I think it’s highly possible that every time I am armed with chocolate and a whisk, my GP dies a little on the inside. But its Easter after all and it’s one of the last chances we’ve got to legitimately enjoy a chocolate assault on all the senses so this is another take-no-prisoners chocolate delight for those among us who love all things round and cacao driven. And besides, I feel an obligation these days to help sustain my GP’s employment.
If Cadbury crème eggs were the leader of my Easter pack, the birds egg with the delicate shell would be its second in command. The crunch, the sweetness, and the scattered pastel prettiness of it’s exterior are elements I’ll never tire of. This is more a chocolate love nest than an egg nest – a luscious, light and airy like mousse meets soufflé. It falls a little as it cools but that is exactly what we want – creating a perfect little landing pad for your bevvy of Easter eggs.
Make sure you allow the cake to cool sufficiently before pressing the eggs into the surface. Over eager moves mean the Easter eggs can melt and make a mess of your hands and your pudding.
340g good quality dark chocolate (70%)
170g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Pinch of salt
6 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup caster sugar plus 1 tbsp
Icing sugar to dust
220g Red Tulip ‘birds’ eggs
Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and line a 22cm springform pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until completely smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least five minutes.
Whisk together the yolks, vanilla, and 1/3 cup caster sugar then whisk into the chocolate mixture. Set aside to cool completely.
Whisk the eggwhites with a pinch of salt until they just hold soft peaks then gradually add the remaining sugar. Beat on medium high until whites are glossy and just hold stiff peaks. Whisk about 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate, then using a spatula, gently fold in remaining whites until combined. Gently pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top just feels dry and starts to crack. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out slightly sticky but not completely wet. Let the cake cool completely in the pan – it will fall as it cools. Remove ring from pan and dust the top generously with icing sugar. Gently press the birds eggs into the top of the cake until just submerged and standing upright. Best served the day it is made.