A few months ago I set myself the challenge of creating an Easter baked treat that incorporated two of my favourite Easter chocolates (Cadbury Cream and Mini Eggs) and Shredded Wheat Easter nests. After some experimentation, I settled on these rich and delicious Cadbury Cream and Mini Egg Brownies.
The fun starts with a soft brownie base that sits under a spongey and creamy mid-layer formed from marshmallows and Cadbury Cream Eggs. My favourite layer is definitely the topping. Do you remember those yummy Easter nests you made when you were a child? The ones made from cereal drenched in melted chocolate and golden syrup with mini eggs inside? That's what these beauties are finished with - a crunchy layer of sweet chocolatey Shredded Wheat with Mini Eggs pressed into it.
It's true that there's a lot going on in one of these brownies, but don't think that makes them time-consuming or difficult to make. The best part is that you can make these in 30 minutes and there is no mixer required. Highly recommended if you have children or if you're an adult with a big kid living inside of you crying out for Easter chocolates with longing nostalgia.
Key ingredients and possible alternatives
- Chocolate - I use half milk and half 70% dark. All milk would be too sickly and I find all dark isn't sweet enough.
- Cadbury Mini Eggs - these are pushed into the Shredded Wheat nest topping. You could use another brand of shelled chocolate egg here or even a different type of chocolate egg.
- Cadbury Cream Eggs - I find the full-sized ones give the best chocolate-to-cream ratio. I avoid the mini-Cream Eggs when making this recipe as it results in a middle layer of solid chocolate and you can't really taste the cream.
- Marshmallows - fill the gaps between the Cream Eggs and add sweet spongey texture to the middle layer. You can use any plain marshmallows, both mini and large are good. If you use the large ones you will have to tear them into pieces to fill the smaller gaps.
- Shredded Wheat - this is combined with chocolate, unsalted butter and golden syrup to form the nest topping. You could substitute Shredded Wheat for Rice Crispies or Cornflakes if you prefer.
How to make Cadbury Cream & Mini Egg Brownies:
1. Brownie base
Grease a baking dish and line with greaseproof paper and set the oven to 180°C or 350°F. I use a 21cm/8in x 15cm/6in x 4.5cm/2in baking dish to make this recipe.
Place the chocolate and butter into a bowl and melt in the microwave or over a saucepan of simmering water. You will need a Pyrex bowl if you are using the saucepan method.
Mix the beaten egg, sugar and vanilla essence into the chocolate mix. Then stir in the flour. Pour the brownie mixture into the baking dish and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is set. Use a toothpick (or similar implement) to check the doneness. The toothpick should have a few moist crumbs on it after it is inserted into the baked brownie base. If you see smooth wet mixture on the toothpick the brownie base will need longer in the oven.
2. Shredded Wheat nest topping
Make the Shredded Wheat topping while the brownie base is baking. Simply melt the remaining chocolate, butter and golden syrup in the microwave or in a Pyrex bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir in the crushed Shredded Wheat when the liquid ingredients have fully melted.
3. Cream Egg and marshmallow mid-layer
Cut the Cream Eggs in half vertically and place them on top of the brownie base. You may want to press them in slightly, but don't push them the whole way into the brownie base. The Cream Eggs and marshmallows should form a mid-layer rather than be part of the base-layer.
Place the marshmallows into the gaps between the Cream Eggs. You might need to tear them into smaller pieces to fill the smaller spaces.
Put the baking dish back into the oven for 5 more minutes until the marshmallows and cream eggs have melted and merged.
4. Add the topping and cool
Spoon the Shredded Wheat topping onto the melted mid-layer and press in the mini eggs. Leave to set and enjoy.
Tools & Equipment
The beauty of this recipe is that it doesn't require any specific tools or fancy kitchen equipment:
Here a a few key items I use:
- Heatproof mixing bowl or Pyrex bowl - any bowl that is microwave-proof and large enough to hold all the incorporated ingredients is good. If you are going to melt the chocolate and butter over a saucepan of boiling water you will need a Pyrex bowl as other bowls will not be able to withstand the heat from the boiling water.
- Wooden spoon or silicone mixing spoon - you can mix all ingredients in this recipe by hand with an ordinary spoon. I favour silicone spoons over wooden spoons because I find them more hygienic.
- Silicone spatula - super useful for scraping-out any straggling bits of the mixture. I find silicone is the most effective material for this.
3 tips for perfect Cadbury Cream & Mini Egg Brownies
- Check the doneness of the brownie base - you can use a toothpick or cake tester to check if the brownie base is cooked. If it comes out with a few moist crumbs on it you're good to go, but if the toothpick has wet mixture on it the brownie base needs longer in the oven.
- Melt chocolate, butter and golden syrup at the same time when you make the topping - if you melt the chocolate first and then add the butter and golden syrup the mixture may curdle.
- Use normal-sized Cadbury Cream Eggs - these provide a good cream-to-chocolate ratio. I tried the recipe with the mini-Cream Eggs and found I couldn't really taste the cream and the middle layer was more like solid chocolate.
They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. There is no need to keep them in the fridge unless you want to.
Yes, they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
I've only made this recipe with Shredded Wheat but I am sure other cereal types would turn out well as long as you keep the volume the same. You should aim for the cereal to be the main player in the topping with an even but thin covering of chocolate.