Are the kids still gorging themselves every time your back is turned? I’ve “negotiated” a solution to the chocolate excess of Easter Sunday. This easy no-bake slice. And it really doesn’t matter what sort or brand of chocolate eggs you’re gently melting down. I use any eggs my girls are happy to part with, once they've put their treasured stash in ziplock bags in the freezer for the coming weeks. Seems even 4 year olds understand the true value of a Lindt bunny over no brand chocolate.
Up till now, all cocoa beans for chocolate made in Australia have been sourced from overseas, imported from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Nigeria. Malaysia, the Caribbean Islands, Cameroon and PNG are also growing cocoa trees. Read my jotting below about the exciting Australian Cocoa Bean and Vanilla Industries taking shape in Tropical Far North Queensland. 100% Aussie homegrown Chocolate at last - currently harvesting!
Ingredients - 250 grams (8 ounces) unfilled plain chocolate biscuits (I use Arnott’s Chocolate Ripple) ❤ 1 cup of coarsely chopped shortbread biscuits ❤ 100 grams (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chopped coarsely ❤ ½ cup (125 ml) sweetened condensed milk ❤ 400 grams (12 ½ ounces) Chocolate Easter Eggs, chopped coarsely to melt ❤ 20 - 30 small Chocolate Easter Eggs whole ❤ 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
Method + Tips - Grease a 24cm square slice tin. Line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) above the sides.
Blend or process 200grams of the chocolate biscuits until become fine crumbs. The other 50 grams chop coarsely.
Combine condensed milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stir until smooth.
Combine all biscuits, fine and coarse, in a medium sized bowl. Add the butter mixture and stir through. Press into the prepared tin and smooth with the back of a teaspoon. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Combine chopped easter eggs and oil in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water to melt. Don’t overheat. Best to turn the heat off as soon as chocolate is almost melted. Continue stirring off the heat until smooth and glossy. Pour and spread over the biscuit base.
Use the extra whole Easter eggs to decorate, placing evenly on top. Refrigerate until set, at least one hour before cutting.
Top Tips - any un-iced, unfilled chocolate biscuit works well. Use your sharpest knife to cut neat bite sizes, heat the knife first by pouring boiling water over it. Store bites in an airtight container in the fridge for one week or they freeze well too. Makes 20 large bites or 30 smaller ones.
Daintree Estates is about to harvest the first commercially grown Cocoa Plantation in Australia, located in the Mossman area north of Cairns, Far North Queensland. Fantastic! The climatic and environmental conditions are just right for growing cocoa in FNQ. The beans are sent to Melbourne to be processed into the finest 100% Australian chocolate. Foodies all around Australia can’t wait to get their hands on it.
Until recently 100% of Vanilla Beans were also imported into Australia. However our ingenious farmers are also creating an Australian Vanilla industry - a market for Australian grown and produced vanilla beans in the cane country of Port Douglas, Far North Queensland.
Vanilla Australia in the foothills of Port Douglas , Broken Nose Vanilla in Miriwinni and Daintree Vanilla & Spice are all producing beautiful vanilla beans. The creamy-green vanilla orchid flowers open in the morning warmth for just a few hours. Every small flower (and there are thousands of them) has to be hand pollinated during the cooler winter months. It is a long labour of love from green bean-like pods to supple and fragrant brown pods ready for use, or for further processing into pure extract or paste. That heady familiar aroma of vanilla makes our ice-cream, cheesecakes and pannacotta outstanding. Whenever possible, always use the bean, pure extract or paste in your baking - avoid the imitation essence with its chemical taste.
Australian Year of the Farmer is a 2012 Celebration of the vital role Aussie farmers play in all our lives. Just click the link to get involved. Thanks for reading and enjoy your Easter Monday holiday.