When I was a child, it was the Easter bunny, or lièvre de Pâques, that brought us chocolate eggs at school or hid them in our garden. Of course like all kids, I would just eat as many eggs as I could get my hands on. Now as a (responsible) mom and true chocolate lover, I value good quality products and you know how those Easter eggs sold in shops with their colorful wrapping papers are more about sugar and additives than ‘real’ chocolate. So I thought, why not making Easter chocolate myself this year? The idea of chocolate and puffed quinoa nests just popped to my mind, as well as energy balls reshaped as Easter eggs.
Recently a lady I met heard my blog’s name, ‘Chocolate & Quinoa’ and she asked: ‘Did you ever combine both ingredients?’ Of course I did, that was in fact my very first post of this blog, back in May 2016! And the first time I made chocolate from scratch. Here comes my second recipe with homemade chocolate. Have you ever tried to make it yourself? It is easy and this way you can entirely decide how dark or sweet you like it. I changed a few things from my original recipe, like the ratio cocoa butter vs. coconut oil, increasing cocoa butter so the nest wouldn’t melt so easily outside of the fridge.
Puffed quinoa together with sliced almonds are mixed with melted chocolate, and poured in a silicon half sphered mould. You can leave the almonds out, however I like how the nests look as if ‘made from different materials’, the way birds would combine branches, grass and twigs to create their home.
Now, are you familiar with energy balls? They are a trendy healthy snack, and for good reasons. Energy balls (also called ‘blissed balls’) are both nutritious and super simple to make: the basic concept is to mix nuts with dry fruits, most commonly dates, which bring natural sweetness and give that sticky texture that binds all the ingredients together. No baking needed! You can customize the composition based on whichever nuts and fruits you like.
My Easter energy eggs are made of cashew nuts and hazelnuts, mixed with soft dates, vanilla extract and cacao powder. I recommend not to mix the nuts into powder but leave little chunks to give crunch to your energy balls. I rolled mine in a blend of dessicated coconut and organic green mix powder. Based on nutritious grasses, spirulina and chlorella, the green mix powder is usually meant to add to my smoothies. But here, I think it does a great job making my Easter ‘eggs’ look like covered with grass!
Happy Easter! Joyeuses Pâques!
- For the nests:
- 80 g cocoa butter
- 20 g coconut oil
- 40 g cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 6 tbsp agave nectar (adjust to your taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 50 g quinoa pops (puffed quinoa, store-bought)
- 70 g sliced almonds
- For about 20 Easter egg energy balls:
- 10 g dates, pitted
- 30 g cashew nuts
- 40 g hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut oil (I use neutral taste)
- Pinch of sea salt
- To prepare the nests: Melt cocoa butter and coconut oil in a bain marie on low heat. Remove right away from heat when it is melted.
- Sift in the cacao powder and whisk until totally combined.
- Add the agave nectar, vanilla extract and sea salt.
- Place the quinoa pops and almonds in a large bowl and pour over the melted chocolate. Mix together.
- Scoop the preparation into half sphered silicon moulds (my moulds are 8 cm diameter and 4,5 cm high), spreading it around to leave a hollow center.
- Place in refrigerator until it hardens.
- To prepare the Easter egg energy balls: Blend the nuts in a food processor, pulsing until tiny chunks remain.
- Next put the dates, vanilla extract, coconut oil, sea salt and cocoa powder and blend until everything combines until a sticky uniform batter forms.
- Scoop the dough with tablespoon and shape it with hands into small 'eggs'. (size is so that 3 eggs fit in each nest).
- In a blender add 2 tbsp of shredded coconut and blend until it becomes like a powder. Place in a small bowl. At this step you can scoop out part of it to give a 'white' cover to some of the eggs. Or mix all the coconut powder with one flat teaspoon of green powder mix.
- Roll the eggs into the green mixture.
- Place them on a parchment paper and let them harden in the fridge.
- Serve the eggs inside the nests. Enjoy!
If the chocolate-quinoa mixture is too liquid to be shaped in the spheres, add extra quinoa pops or sliced almonds.