Ten ways to use up leftover Easter chocolates
Do you have any Easter chocolates (by some miracle) still hanging around at your place? Now that the novelty has worn off, my children’s stash does not seem to be decreasing at the rate that I expected. If you’re not keen on finding chocolate hidden under their beds or whitened old chocolate in six months, it might be the perfect time to confiscate some of that forgotten Easter fare and put it to better use. Here are ten options to consider:
- Fondue:This can be messy if your children are involved but it is also a fun way to get them to enjoy fruit. If you have fondue equipment, fantastic, it will be easy to keep the chocolate warm and liquidy. If not, you might want to melt a smaller amount of chocolate at at time. Chop up banana, orange, apple, pineapple, cantaloupe, or whatever fruit is in season, into bite-sized pieces and display on a platter. Pop the melted chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the iddle of the platter, hand out toothpicks or forks, and enjoy! If you have younger kids, it might be best for them to indulge in this activity right before bath time.
- Old school Hot chocolate: As we head into the cooler months, what could me more warming than hot chocolate old school style? Forget the grainy, powdery chocolate stuff – this is the way they do it in the chocolate factories. Melt some Easter chocolate down in a saucepan on low heat. When it has melted fully, slowly add the milk of your choice and stir with a wooden spoon until you have reached your perfect milk to chocolate ratio. Mix it up and try hot chocolate in different styles if you have all types of chocolate on hand. Dark hot chocolate is obviously a little bitter, regular milk chocolate is sweet, and white hot chocolate even sweeter still. Serve as a special treat for the kids after a long day at school with a bikkie, or cosy up on the couch yourself and indulge once they are asleep.
- Chocolate bark: Making chocolate bark is an easy activity you can do with your children. Grab an oven tray and cover with baking paper. Melt down some Easter chocolate, one or several different types, depending on what you like and spread onto your baking paper. Let your little people grab their favourite nuts, seeds (or if you’re going all out, even sprinkles, leftover chopped mini Easter eggs and jube lollies) and scatter them onto the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the bark is completely cooled and hard, then break or chop into rough pieces. Store in a airtight container.
- Chocolate covered fruit: What better way to sneak a little more fruit into your child’s life (that they will no doubt devour immediately if they enjoy chocolate), than by covering with them in chocolate and refrigerating them for a cool lunchbox treat? The classic chocolate covered strawberries is always a win, and actually work best with strawberries that are a little on the overripe side or going squishy. No one will know once they are covered in set chocolately goodness, and they actually taste better that way than if you use fresh strawberries. Also try a banana on a skewer covered in chocolate and then crushed nut or five to six blueberries on a skewer rolled in chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. These cool treats are fun to munch on, especially babies and toddlers getting new teeth. (Obviously take care if making the options that use skewers).
- Make hazelnut spread: There are a variety of recipes for hazelnut spread. I usually use the one from the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook or Quirky Cooking’s recipe which is a tad healthier. This is a great recipe is you have some milk to use up that is going to expire soon. The spread is a blend of hazelnuts, sugar, milk, chocolate, cacao or cocoa and butter. Naturally, if there are nut allergies in your household, you could simply make a pure chocolate spread instead.
- Crumble for icecream topping: If you happen to have an accident where a chocolate bunny or egg is smashed into smithereens inside it’s foil, don’t despair! Put the crumbled mess into a container in your pantry and use as a topping for icecream, pancakes, cakes or even hot chocolate.
- Melt down to chocolate ganache: Probably one of the simplest ways to use up your leftover chocolate is to melt it down to a chocolate ganache (you may want to add some butter to help the melting process), and use it as a topping for pancakes, biscuits, cakes or muffins, just to name a few. Delicious!
- Use in baked goods: In a similar manner, instead of buying chocolate buttons or choc chips to use in your baking, break up your Easter chocolate to use in biscuits, muffins, muesli bars, cakes and brownies. If you are after a recipe to use, The Organic Place recipes has Beetroot Brownies and Easy Choc Chip Banana muffins to get you started. Yum!
- Make into your own smaller chocolates: While most of us love the huge chocolate eggs and bunnies because they are so easy to eat, it does mean that they take up a great deal of space if they are still intact. I still have a bag of each child’s stash taking up precious bench space. Rather than sending crumbly shards of Easter eggs in lunchboxes, why not melt them down into smaller chocolates for easy storage and lunchbox packing? You would also be unwittingly separating the mass of chocolate into reasonably-sized portions to avoid overindulgence You can involve the kids by getting them to choose if they mix their different types of chocolate, or add nuts, fruit or seeds to the middle of them.
- Trail mix: Chop us some of your chunkier eggs and bunnies and mix with nuts, seeds and dried fruit to create your own trail mix. In my own humble opinion, I think trail mix works best with dark chocolate as the bitter taste complements the nutty flavours well, but of course you can mix any flavoured chocolate pieces you like. Store in an airtight container for an after school snack or in portioned smaller containers for a sustaining snack when you are out and about. It’s also a favourite of mine with a peppermint tea of a night, as it contains plenty of good oils with the mixed in chocolate treat.