I have a strong aversion to supermarket Easter eggs. My distaste was reinforced last year when I was a judge at a blind tasting of Easter chocolates: I was in tears afterwards from all the sugar – and believe me, I have a high tolerance! In a bid to protect my children from a similar fate, I've been testing alternatives to commercial chocolate. This one pleased adults as well as children, though the vox pop from the mini people suggested they preferred it without the ganache.
For the rice cake
120g unsalted butter
40g light brown sugar
20g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
pinch flaky sea salt
250g white marshmallows
170g Rice Bubbles cereal
150g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
For the ganache (optional)
240g dark chocolate, finely chopped
240ml pure cream
1 tsp coffee powder (optional)
2 tbsp Frangelico (optional)
1. Line a rectangular cake pan approximately 30cm x 20cm with baking paper and set aside.
2. Brown the butter by placing in a large saucepan (large enough to accommodate the marshmallows and Rice Bubbles later) over medium heat. Once melted, continue to cook until the butter is foaming. Swirl the pan gently until you see brown sediment begin to form on the sides and bottom of the pan. Let it continue to bubble away until it turns a rich golden brown colour and begins to smell like toasted nuts. Now add the brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon (if using), salt and marshmallows, and stir gently and continuously with a spatula over low heat.
3. As soon as all the marshmallows have melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the Rice Bubbles and hazelnuts. Stir well until completely combined, then scrape into the prepared cake pan. Spread the mix so it is evenly distributed, then press firmly into the tin with the spatula or oiled hands. Allow to set in a cool place.
4. For the ganache, if you're making it, place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside. Heat the cream and coffee powder (if using) in a small saucepan over medium heat, and as soon as it begins to come to the boil, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. After a minute, add the Frangelico (if using), then stir with a spatula until all the chocolate has melted. Allow to cool before spreading over the rice cake.
5. Place in the fridge to set completely before cutting into squares to serve.
Tip: If you are adding the ganache, the Frangelico and coffee powder will give it extra flavour – perfect for serving with coffee after dinner.
Find more of Helen Goh's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.