The creme egg hype usually starts well before Easter is even visible on the calendar. I must admit, I’m a little late with them this year, but I’ve been perfecting the recipe and I think you’re gonna love it. Over the past couple of years I’ve had a few attempts at preparing a vegan-friendly version of the famous creme egg. The original creme eggs are filled with a runny fondant mixture, which I’m pretty sure is probably 90% sugar (if not more).
I’ve tried cutting on the sugar in the past by making them with cashew cream and coconut milk in the past but the flavour and consistency just didn’t make the cut.
What’s the secret (soon not to be secret) ingredient that makes these particular creme eggs the perfect replica of the originals you ask?……. condensed sweetened coconut milk. So this is definitely not sugar free, or even low in sugar, but it’s got a hella lot less added sugar than pure fondant, as when condensed, the coconut milk releases its own natural sugars. After all, the main goal of these treats is that they are a vegan-friendly alternative to the original Cadbury’s creme eggs, so we’re treating ourselves with a little bit of sugar for our comfort this time, plus it’s Easter 🙂
The colour, the texture, the sweetness all work perfectly to mimic the sticky sweet filling of the originals. And the best news, apart from being vegan-friendly and dairy-free, they are incredibly easy to make.
SWEETENED CONDENSED COCONUT MILK
You can buy ready made sweetened condensed coconut milk (not to be confused with condensed milk) in most Asian and speciality shops, and probably some of the larger supermarkets too. Just make sure that you carefully check the label before buying to ensure that it’s suitable for vegans! I recommend a vegan brand called Nature’s charm.
If you can’t get your hands on a tin of sweetened condensed coconut milk, not to worry! You can make it from scratch using a tin of coconut milk and some sugar.
Simply empty a 400ml can of coconut milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil, make sure you whisk continuously to avoid burning to the bottom of the pan.. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer and add one third of a cup of sugar of your choice. I used caster sugar, during testing I used caster sugar, as I wanted to mimic the white colour of the original creme egg’s filling. However, you could also use coconut sugar or brown sugar if you’f prefer, and don’t mind the finished product having more of a “caramel” hue to it. I also added a half teaspoon of vanilla extract to give it a nice flavour.
Next you’ll want to let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Make sure you check on the mixture every so often and give it a good whisk to prevent it sticking to the sides of the pan. Once ready, the mixture will have reduced by about half. Then remove the pan from the heat and transfer the condensed coconut milk to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. You can make this in advance of preparing your creme eggs, and store it in the fridge in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.
NATURAL FLAVOURS AND COLOURS
For the yellow “yolk” of the creme egg ground turmeric is used to give a vibrant colour. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the turmeric as it uses only a small amount to get the hue.
I used some lemon zest for the “yolk” to give it a fresh flavour and extra colour. However, this is completely optional so if you aren’t a fan of lemon flavours with your chocolate you can omit the lemon zest. Another option would be to use orange zest or another citrus fruit of your choice.
When opting to use zest, just make sure that you use organic fruit as non-organic citrus fruits tend to be heavily sprayed with chemicals. Alternatively, if organic fruits aren’t available to you, you can wash the fruit in a vinegar soak, the ratio is 9 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Then rinse with clean water before drying them off with a clean towel or some kitchen paper.
THE CHOCOLATE SHELL
For the chocolate shell, I used store bought vegan-friendly “milk” chocolate, which can be found widely available these days. You could also use dark chocolate, which is often times dairy-free by default, just be sure to check the labels!
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and have a bit more time on your hands, why not try making your own dairy-free chocolate from scratch? Check out my recipe for homemade dairy-free coconut milk chocolate.
This recipe makes one large egg, but feel free to double of triple the quantities if you would like to make several eggs. You can also make several mini eggs of half eggs (like the pieces pictured below) instead of making the giant egg!
WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- Plant-based and vegan-friendly
- No fuss recipe
- Easy to make
- Minimal ingredients
- Perfect for Easter
- Free from any animal derived products
Giant Creme Egg (Vegan)
- Silicone Mould Half Egg. I used https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002ZI9WCM/ref=pe_3187911_189395841_TE_dp_1
- 6 oz vegan-friendly chocolate
- 1 400ml can coconut milk or store bought sweetened condensed coconut milk - see notes
- ⅓ cup caster sugar or store bought sweetened condensed coconut milk - see notes
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or store bought sweetened condensed coconut milk - see notes
- 1 zested lemon optional
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- To make the filling, start by making the sweetened condensed coconut milk. Add the coconut milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking continuously.
- Bring the heat down to a medium simmer. Add the caster sugar and whisk well.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for about 45 minutes until it has reduced by half.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract and remove the pan from the heat.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before use, or make ahead of time and store in the fridge.
- Add ¾ of the chocolate to a heat resistant bowl and gently melt over a double boiler.
- Once melted, remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate. Continue to stir until all of the chocolate has melted.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the silicone moulds (2 moulds to make one full sized egg) with one layer of chocolate.
- Freeze for 10 minutes to set.
- Repeat this process until you have 3-4 layers of chocolate making a thick shell of chocolate.
- Separate out 4 tablespoons of the condensed coconut milk and mix with the lemon zest if using, and the ground turmeric to create the "yolk".
- Add half of the plain condensed sweetened coconut milk into each chocolate egg shell.
- Divide the "yolk" between the egg shells, placing it into the centre.
- Place back in the freezer to set for one hour.
- Gently remove the creme eggs from the silicone moulds.
- To make a full easter egg, gently heat the rim of the chocolate shells with a hot knife and carefully stick two half eggs together. Use additional melted chocolate to smooth over the edges and fill in any gaps.
- Place the eggs back in the freezer for 10 minutes before serving.
- Alternatively, you can create "half eggs" by pouring a thick layer of melted chocolate over the creme fillings. This works best if you sit the chocolate shells back into the silicone mould for support.
- Place the half eggs back into in the freezer for 30 minutes to set before serving.
- Substitute the coconut milk, caster sugar and vanilla extract used to make homemade condensed coconut milk with store bought ready made sweetened condensed coconut milk (320g can)