Having just come out of the Easter Long-Weekend, what everyone is in agreement with is, that no matter what,
Easter is all about CHOCOLATE!
Even more so than Christmas, in particular, the now traditional chocolate eggs. But where did this tradition come from?
There are two ideas here that intertwine to the point where we gift eachother chocolate eggs. The first is the idea that eggs are seen as a sign of fertility and new life – hence why a lot of Easter dishes are enriched with egg: hot cross buns, bollo hornazo, torta de acelgas, etc. Christians refer to this period as Easter, however, various pagans previously prayed to their respective Goddess of Sex and Fertility: Eostre (Anglo-Saxon), Ishtar (Babylonian), Ashtaroth (Ancient Hebrew), Astarte (Ancient Greek) before the rise of Christianity.
Hence, the egg became a symbol of new birth.
Secondly, the 40 days of Lent were originally fasting days where you were not allowed to eat dairy products. Lent was meant to be an austere time. On Shrove Tuesday, you had gorged on pancakes full of egg, milk and sugar, confessed your sins and cleaned out your larder – you were now officially shriven. But chickens carried on laying eggs through lent! So how could these be saved? These eggs were boiled, thus prolonging their shelf-life and eaten at the end of Lent. Eventually the tradition of giving eggs as gifts arose: starting with these boiled eggs which evolved into decorated boiled eggs, to jewel encrusted Imperial Fabergé eggs made especially for Tsar Alexander III to give to his wife! In due course, chocolatiers made chocolate versions of these Fabergé eggs with sweet treats hidden inside which the masses could afford. Where does the Easter Bunny fit in?!?
But whether you fasted for 40 days, or were praying to your Goddess of Fertility, Easter Sunday was and is all about chocolate! And even though cracking open those chocolate eggs lined above your cupboard was a great breakfast and you are probably still recovering from that chocolate hangover, here is a chocolate recipe to indulge in at anytime!
125g double chocolate digestive biscuits
80g melted butter
30g ground almonds
500g cream cheese
100g caster sugar
120ml double cream
400g toblerone chocolate
1st: Melt the butter and allow to cool. In a food processor blitz the biscuits and add the ground almonds. Pour over the cooled butter, mix well and line the bottom of a spring form baking tin with this mixture. Press this down with a glass jar / tumbler to reach the edges. Chill in the fridge for 30mins.
2nd: Melt 200g of toblerone chocolate and allow to cool slightly.
3rd: In the food processor blend the cream cheese, caster sugar and double cream. Pour in the cooled, melted chocolate and blend until everything is incorporated thoroughly. Pour over the biscuit base and chill overnight or for 4 hours.
4th: (optional extra) crush 100g of toblerone chocolate and mix this into the cheesecake mixture.
5th: Crush the remaining toblerone and pour over the top of the cheesecake before serving.
Go on, indulge me.
photo taken from http://www.taste.com.au