Tag: baking

Chocolate muffins

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 25 minutes + 20 minutes baking

Serves: 12

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
¾ cup chocolate chips
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup plain yoghurt
½ cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup chocolate chips

 

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Chocolate cake

Hedgehog slice

Blueberry and apple muffins

 

Muffins are a great thing to bake with little chefs. There are loads of fun steps they can get involved with – from measuring and mixing, to spooning the mixture into the cases. The kids loved how much these rose in the oven, and we all enjoyed eating the chocolatey deliciousness of course!

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C and prepare a muffin tin

Get your toddler to line a muffin tin with cases or grease every corner of it with oil and butter if you have no cases to make sure the muffins don’t stick.

Mix the dry ingredients together

Get your child to measure each of the dry ingredients (2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup chocolate chips, ½ cup cocoa, 1 tsp baking powder) in turn and add to a large mixing bowl.

  

Give it a good mix.

 

Whisk the wet ingredients together

Add the vanilla extract (1 tsp), egg, yoghurt (1 cup), milk (1/2 cup)and vegetable oil (1/2 cup)to a separate mixing bowl.

 

 

Whisk it all together until it is well combined.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Get your child to help you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl and mix it together just enough so you can’t see any more flour. It’ll still be a little lumpy but that’s fine.

 

Bake the chocolate muffins

Spoon your mixture into your muffin tin/cases. If you let your kids help with this step be prepared for a bit of mess! I let the kids half fill up the cases then finished it off myself so there was an even amount in each muffin.

 
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. They’re ready when a toothpick or skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

chocolate muffins
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and leaving on a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate muffins

 

Rhubarb crumble

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes plus 45 minutes baking

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
175g plain flour,
175g butter, softened,
175g granulated sugar
A bunch of rhubarb
3 tbsp sugar

 

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apple crumble

Apple crumble

Banana upside down cake

It’s rhubarb season and while we don’t grow any ourselves our neighbours have an allotment and kindly gave us a big bundle of fresh, home-grown rhubarb at the weekend. There are lots of delicious puddings you could make with rhubarb but I couldn’t see past making a tasty, crunchy, sweet dish of rhubarb crumble.There’s also lots for kids to help with. Crumble is so simple to make – once you’ve measured out the ingredients either blast it in a food processor or get your hands dirty and rub to make the crumb. You kids might also like helping to chop the rhubarb if they are old enough.

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 fan (190C, gas mark 5)

Mix together the butter, flour and sugar

Get your toddler to measure the dry ingredients – flour (175g), sugar (175g) into a small bowl using a spoon.

  

Measure the butter (175g) and chop it into little pieces.

 

Add to a large mixing bowl or food processor if you are using one.

If you are making the crumble by hand (my kids preferred way) then get you hands dirty, rub the pieces of butter/flour/sugar together until you have a moist breadcrumb. Shake the bowl to make the larger pieces come to the surface and then rub them in. It works best if with cold hands and cold butter. Heat can make it go a bit clumpy but it’ll still taste nice!

 

If you are short for time, or you kids don’t like getting their hands messy, you can also mix it together in a food processor. SImply pulse it until it is a nice breadcrumb texture.

Prepare the rhubarb and place it in a baking dish.

Clean and chop your rhubarb into pieces about an inch long. If your child is old enough, they could help with this. Add them to a baking dish. If you find rhubarb quite tart, you can add a wee bit of sugar at this point to balance it out. We put in about 3 tbsp which was about right for us.

  

Pour over the crumble mix

Get your toddler to press down the rhubarb before adding the crumble on top.

 

Bake the rhubarb crumble

Pop the crumble in the oven for 35-40 minutes. It’s ready when the top looks golden and the rhubarb has softened and is starting to bubble through the topping.

Serve with custard/ice cream and enjoy!

rhubarb crumble rhubarb crumble

Lemon bundt cake

Difficulty: A wee bit harder

Time: 30 minutes plus 4 minute baking

Serves: 12 slices

Ingredients
3 lemons
250g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk*
*(You can use a tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar in cup of whole milk instead of buttermilk)

For the glaze
2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 cups icing sugar

 

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We had a craving for something sweet but a bit lighter, so found a recipe for a delicious looking lemon bundt cake on ‘Simply Suzanne’s’ website. We’ve made a few tweaks to make it easier for little chefs to follow but it still makes the same tasty, moist, light and lemony cake as the original.
If lemons aren’t your thing, this also works with other citrus fruits – orange bundt cake would also be delicious!

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C / 170C Fan and grease and flour a bundt tin

Prepare the lemons

I did this part myself as I don’t really like the kids using the grater, but if you have older kids they could help you. Zest and juice the lemons into two separate dishes. (If you zap your lemons in the microwave for 15 seconds or so you should get more juice out!)
Mix the zest with 3 tbsp of lemon juice and set aside.
Leave the rest of the lemon juice for later.

Mix the butter and sugar

Get your child to measure out the butter (250g) and sugar (2 cups). If the butter isn’t already soft/room temperature pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to mix.

 

Add them to a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a few minutes until it is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides with a spatula if you need to.

 

Add the eggs

Get your toddler to break the eggs into a small bowl, while you separate the final egg and add just the yolk. Give the eggs a quick whisk.


Turn the speed on your mixer and add half the eggs, mix for 15 seconds or so then add the remaining eggs. Mix together until it is well combined.

Prepare the dry ingredients

Get your child to help you measure out the flour (3 cups) into a separate bowl. While they are doing that add the baking powder (1 tsp), bicarbonate of soda (1/2 tsp) and salt (1 tsp).

Prepare the remaining wet ingredients

Add the buttermilk (3/4 cup) and vanilla (1 tsp) to the lemon/lemon zest mixture and give it a little mix.

 

Add the dry and wet ingredients to your mixing bowl

Turn your mixer speed down and add half the flour mixture. Mix for a few seconds then add half the buttermilk mixture and mix again. Repeat this process with the remaining flour/buttermilk and continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated.

Bake the lemon bundt cake

Spoon the cake batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. It’s ready when the top is a light golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Keep an eye on it from about 40 minutes to make sure you don’t over bake it.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes.

Prepare the lemon glaze

Add the lemon juice (2-3 tbsp) and buttermilk (1 tbsp) to the icing sugar (2 cups) and whisk it until it is smooth. Add more lemon juice if you need to – you want the mixture to be pourable but still thick enough so it doesn’t all run off the cake.

Glaze your lemon bundt cake

Turn the cake out of the pan and on to a wire rack. Put the rack over baking sheet to make it easy to tidy later.

Get your child to help you pour half the glaze over the cake and leave it to cool for an hour or so. After an hour, pour the remaining glaze over the cake and let it all cool to room temperature.

lemon bundt cake lemon bundt cake

Millionaire’s shortbread

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 2 hours setting

Serves: 20 slices

Ingredients
For the shortbread base
100g butter, softened
50g caster sugar
150g plain flour
For the caramel
100g condensed milk
150g butter
50g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
For the chocolate topping
200g chocolate (dark or milk)

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This a delicious recipe for millionaire’s shortbread that we got from our James Morton cookbook. There are a few different stages to the recipe which can be a good thing when you’re cooking with kids as it gives you the chance to have a break or clean up a bit as you go along. There are also some fun bits for your kids to help with, from measuring and mixing to melting (and sampling) chocolate!

Method

Preheat your oven to 160C/140C Fan and grease and line an 8 inch baking tray with baking paper

Make the shortbread

Get your child to measure the sugar (50g) and butter (100g) and pop them in a large mixing bowl. If the butter isn’t soft, blast it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so, to make it easier to mix.

Mix it together until it forms a paste.

 

Measure the flour (150g) out and add to the bowl and mix everything together. You can get your hands dirty at this point and work it all together so all the crumbs come together.

Press it out into your prepared tin.

  
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it is just turning golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool in the tin.

Make the caramel

While your shortbread is baking, start making the caramel. Get your little one to help you add all the ingredients to a small saucepan. (100g condensed milk, 150g butter, 50g caster sugar, 50g golden syrup.) Heat it on a medium heat, stirring it gently until it turns a nice golden brown colour. Watch your child carefully if you’re letting them help with this step.

  

 

Pour over your shortbread

Once the caramel is ready, pour it over your base and spread it out so it is nice and even. Leave it to cool for at least an hour (or overnight).

Add the chocolate topping

Get your child to help you break the chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Put it over a simmering pan of water to melt it (or do it in short bursts in the microwave).


Pour it over your cooled caramel and spread it out gently. Leave it to set for another hour or so but don’t put it in the fridge.

millionaire's shortbread
Cut your millionaire’s shortbread into squares and enjoy!

millionaire's shortbread

Easter cookie bar

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes plus 25 minutes baking

Serves: 20-25 slices

Ingredients
275g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp cornflour
115g butter (unsalted)
55g granulated sugar
135g light brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
3x 90g Bags of Mini Eggs
100g chocolate chips

 

 

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We did a lot of baking over Easter – with so much chocolate around it’s hard not to. I found this recipe on the Janes’ Patisserie website and adapted it slightly to make it a bit simpler to make with children. I’ve never made or even had a cookie bar before, but I love cookies if anything, these look like a slightly easier to make version.
They didn’t disappoint: they were deliciously gooey on the inside a little crispy on top and with the added crunch of chocolate chips and mini eggs. One thing is for sure, these aren’t just for Easter.

 

Method

Preheat your oven to190C/170C Fan and prepare you baking tray
Line a 9×9 inch baking tin with baking paper.

Mix the dry ingredients

Get your little ones to measure out the flour (275g) and add to a mixing bowl. Give them a hand to add the bicarbonate of soda (1 tsp), salt (1/2 tsp salt) and cornflour (1 tbsp). Hannah can do some of this herself, but needs a hand levelling the contents on the spoon. Lewis likes to help hold the spoon.

Mix everything together until it is well combined.

 

Whisk the butter and sugars together

Measure the butter (115g). If it isn’t soft enough, blast it in the microwave for a few seconds. Put it in a (separate) large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. Add the sugar (55g granulated and 135g light brown sugar.)

Whisk everything together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

  

Add the eggs and vanilla

Get your child to break the egg into a small bowl then add to your sugar/butter mixture. While they are doing that add the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp).

Mix everything together again.

Add the dry ingredients

Add the flour mixture into the sugar/butter mixture.

 

Open the packets of mini eggs and let your kids throw them in (keep a few back to put on top). Do the same with the chocolate chips.

Mix with a spoon or a spatula until you have a nice dough.

 

 

Bake the cookie bar

Get your child to help you press the cookie dough mixture into the bottom of your baking tin. We used a spoon to flatten the top down. Press the remaining few mini eggs into the top to make it look pretty.

  

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. It’s ready when its starting to turn golden, and looks dry on top.

Leave the cookie bake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so, then remove to cool fully on a wire rack. Cut into squares and enjoy!

easter cookie bar

 

Animal rolls

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 1.5 hours proving + 15 minutes baking

Serves: 8+ rolls

Ingredients
450g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
50g butter, softened.
250ml lukewarm milk
1 egg
For decoration
Sultanas/raisins cut in half

 

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We’ve made rolls before, but never ones shaped into anything interesting. So when I saw someone make bread rolls into bunny rabbits on pinterest I thought we had to try that. We got a bit carried away though and ended up with a small menagerie of bunnies, hedgehogs, a tortoise, and a snail. I’m sure there are other things you could make so let you and your kids imagination run away with itself. Our animal rolls definitely looked more like animals going into the oven than they did coming out, but the kids really enjoyed making them (and eating them) so i’m considering them a success!

Method

Mix the dry ingredients
Get your child to measure the flour (450g) out and pour that into a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.

 

Add the salt (2 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and yeast. As you are using a whole packet of dried yeast you can get the smallest chefs involved by just pouring it all in.

  

Weigh the butter (50g) out. If it’s not softened, pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds so it’s soft, but not melted. This will make it easier to mix.

Rub the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can either do this by hand or using a mixer. The mixer is obviously quicker but my kids really enjoyed getting their hands messy!

Add the egg and milk
Get your child to pour the milk (250ml) into a measuring jug, or a bowl on your scales set to ml. We put ours in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it lukewarm.


Make a well in the flour mixture then add the egg and milk.
Knead the dough

If you’re using a mixer, add the dough hook and turn it on to mix for 5 minutes or so. If you are doing it by hand, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead it for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. We did a bit of both – started in the mixer until it was almost done, then the kids had a turn doing it by hand. They wouldn’t have had the patience to do it all by hand but really enjoy getting their hands messy!

 

Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Make the animal rolls
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Get your kids to knock it back (punch it) and knead it for a few minutes. Start by dividing your dough into 8-10 pieces and roll them into balls.

 

We made a few different animal rolls:
Hedgehogs, use half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose then get your child to make little snips all over the hedgehogs back with scissors to make the spines.
Bunnies: use the half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose and use scissors to snip two ears. Make them quite big as they shrink a little when the rolls rise/cook.
Tortoise: Roll 5 small round balls and attach for the head and legs, add the eyes and nose using the half sultanas/raisins. If you want you can also score across the back of the tortoise with a sharp knife to make the tortoise shell.
Snail: Make a sausage and roll up into a snail. Add the eyes and nose using half raisins/sultanas.

  

Put the rolls on a baking tray, spacing them well apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.

Bake the rolls

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.
Bake the animal rolls in the oven for 10-15 minutes. They are ready when they have turned golden and sound a bit hollow if you tap them underneath.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

animal rolls

 

Bear claw cookies

Difficulty: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes baking

Time: Fairly easy

Serves: 24 cookies approx

Ingredients
225g unsalted butter, softened
200g Demerara sugar
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dark chocolate.
To decorate
Large chocolate buttons
Small chocolate drops

 

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Cookies are a great thing to bake with your kids. They don’t involve rolling out or cutting like other biscuits do which, although fun, can make baking a little bit more time consuming. They’re so simple and have lots of steps your little ones can get involved in: measuring, mixing and then dolloping the dough out on the baking sheets.

To make these cookies, we just used a cookie recipe we’ve tried before from the Hummingbird Bakery, but made them a bit more fun (and chocolatey) by turning them into bear claws. They’d probably look more like bear claws if we made them smaller, but that’s unlikely to happen in our house. They were a hit though: “ooooh Mummy, I love it” was the response from my ever enthusiastic toddler! I hope you like them….

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and line your baking trays (at least 4) with greasproof paper

Mix the butter and sugar
Get your child to measure the butter (225g) and sugar (200g demerara, 150g caster) out and then add to a mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. If the butter isn’t already soft, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so, just to make it easier to mix.

Mix them together using the paddle attachment of your mixer if you’re using one, a hand held mixer, or wooden spoon until the sugar and butter are light and fluffy.

  

Add the eggs and vanilla extract
Get your child to break the eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Add them to your bowl, mixing it a little between the additions of each egg.

 

Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and get your child to help you measure the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp) into the bowl. Let them use the spoon on their own if they are able to (my 3 year old can just about do this), or help them and steady their hand while you pour if you need to (my 1.5 year old can help do it this way).

Add the remaining ingredients
Measure the flour (400g) into a small bowl. If your child is able to, get them to help measure the salt ( ½ tsp) and bicarbonate of soda (2 ½ tsp) into the flour. Add these into your large mixing bowl.

Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough. If you need to, use a spatula to scrape the mixture down from the sides of the bowl.

 

While everything is mixing, chop up the chocolate into small pieces. Get your toddler to add it in to your dough mixture and give it one last mix so that everything is nicely combined.

 

Form the cookies
Using a spoon (or your little ones might like using their hands!) add 6 dollops of dough mixture to each of your baking trays. The mixture is quite sticky, so your kids might need help getting the mixture off the spoon. You can always form them into neater balls with your hands. These cookies spread a lot while baking so leave as much space as possible between each cookie as possible. Get your little ones to help you add a chocolate button and small chocolate drops to form the ‘claw’.

  

Bake the cookies
Pop them in the oven for roughly 10 minutes. They’re ready when the edges have turned golden brown and they’ve flattened down.

Leave them on the baking trays to cool slightly, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

bear claw cookies

You can bake other delicious cookies: double chocolate smarties cookies and chocolate chip cookies

 

Hot cross bun and butter pudding

Difficulty: Fairly easy

Time: 8

Serves: 30 minutes + 30 minutes baking

Ingredients
6 free-range egg yolks
2 free-range eggs
150g/5oz caster sugar
300ml/½ pint whole milk
300ml/½ pint double cream
75g/2½oz butter
8 hot cross buns
50g/1oz sultanas (approx)
25g/1oz demerara sugar (approx)

 

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If you’ve bought or made too many hot cross buns over Easter and need to use them up, how about a twist on a classic – hot cross bun and butter pudding. It’s easy to make and lets little chefs practice important skills like buttering bread and it tastes delicious! This recipe is also easily halved if you don’t have as many hot cross buns to spare.

Method

Make the custard
Get your little one to crack the eggs (2) in to a dish. While they are doing that, you can separate the other eggs (6), adding the yolks to the whole eggs.

Measure the sugar and add to a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and whisk together.

Get your child to pour the milk and cream into a pan. Put it on the hob and bring slowly to a simmer. Remove from the heat then slowly pour on to the egg mixture, whisking well so that it doesn’t curdle.

Butter the hot cross buns
Half the hot cross buns then put your kids to work buttering them. We softened the butter for a few seconds in the microwave to make this a bit easier and helped a little to make sure it was spread evenly.

Cut the hot cross buns in half again.

Place a layer of hot cross buns into a 22x10cm (9x4inch) oven proof dish. We made two smaller ones so the kids both got to make their own.

Sprinkle some sultanas and demerara sugar on top (no need to be too accurate with quantities). Add another layer of buns, sultanas and sugar, repeat if you have any left.

Add the custard
Pour the custard over the top of your buns and leave to stand for 20 minutes or so.

Bake your pudding
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan.

Pop your dish into a deep roasting tray and fill with water so it is coming half way up the side of the dish. Cover with tinfoil.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the custard has set.

Remove the foil from the top for the last five minutes to brown the top.

Hot cross bun and butter pudding

Serve(with custard/icecream/cream) and enjoy.

If you liked this pudding you might also like this bread and butter pudding made with pains au chocholat. It’s a real treat!

Easter chick biscuits

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 minutes + 15 minutes baking

Serves: approx 15 biscuits

Ingredients
100g butter (softened)
50g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
Yellow food colour
To decorate
Icing writers

These are fun Easter biscuits that you can make with your favourite biscuit recipe. We just made fork biscuits and added food colouring and some decorations. Fork biscuits are really quick and easy as there are only three ingredients, and no eggs or cutters. There’s also the chance to get your hands dirty which my kids really enjoyed.

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan and line a baking tray with baking paper

Mix the butter and sugar together
Get your toddler to measure the butter and if it’s not soft, give it quick blast in the microwave to make easier to mix. Put it in a large mixing bowl.

Weigh the sugar and add it to the bowl.

 

Beat together with a wooden spoon until well combined.

 

Add the flour and colour
Get your child to weigh the flour out into a small bowl then add it to your mixing bowl. Carry on mixing then use your hands to bring it all together into a soft dough.

 

Add yellow food colouring. We had to add quite a lot before it was bright enough. Mix it into your dough so it is evenly distributed.

Form the biscuits
Roll small pieces of dough (the size of a walnut or teaspoon) into round balls. Place on your baking tray, leaving a wee bit of space between them for spreading.Gently press down on each biscuit with your hands to flatten them a little. This is a good step for really little chefs to help with, especially if they are too small to help with rolling the balls out.

 

Bake your biscuits
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.

 

Decorate your biscuits
Draw on a face and feet to turn your biscuits into Easter chicks. If your kids are old enough they could enjoy doing this, but if not, this could be a job for a grown up’s steadier hand.

Easter chick biscuits

If you enjoyed these biscuits, try some of these other great Easter baking ideas: Easter rocky road, Easter chocolate nests,

Easter chocolate nests

Difficulty: Really easy

Time: 15 minutes + 1 hours chilling

Serves: 10

Ingredients
200g milk chocolate
2 tbsp golden syrup
50g butter
175g corn flakes
Mini eggs

Easter nests are by far the easiest and quickest thing we’ve ever made together, so it’s a great place to start for a novice baker!

Method

Add some cupcake cases to a muffin tray


Melt the chocolate, syrup and butter together
Get your kids to break the chocolate (200g) into pieces and put into a heatproof bowl. Add the golden syrup (2 tbsp) – if you have 2 little chefs, one might be able to hold the spoon while the other pours. Measure the butter and chop into a few pieces before adding to your bowl.

 

Melt on a double boiler (place your bowl over a pan of simmering water). Leave it to melt, stirring occasionally.

 

Mix in the cornflakes
While the chocolate is melting, get your kids to weigh the cornflakes out. Don’t worry about being too accurate.

Add the cornflakes to your melted chocolate. (Make sure the bowl isn’t too hot first).

Give everything a good mix so all the cornflakes are coated.

  

Make the nests
Give your little chefs spoons and get them to fill the cupcake cases with the chocolate cornflakes. Press down a little dent in the top for the mini eggs.

Add 3 mini eggs to the top of each nest.

 

Chill in the fridge for a few hours.

 Easter chocolate nests

If you want to do some more Easter baking why not try this delicious Easter rocky road or some Easter chick biscuits.