In the kitchen
Honey, Almond, Coconut Easter Nests
Easter has always been rather a big event in my household. As a child we often spent it in Switzerland where the holiday is celebrated even more so than in England. During the weeks running up my siblings and I would take time blowing eggs before painting them as delicately as we could building our collection year on year. As we were in Switzerland most of the time chocolate was in high supply. I am still as big of a fan of Easter and the chocolate consumption it generally involves. For the moments where I fancy something sweet but without the richness of cocoa I go for these little nests. Incredibly easy to make they are also rather fun and do look lovely on an Easter table. This recipe is free from gluten, grains and dairy and can also be made vegan by subbing honey for maple syrup. I’ve tested these little nests on adults and children alike and got the thumbs up from both so I recommend them as an all round family treat.
makes 12 Easter nests
20 mins prep, 30 mins chill time
- 2 cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup flaked almonds
- 1 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 2/3 almond butter
- pinch salt
- tsp vanilla extract
- about ½ cup toasted nuts (almonds and hazelnuts)
I rather like a slightly toasted taste so like to toast the flaked almonds and coconut in the oven. If you prefer a toastier taste too at this point spread out your coconut and almond flakes (but leave the desiccated) onto a baking tray and bake in a warm oven (about 150 degrees) for 5-10 minutes. Take care not to burn your coconut.
Once toasted to your liking remove and allow the almonds and coconut to cool slightly before transferring to a medium sized bowl.
Next, using your hands give the mix a bit of a crunch to partially break up some of the larger pieces of coconut and so that you have an un-even, rather higgledy piggledy nest base.
Finally add in your desiccated coconut and again mix using your hands. Set aside and move onto the caramel mix.
Place your honey in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it comes to the boil. When you see bubbles start to form add your almond butter.
Stir the mix using a wooden spoon until it thickens slightly. You should find that the mixture begins to pull away from the sides. (About 5-7 minutes). You will know it is ready when the mix begins to show almost honey comb like pockets as the heat bubbles split. At this point add your vanilla extract and salt and give it one last stir before pouring it into your dry ingredients.
Using a wooden spoon stir to combine. The mixture will be very hot so be careful. You may want to use another spoon to help release any mix that may stick to the back of the spoon.
Once the caramel has been well incorporated and the mixture has cooled slightly take even sized clumps in your hands and fill your cases.
Fill your nests with your nut eggs. I like to use toasted almonds and hazelnuts as they look rather egg-like but any nuts raw or roasted will work.
Place the nests in the fridge for at least half an hour to allow to cool before removing them from the cupcake tray.