The Easter holiday is quickly approaching. And as a parent of a child with multiple food allergies, I need to start planning to ensure my child has some allergy-friendly treats for the holiday, too.
Eggs are a symbol of new life, which is why decorated and confectionery eggs play a large role in Easter and many other spring celebrations. One of my favourite Easter treats are Cadbury Creme Eggs, the egg-shaped milk chocolate shells filled with creamy fondant that resembles a real egg yoke.
Some might argue it's unwise to give candies that resemble eggs to a child with an egg allergy. However, I believe my son is old enough to recognize the difference, and to understand the symbolic significance of eggs. He was very excited about the idea of eating candy eggs similar to what all of his friends are eating.
Since the original Creme Eggs contain milk, soy and eggs, and have a warning that they may contain peanuts and tree nuts, a recipe makeover was in order for my child to enjoy this Easter classic.
Here's how I made allergy-friendly Cadbury-style Creme Eggs:
To make a filling that is free of the top allergens, I used coconut oil with a dash of salt to replace butter. If you don't enjoy the taste of coconut, feel free to use a vegan soy-free margarine or real butter if you do not avoid dairy (just leave out the salt in this case).
Most Creme Egg recipes require a sticky sweetener like light corn syrup to help moisten and bind the filling. I used maple syrup in my recipe, which made the egg whites a little more beige, but it was well worth it for the amazing maple flavour. Agave nectar, honey or brown rice syrup would also make great sweetener substitutions in this recipe.
Making the filling is super-easy. Simply measure and place maple syrup, coconut oil, salt and vanilla into a stand mixer bowl and cream it all together. Slowly add sifted powdered sugar until it is fully incorporated. Make the "egg yolk" by adding a few drops of yellow food colouring to some of the filling, and keep the remainder white.
Making the "eggs" can be a fun task that children can help out with. Use your hands to roll 1-inch balls with the yellow filling, and then make a larger white ball and flatten it into a disk. Embed the "yolk" into the flat white disk to make it look like a sunny side up egg, and then wrap the white around the yellow ball. Shape it into an egg shape, and then place it on parchment or wax paper. Keep them in the freezer, so that they don't lose shape.
To make a dairy-free chocolate shell, use dark chocolate or allergy-friendly chocolate chips (like the Enjoy Life brand). Simply melt the chips down in a double boiler or in the microwave, and then cover the eggs with melted chocolate and allow to cool. I found that piercing the eggs with a BBQ skewer and using a spoon to pour the melted chocolate on top of the egg was easier than dipping the full egg into the chocolate.
The resulting allergy-friendly Cadbury-style Creme Eggs are dangerously addictive with their crunchy chocolate shells and soft candy filling that has a slight maple and coconut flavour.
The following recipe makes about 10 medium life-sized eggs. I found them to be a larger serving size than what I would ideally give my kids for sweets. So the next time I make this recipe, I'll make the eggs about half the size of a life-sized egg.
Allergy-friendly Easter Creme Egg recipe:
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
Yellow food colouring
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- To make the filling, place the maple syrup, coconut oil, salt and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to cream it all together. Slowly sift in powdered sugar, and beat until fully incorporated.
- Place about one third of the filling in a bowl, and mix in a few drops of yellow food colouring to make the yolks. Keep the remainder of the filling white.
- Use your hands to roll small yolks with the yellow filling. Make a larger white ball and flatten into a disk, and then wrap the white around the yellow ball. Shape it into an egg shape, and then place the egg on parchment or wax paper. Place in the freezer, so that it keeps its shape.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Cover the "eggs" with melted chocolate, either by using egg-shaped chocolate moulds, dipping the fillings into the chocolate, or spooning melted chocolate over the eggs on a BBQ skewer. Allow chocolate to set.