Devilled Eggs with Avocado and Bacon

Devilled eggs are considered rather retro nowadays, but like prawn cocktails, cheeseballs and vol-au-vents, the old recipes are all still really nice and deserve to be dusted off once in a while.

Devilled Eggs

These ones are very simple and have bacon and avocado, but there are many variations to try. The eggs would be perfect for an Easter table, but I think they are good any time of year.

I have a special devilled egg plate that I just bought. I needed to replace my nice egg-shaped one that my husband smashed (allegedly) by accident! He does think I have too many plates though, as if you can have too many plates!

Devilled Eggs1

Ingredients:
6 Eggs – I used extra large
1-2tbs Mayonnaise
1tsp Dijon mustard
1tsp smoked paprika plus extra for garnish
Pinch of salt and pepper
3 slices of smoked streaky bacon, cooked until crisp, cooled and chopped finely
Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
Half an avocado, cut into small chunks
A little lemon juice to stop the avocado from discolouring

Method:
I have tried various ways of ensuring the yolks are centred, including laying the eggs on their sides overnight, but it doesn’t always work. I find the easiest way is to give each egg a little shake before placing it in the water. Just enough to move the yolk inside the egg – not enough to break it!

I use this method to hard boil my eggs:
Place the eggs in water and bring up to the boil. As soon as the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat, put a lid on and time for 17 minutes. This is for extra-large eggs, I find any less time and the yolks are still a little waxy in the middle. As soon as the time is up, plunge them into iced water and peel the shells off, taking care not to pull chunks of egg white off.

Devilled Egg1

Cut the eggs in half length-ways and scoop out the yolks into a bowl. Place the egg halves onto a plate.

Add enough mayonnaise and mash with a fork to make a smooth consistency. Then add the mustard, salt, pepper and paprika and mix thoroughly. Some people like to pass the yolks through a sieve, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

You can either use a piping bag with a small star tip to pipe pretty stars, or just place the yolk mixture into a plastic bag, cut off the corner and squeeze little mounds into the waiting egg halves.

Stud each egg with a little chunk of avocado and sprinkle over the chopped bacon and chives and finish with a little more of the smoked paprika. You could also heat things up and use cayenne pepper.

Devilled Egg

These are perfect little snacks for a buffet table, picnic or canapé with drinks.

White Chocolate and Oreo Fudge Filled Easter Eggs

These are perfect desserts for Easter. They are definitely only meant for once a year as they are so rich and indulgent. The chocolate eggs have a white chocolate and Oreo cookie fudge filling and are made using silicone moulds that readily available and not too expensive.

Easter Eggs

Ingredients:
Detail on the egg shells:

100g white chocolate, broken into pieces

Egg shells:
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

Egg bases:
50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

Filling:
1 397g can of condensed milk
200g white chocolate
1 pack of original Oreo cookies, bashed or chopped up into small pieces

Easter Eggs1

Method:
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and using a food safe paint brush, load up the brush with chocolate and carefully fill in the detail on the silicone egg moulds. You will either find this therapeutic or get half way through and wonder why on earth you started doing this! Persevere, as the end result really is worth it. Take care to keep inside the lines.

Easter Eggs3

Leave to set completely.

Melt the dark and milk chocolate in the microwave, leave to cool slightly. If it is too warm, it might melt the white chocolate and spoil the detail.

Coat the insides of the egg moulds with the chocolate. I did this by pouring chocolate into each one and tilting and turning the mould until the insides had a good coating. Leave to set completely.

While the shells are setting, make the filling.

Easter Eggs5

Add the condensed milk to a heavy based pan along with the white chocolate and heat until melted, stirring all the time.

When everything is liquid, take off the heat and stir in the cookie rubble. Leave to cool, but not set completely. You need it to be cool enough to not melt the chocolate egg shells.

Easter Eggs2

When the filling is cool, fill the waiting shells and gently press down with the back of a spoon to flatten the filling before adding the rest of the chocolate.

Melt the remaining chocolate and pour onto the waiting eggs, use an offset spatula or palette knife to scrape off the excess and give you a nice flat finish.

Leave to set completely – at least 2 hours and your eggs will be complete.

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This recipe would work just as well with the smaller silicone egg moulds you can get as they are super rich.

If I made these again, I would work harder at tempering the chocolate to get a good shine on them, but I don’t think my family noticed the lack of shine when tucking in!

Roasted Jalapeno and Lime Cream Cheese

We love bagels with plain cream cheese in my house, but I’m always looking for ways to be a little more creative and add other ingredients.

Roasted jalapeno cream cheese

You can buy flavoured cream cheese, but I am always a little disappointed by the flavour. Perhaps it’s because it has sat on the shelf of the supermarket for a while. Using fresh ingredients is always going to taste better and the options are endless.

This is a spicy recipe and so quick to make if you use a gas hob. I have been burning the skins off peppers over gas flames since I saw Jamie Oliver do it many, many years ago, but they can always be roasted under a hot grill or in the oven. So much quicker over the flame though!

Burnt chilli

I have used jalapeno peppers which aren’t super spicy, but it’s always best to taste the chilli to find out just how hot it is first. I used two for this recipe and they add a lovely spicy, smoky flavour that works well with the zesty, fresh lime. An additional 60 grams of cheddar cheese also works well in this too, but I would have cucumber or salad leaves rather than smoked salmon if I added extra cheese.

Ingredients:
1-2 fat fresh jalapeno chilli peppers – depending on how spicy you like it
1 lime
280g pack of good quality cream cheese – I used Philadelphia full fat
2tbs fresh dill – chopped
Freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt

Method:
Prick the chillies all over and using metal tongs, place directly onto a gas flame and burn the skin until it is black all over. If you don’t prick the skin, the chillies can explode!

When the chillies are completely black, place in a plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic and leave to cool down and steam.

When they are cool enough to handle, rub off the skins, remove the seeds and finely chop.

Roasted jalapeno cream cheese1

Add the peppers and seasonings to the cream cheese. Stir in the zest of the lime and then add the juice of half of it. Stir to thoroughly combine and refrigerate until needed.

Roasted jalapeno cream cheese2

The perfect way to serve this is on a warm, fresh bagel, but equally delicious spread on savoury scones, crackers and oatcakes. It’s good with the traditional pairing of smoked salmon too!

Roasted jalapeno cream cheese3