Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs

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“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”  Clarence W. Hall 

I’ve been teaching for over ten years. Ironically, it is not my calling. It is, however, a means to put money in my bank account so I can buy cheese. And chocolate. And bacon. Let’s not forget the bacon.

Now, when teaching languages, I’ve repeatedly encountered the insurmountable obstacle that English makes no sense whatsoever, and German makes too much. If my words are not enough for thee, check out the poem “The Chaos”, by G. Nolst Trenité (1922). Then read “The Awful German Language”, by Mark Twain. Go ahead. Then come back, and read on.

Welcome to my everyday life. The excess of logic in German grammar and the absolute lack of it in English spelling regularly reduce my students to tears.

It’s so much fun to watch.

The greatest challenge for a language teacher is attempting to convey the many layers and fascinating nuances of the word. Some languages are easy. Some languages are not. Some are intuitive, like English, following no recognizable logic whatsoever. Others are but slight variations on a theme, close cousins, if you may, like all Romance languages. Differences notwithstanding, each language opens a door into an unknown world; centuries, no, millennia of history, psychology and anthropology unfolding before your eyes as you delve deeper into their secrets. A people’s deepest fears and yearnings are laid bare, just as bones cleared painstakingly of dirt in ancient burial sites. A civilisation’s language bears the unmistakable imprint of humanity, and when you begin to study them, you tap into an endless ocean of nuances, influenced by a myriad of seasons, woven together in an intrinsic filigree, an impossible dance, a virtuoso composition of colors you have yet to see. Through language, history comes alive.

It’s riveting.

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And then there is German.

You see, European languages are, for the most part, fairly similar, due to geographically and demographically imposed proximity.

German is no exception, of course, but try telling that to my exasperated students. There are rules, and rules for the rules, rules for the exceptions to the rules, and a seemingly endless supply of vocabulary. It is a language for mathematicians, logical and predictable and complex as hell.

But for all their linguistic shortcomings, Germans are the indisputable kings of seasonal celebrations. Christmas and Easter are feasts to behold, riotous and joyous, belying the complexity of their world.

Let us celebrate that complexity with sweets. German Easter sweets, of course, slightly tweaked so they could have their place on this blog. Sweets, like languages, give fascinating insight into different worlds. Eat up, and be comforted – it is merely a study in anthropology.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Shepherd’s Pie

Other cream cheese sweets: Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins, Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cheese Danish, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake, Old Style Cheesecake, Cream Cheese Pancakes, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream, Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

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Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Easter Eggs

Inspired by the one-of-a-kind Raspberri Cupcakes

Servings: 6-8 eggs (depends on their size)

Prep time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 6-8 hollow chocolate eggs
  • 150gr cream cheese
  • 30gr, or 1/4 cup, powdered sugar
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • vanilla extract, or vanilla sugar, to taste
  • 125ml, or 1/2 cup, cream
  • apricot or peach jam, or any yellow filling you like

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Use a sharp knife to remove the top of the chocolate eggs. I went for the rustic, cracked look so I used a serrated knife. If you want smooth edges, hold your knife under warm water before cutting – it’ll make things easier and neater. Keep the chocolate eggs in the fridge while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

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For the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth, creamy and uniform – no unsightly lumps here, folks.

Now pour the cream into the container of an electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form – we’re going for light whipped cream consistency here. If you feel like getting in a good workout before overloading on dessert, go on and hand whip it. But be prepared to sweat.

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Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake until just combined.

Now spoon the filling into the chocolate eggs – you’ll need a spoon small enough to fit into the openings you cut earlier. Once filled to taste, chill the eggs in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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When the cheesecake has firmed up nicely, use the same spoon you were using to fill the eggs, and spoon out the centre of the eggs, in order to create a little hollow in the middle of the filling. Fill the hole with the apricot or peach jam (I used a homemade combination of both). Chill for another half hour before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

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Baked Cherry Brie Bites

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As is probably the case with most of you, I am in full post-Christmas hangover mode. I’ve had about 10 large family meals in the last week, and still have a few to go. Christmas season doesn’t end until January 7 over here, so I have to save my strength. No, seriously, we take our German, American and Catalan Christmas and New Year’s traditions very seriously.

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That’s why today’s recipe is fast and easy, but no less good and cheesy. I served these on New Year’s Eve, and they were a hit. They’ll work as an appetizer, or even as dessert. They’ll save your life if you need to serve something nice, quick and with little to no fuss. You can use any type of jam, and even a different type of creamy cheese (Camembert and raspberry jam, anyone?). Personally, I’ll use more cheese and less jam next time, but, you know, whatever rocks your boat.

For more bite-sized appetiser, check out these recipes:

Veggi Mozzarella Turnovers

Feta Bites

Or if it’s Brie you crave, we have more recipes here:

Chips del Diamant

Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

Now let’s get straight down to business.

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Baked Cherry Brie Bites

Inspiration snatched from the wonderful Joy the Baker.

Servings: depends on size

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus another 10 minutes baking time

You will need:

  • Brie cheese
  • cherry jam
  • two sheets of puff pastry (preferably rectangular)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat your oven to medium-high.

Place one puff pastry sheet on top of the other, and cut through both to form squares or rectangles. The size is entirely up to you, although the smaller ones are usually more popular. I recommend rectangular puff pastry sheets because you will end up with less, or actually no, leftover bits and pieces.

Separate the matching squares or rectangles.

Cherry Brie Bites-side

 

Next, cut your Brie into piece that fit into the centre of your squares or rectangles, but still allow for some space around it to crimp the edges shut.

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Add a dollop of jam on top of the cheese…

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…and cover with the matching puff pastry square or rectangles. Crimp the edges with a fork, pressing down tightly to seal the edges.

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Here’s the process again:

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You’ll notice I used very small pieces of cheese.

I won’t be making that mistake again.

Finally, paint the tops of the Brie Bites with the egg.

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Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops are nicely browned.

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Enjoy!

Clara