kids or grown ups.

Easter Nests With A Twist
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooling time: 1 hour plus

Ingredients
150g Shredded Wheat/ Plain cereal of your choice
300g Milk or Dark chocolate (I prefer dark)
50g Butter
225g Cream Cheese
170g Butter
2 tbsp Light brown sugar
250g Icing sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
170g Mini Eggs
Mini Eggs to decorate

Method

1. Crush the shredded wheat/ cereal into small bits, using a spoon or just crushing between your fingers. Melt the chocolate and butter together, make sure the mixture is fully melted and combined, then add to the shredded wheat. Stir until all the cereal is coated in chocolate.
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2. Place 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tray and divide the chocolate/ cereal mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases. Shape each nest into a cup by pressing down with a teaspoon into the middle of each case. Push the mixture up the sides of the cases with the back of the teaspoon.
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3. Place in the fridge to set.

4. Whilst the nests are cooling, make the cheesecake dip. First, beat the cream cheese and butter until fully combined. Then, add the sugars and essence and mix until combined. Finally, crush the bag of mini eggs and stir the crushed pieces into the mix.
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5. Put in a bowl to set up a little in the fridge (preferably an hour or so)

6. Take the prepared chocolate nests out of the fridge and spoon a dollop of cheesecake mix into the centre of each one. Place a mini egg on top of each one and serve.
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Handy Hints

Cereal- Make sure that this is fully coated with the chocolate mix, and isn’t in too large chunks.
Mini Eggs- In order to crush these, I’ve found the best method is to double bag them and beat with a rolling pin. They are quite tricky to break, so make sure you’ve got them all!

Easy-Peasy Cheese Twists

Hello everyone and Happy Easter to you all! I hope you’re all making the most of the holidays, no matter how short they may be for those of you that have to work! This post is just a quick recipe, so I’ll keep the waffle to a minimum and try not to make this post too cheesy (pun intended, cringe-worthy though it is!).

The inspiration for this post came from the realisation the other day that my mum had, in a sudden burst of productivity, baked about three different types of pudding for the family. This meant that making another one seemed a bit pointless, especially since we’re going away tomorrow morning. In my desperation therefore, I looked to savoury food to be my recipe for this post. I’d love to say that after a thorough examination of my extensive repertoire of savoury bakes, I carefully selected this one but in reality this is one of the only savoury things I know how to bake. However, it is probably the easiest recipe ever and who doesn’t love a good pastry and cheese combo? This recipe is perfect for students as it’s incredibly fool-proof, it only contains three ingredients and it only takes around fifteen minutes. With all the deadlines and exams looming on the horizon, I thought a snack recipe would probably be well-received especially if, like me, you eat when you’re stressed/bored/procrastinating (exam time consists of me basically eating 24/7).

Cheese Twists

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Price: £1.84

Ingredients
320g Pack of Puff Pastry
Around 4 handfuls of grated cheese
Flour, to roll out the pastry on

Method
1. Roll the pastry into a ball shape and make a dint in the centre. Add half the cheese into this dint, fold some pastry over the top and knead the pastry gently to incorporate the cheese.
2. Roll out the pastry to around the thickness of a pound coin. If you can, try to roll it into a kind of (very) rough square shape, as this will make your life easier for Step 3.
3. Cut the pastry into strips to whatever length you desire your cheese straws to be. They need to be about 1cm wide to twist them.
4. Twist the pastry round three or four times (or less if you’ve made very short strips). Make sure the ends still lie flat, so the twists won’t just untwist when you let go. Lay out the twists on a greaseproof-paper-lined baking tray.
5. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the strips of pastry.
6. Bake at 220C (200C fan) for 12 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

Handy Hints
Cheese- you could use any cheese for this recipe- i split my pastry in two and did half using cheddar cheese and half with a ‘Caramalised Onion and Rioja Cheddar’ cheese*, which is incredible.
Twisting- If your pastry strips are refusing to co-operate, press the bottom end of the strip down so it sticks a little bit to the surface, then pick the top half up gently and twist. Press the top end down gently when you’ve created the twists.
Cheese topping- As you may see from the pictures, some of the cheese on the top of my cheese and onion twists burnt. I think this is probably because I grated the cheese too finely, so next time I’d either put a different cheese on top or wouldn’t grate it so finely.
Other Additions- You could also add some herbs to the pastry mix when you fold in the cheese, as these I think would compliment each other nicely. Alternatively, you could add a bit of spice to give them a bit of a kick.

*This cheese is delicious and is made by the Cheshire Cheese Company, who make incredible cheeses with some really interesting flavours. You can check them out here– my favourties are the Jamaican Jerk, Smokey Tomato and Garlic and the one mentioned above (also, they just introduced a chilli, lime and tequila cheese!).

cheese twists (1)