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Food: Easter eggs with a twist - Tips by 6 culinary experts

From gummy bear stuffings to an edible Batman, the Easter egg has gone tres mode this season. Six pastry chefs and home bakers knead out their ideas for it

An Easter egg should have a surprise element: Sanjana Patel

Sanjana Patel
Sanjana Patel

This Sunday, if you pop an Easter Egg from one of the La Folie outposts, you might find a gummy bear, homemade almond praline or nutella burst in your mouth. “An Easter egg should have a surprise element,” believes chef Sanjana Patel, who started offering Easter specials at her Kala Ghoda dessert station three years ago. While she stuck to traditional varieties like chocolate and marzipan eggs in the previous seasons, this year, she has taken things a notch further.

The Easter Egg dessert with mango compote
The Easter Egg dessert with mango compote

She’s even conjured an Easter Egg dessert that includes layers of pistachio cake, cream infused with orange blossom water and mango compote ensconced in a white chocolate shell. “The mango compote resembles a yolk, making the cracked egg look like a sunny side up. Traditionally, an Easter egg was considered a gifting item but we want our guests to enjoy it as a dessert too,” explains the chef, adding that the contemporary flavours are targeted at youngsters, who may not belong to the Christian community but would like to try something special on the menu. Patel also suggests you try the sweet (marshmallow and praline) and savoury hot cross buns.

At: La Folie at Lower Parel, Kala Ghoda and La Folie Lab at Bandra
Call: 9167937019
Cost: 150 (Easter Eggs)

Easter with the Minions: Desiree Attari

Desiree Attari with a decorated Easter egg
Desiree Attari with a decorated Easter egg

Post 9 pm, we patiently hold the line as Desiree Attari to wraps up noting down an order from a guest, a week before Easter festivities. In business since 1991, the Bandra-based baker is as popular for her Easter treats as her intricately crafted cakes. “Not much has changed when it comes to the Easter egg,” believes Attari, who creates the egg shell with the traditional marzipan made from almond or cashews. “However, I depict latest themes on the eggs, the most popular being Minions, Batman and Spiderman, to attract kids,” she adds, before rushing off to wrap up business for the day.

Minion themed eggs. Pics/Sameer Markande
Minion themed eggs. Pics/Sameer Markande

At: Desiree Cakes, ONGC Colony, next to Candies, Bandra Reclamation.
Call: 26454962
Cost: 200 (for 100 gms marzipan egg), `100 onward (chocolate egg)

Always use couverture chocolate to make an egg: Olivier Vincenot

Dark Chocolate Easter eggs
Dark Chocolate Easter eggs

As a kid, French pastry chef Olivier Vincenot loved biting into milk or dark chocolate eggs filled with mini chocolate eggs. Taking a leaf out of his childhood memories, the corporate chef at Foodhall has stuffed dark chocolate eggs with caramel fudge candies. “I wouldn’t want to experiment too much with a chocolate egg because some things should remain traditional,” says Vincent. His fantasy Easter egg is a half-and-half creation of dark chocolate and milk chocolate, “so that I can have the best of both worlds, filled with pralines.” The chef believes that the egg-making technique has stayed the same over the years but the evolved quality of chocolate now enhances the flavours. He says, “Always use couverture chocolate (with higher percentage of cocoa butter) to make an egg.” His DIY tips: Decorate the egg with gold or silver leaf, icing flowers or edible paint. Also, check out Easter cupcakes and hot cross buns scented with spices and raisins at the store.

At: Foodhall@Palladium, Lower Parel.
To order, call: 30264581

I would crack open an egg to find chocolate umbrellas and guitars inside: Zeba Kohli

Zeba Kohli with Easter offerings. Pic/Ajinkya Sawant
Zeba Kohli with Easter offerings. Pic/Ajinkya Sawant

A couple of weeks prior to Easter, Fantasie Fine Chocolates outlets adorn a festive look with different-sized eggs, coated with colourful foil, and chocolate Easter bunnies sitting pretty on the shelves. Easter always brings back childhood memories for chocolatier Zeba Kohli. She reminisces, “My granddad [A Fazelbhoy] would fill hollow Easter eggs with cute surprises and I would crack them open to find cotton chicks, chocolate-coated almond rocks, chocolate umbrellas, shoes and guitars. I would even take them to friends’ homes for Easter parties and everyone would have fun with these goodies.” While she has continued the tradition of offering stuffed egg varieties in different sizes, she also innovates with flavours. “This time, I have added orange, almond, butterscotch and cashew flavours. Tiny eggs with floral decorations are also a hit this season,” she adds. Besides eggs, you can also pick up edible chocolate horses, roosters, bunny lollipops and chocolate baskets.

Till: April 9
At: Fantasie Fine Chocolates at Marine Lines, Warden Road, Worli, Bandra (W) and Andheri (W).
Cost: 120 onwards

Earlier, eggs were boiled with flowers to add colour: Joyce Fernandes

Joyce Fernandes with her creations. Pics/Sameer Markande
Joyce Fernandes with her creations. Pics/Sameer Markande

Easter and the risen Christ is a symbol of new life and all our celebrations revolve around this theme,” says homebaker Joyce Fernandes, who’s been baking cakes for Bandra’s Christian community for 34 years. “In old times, people did not eat non-vegetarian food during the 40-day period of Lent. So, eggs were boiled to be preserved, and later consumed to break the fast. They were boiled with tea leaves or flowers to add colour because they were also a symbol of spring, the season of renewal of life,” recollects Fernandes, adding, “Previously, families reared poultry in their backyards, which led to an exchange of real eggs. Today, that’s not possible, so we exchange marzipan eggs.” The homebaker prefers to feast on the marzipan vis-à-vis the chocolate variety. However, both feature on the menu at her bakery, Rejoyce Cakes. “I usually make 250 gms marzipan Easter eggs, but this year, there is growing demand for smaller, 100 and 50 gms ones too,” observes Fernandes, who has also shaped them as Minions and Angry Birds “to keep up with the times”. The bakery’s Easter special menu also includes bonnets made of fruit cake with rum and marzipan icing, as well as edible Easter bunnies.

At: Rejoyce Cakes, Luminus Building, 50, Chapel Road, near Lilavati Hospital, Bandra (W).
Call: 30151007
Cost: 80 (chocolate egg)

Customers love the decoration: Bonnie D’Silva

Mr Egg and Miss Chick
Mr Egg and Miss Chick

I have fond memories of making simple marzipan eggs as a child. A lot has changed since then,” recalls home baker Bonnie D’Silva of Mulund-based Bonnie’s Bakery. This season, she has introduced a cute pair of marzipan egg characters, Miss Chick and Mr Egg. “Today, customers demand more than traditional eggs. They love decorative ones, which is also an opportunity for us to display our creativity,” shares D’Silva, who offers cakes, cake pops, cupcakes and other desserts. Besides marzipan, D’Silva has used fruit and nut, and roasted cashew praline chocolate flavours in this season’s egg offerings (50, 100 and 250 gms). The bakery also stocks baskets with chocolate and marzipan Easter bunnies, marzipan hen and Simnel cake.

To order, call: 7506596514 (large order deliveries to Western and Harbour-line suburbs)
Cost: 300 (a pair of Miss Chick and Mr Egg)

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