We don't have a lot of Easter traditions in my family, but there's one that we would do, rain, hail, sun or snow. Rolling our decorated hard boiled eggs down a hill to break the shell, then eating them with the assistance of salt and pepper from my mum's little Tupperware cruet set (or sachets my Aunt Linda stockpiled from service stations for the occasion). As children, my brother and I were always in awe of my dad and Uncle's artistically decorated eggs, while ours looked like the packet of felt pens had exploded near the eggs. This year, I won't be rolling eggs down any hills, which is a shame, because I think I've found the best eggs ever. Cake eggs. Imagine cracking that open while everyone else is eating plain old hard boiled egg!
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- a few tsp vegetable oil
- 85g butter, melted
- 120g runny honey
- 50ml milk
- 1 tsp orange extract (or the zest of half an orange)
- 150g gluten free plain flour mix
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- a few drops of food colouring
Preparing the egg shells:
- Using a skewer, poke a hole in the bottom of the egg (the widest part of the egg), that part of the egg has an air pocket so you should be able to break the shell without throwing egg everywhere.
- Break off pieces of shell to make a hole about 1cm in diameter, break the membrane inside the egg and pour the contents into a bowl. You'll need 3 egg yolks for this recipe so reserve them.
- Rinse the empty shells in plenty of cold water.
- Put about 1 litre of hot water in bowl and dissolve the salt in it. Submerge the eggs in the water and leave for 30 minutes. This helps to sterilise the shells, chicken poo in cake is a Bad Thing.
- Rinse the egg shells again and leave, holes facing down, to dry.
Making the cakes:
- Preheat your oven to 165°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
- Pour a little vegetable oil into each eggshell and swirl it around to coat the inside, pour out any excess. Use some pieces of scrunched foil to sit the eggshells in a bun tray (see the photo above).
- Combine the butter and honey in a bowl until they are well mixed and add the milk and orange extract.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring all the time (if the mixture starts to split you can add a tablespoon of flour to bring it back together).
- Sift the flour mix and baking powder into the bowl and fold in until you have a smooth, runny batter. (If you're using orange zest, add it now.)
- Divide the mixture between two (or more) bowls and stir in some food colouring.
- Use a jug or a piping bag to fill the egg shells ⅔ full of cake batter, layering the different colours.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer come out cleanly from the middle of the cake. The cake might have spilled out the top of the shells, you can remove that when they're cool. Those bits of cake are for you, my gift.
- Once cooled, you can tidy up any cake overflow and then crack the egg, peel the shell and reveal your cake!