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Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Easter Ovoids

[Perhaps imperfect, but recognizably egg-like in shape, right?]

One of my first paying jobs was working as a cashier at the local drugstore in a strip mall near my house, where, as it happened, three of my closest friends and I all got jobs. It wasn’t unusual for all four of us to work the same shift on a Saturday, two stationed on one side of the exit door, two on the other. We’d stand looking across at each other, our nonstop chatter filling the store like sound effects to rival the piped-in Muzak, as the sun streamed in through huge picture windows on the wall beside us.

We considered our boss, the Evil “Mr. M—r” (let’s just call him “Mr,” in a Color Purple sort of way), to be a veritable task master.  If he caught us talking to each other–or simply standing idle for more than 30 seconds (even if no customers were in sight),–we’d be instantly reprimanded.  “Go restock the toilet paper,” MR would bark, or “here, price this case of toothpaste tubes,”  or “Face the antacid shelves.”  If the store was really quiet, he’d have us do something even more demeaning, like mopping the floors in the back.

We had our own methods of entertaining ourselves, of course, to which MR was never privy.  We’d assign code names to cute guys (“Rothmans,” the heavy-duty cigarettes smoked by steely blue-eyed cowboy types, was a favorite) or roll our eyes knowingly when the uppity girls from our high school sashayed into the store and stocked up on hair gel and mousses.  Or we’d sing our favorite duets, like “I Got You, Babe,”  or imitate MR’s nasal drawl (when he was out of the store, of course).  Years later, Sterlin and I decided we’d write a screenplay about our experiences there called The Phunny Pharm (as in, “pharmacy,” get it?  Oh, my, weren’t we just too hilarious!–I mean, phunny!).

Holiday weekends, with so many people off work, were notoriously unpredictable; they were either deadly boring or incredibly busy. One Easter Saturday, Sterlin and I were assigned opposite cashes.  By 8:15 AM, we’d already tidied the countertops, re-folded newspapers into neat piles and straightened out the candy bars.

“MR will kill us if he comes in and sees that we’re not doing anything,” I mused.  But then we noticed the recent shipment of chocolate Easter bunnies piled unceremoniously on the floor near our cashes.  Even though there was a perfectly good display table at the end of the aisle, with a perfectly good tabletop on which they could have been stacked, most of the boxes had been strewn on the floor or worse, pushed right under it.

Each box housed a cute little brown or white molded rabbit, some with blue candy eyes or pink candy noses, some with perky ears pointing straight up, others with one ear up and one pressed back against their heads. They were all made of that high-gloss, waxy compound “chocolatey” substance that, truth be told, I just loved; I could have eaten an entire (3/4 pound/340 g), $12.99-a-box, confection all by myself.  In fact, my love of chocolate bunnies was matched only by my love of Cadbury Creme Eggs, another Easter staple.

“Let’s fix the display!” Sterlin suggested.  So we spent the good part of an hour (there were no customers that early–we barely served a single “Rothmans” the entire time) carefully stacking the boxes in neat rows, pyramid-style, taking care to alternate between dark and light bunnies or those looking to the left and those looking to the right so they’d present incoming customers with an interesting tableau of shapes and sizes.

We had just congratulated ourselves on our initiative when the hoards suddenly appeared.  Our friends Babe and Angel were called into service as well, while I was deployed to the cosmetics department to help Claudette, the Parisian cosmetician who had immigrated to Montreal to be with her beau.  Glamorous and exotic (at least, to me), Claudette wore thick false eyelashes and eyelids frosted in baby blue, her platinum blond hair slicked back to reveal her perfect, model-like features.  For some reason, Claudette took a liking to me, so I was often gifted with samples of perfume, lipstick or eye shadow (actually intended for paying customers) to take home.

The hours flew by; by 8:30 PM when the store closed, we were all exhausted.  I was relieved that I’d spent the day in cosmetics, which meant I didn’t have money to count (though I had managed to score a free lipstick and aluminum-lined pouch of hand lotion).   While I waited for my friends to count up their tills, I wandered up and down the aisles.  Should I bring home some newly-priced toothpaste, I wondered? Or maybe my parents were out of Kleenex. . . as I strolled over to the cash registers at the front, I my eyes glanced toward the Easter bunny display.

Only. . .

There was no bunny display any longer.

Oh, the boxes were still there, all right, still stacked in perfect rows, just as Sterlin and I had placed them that morning.  But the little plastic windows appeared empty. On closer examination, I witnessed cwhat an only be described as “a bunny massacre.”

[The easier option: cubes instead of ovoids. Still delicious.]

All of the perkly little rabbits in their boxes appeared deformed, morphed into shapeless blobs with awkward lumps and bumps where their ears had once been.  Others had completely lost their tails or their hind legs, flowing into puddles of muddy chocolate under them.

It took me a second to realize what had precipitated that scene of lupin carnage: the huge, ceiling-to-floor, all-glass picture windowsAn entire day of brilliant sunshine! The sun had been shining for the better part of ten hours–directly on those boxes.  The poor rabbits had all succumbed to the heat and melted, like Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West. No wonder all those boxes had previously been placed under the table–in the shade.

I must have shrieked, before I myself succumbed to hystrical laughter. By then, Sterlin had come running over and spied the scene, screeching her hilarity.  Even Herbert, the normally staid pharmacist, couldn’t help but emit a snort and guffaw.

The entire front row of chocolate bunnies (those that Sterlin and I had so meticulously placed on the shelf that morning) were  ruined.  I mean, who would be willing to purchase a blob of shapeless melted chocolate for $12.99? And although the maneuver had been unintentional, Sterlin and I couldn’t help but smirk at the thought that this error in our judgment would, in the end, mean that the Evil MR  received his just desserts (so to speak).

That night, I arrived home with three chocolate brnnnesss (that’s “Melted” for “bunnies.”)  I didn’t mind that my rabbits were deformed, looking like rejects from a GMO product-development experiment.  Later that evening, after dinner, everyone enjoyed a big blob of smooth, shapeless, waxy chocolate for dessert.

When I heard about Kelly’s Our Spunky Holiday event, in which readers were invited to submit a dessert for Easter or Passover, I immediately thought of those bunnies.  Sure, I realize I could never concoct something similar in my own kitchen (let alone reproduce that favorite waxy texture).  Instead, I opted for chocolate covered Easter eggs with a “cream cheese” filling, as close as I could get to the iconic Cadbury Creme eggs.

Unlike those unfortunate bunnies, these Easter Ovoids are only slightly misshapen, however. Because I don’t own egg molds  (and because I am basically lazy), my “eggs” turned out, oh, just a wee bit lumpy and bumpy.  But have no fear; just like the bunnies of yore, these confections still taste delicious.  Housing a soft, smooth, lemony “cream cheese” filling, they are perfect Easter treats.

And–I promise you–no bunnies were harmed in the making of these eggs.

[Soft, creamy “cheesecake” interior. ]

[RECIPE UDATE, APRIL 20: Ack! I just noticed that I typed “orange juice’ in the filling by mistake! While that’s fine (it will taste great), for a more “cream cheese” like taste, use the lemon juice option (and if you’re on the ACD, you’re not allowed orange juice.  What was I thinking?!]

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Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Easter Eggs, suitable for ACD Stage 3 and beyond

If you don’t have egg molds or don’t feel like taking the trouble to make these egg-shaped, you can just pour the “cheese” filling into a square container, then cut in cubes and coat in chocolate, as I do in this recipe

For the “Cheesecake” Filling:

1 heaping cup (160 g) raw natural cashews

2 Tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice (use lemon for ACD)

1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut sugar or agave nectar

10-20 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

1 tsp (5 ml) lemon extract, optional

1/4 cup (60 ml) full-fat coconut milk (from a can–I use Thai Kitchen)

1 tsp (5 ml) whole chia seeds, ground in a coffee grinder to a fine powder (about 2 heaping tsp or 10 ml powder)

1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) lemon zest

For the Chocolate Coating**:

4 ounces (110 g) good quality unsweetened chocolate (I find Baker’s too bitter for this purpose)

1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin coconut oil, preferably organic (use refined if you want no coconut flavor)

2 Tbsp (30 ml) carob powder, sifted

20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia, to your taste (don’t overdo the stevia–better to keep it bittersweet)

Make the filling: If you have  egg-shaped silicone molds (or other shapes that would be easy to coat in chocolate), set them aside.  Otherwise, line a small square container (about 2 cups/480 ml capacity) with plastic wrap and set aside.

In a glass or ceramic bowl, cover the cashews with room temperature water and soak for 6-10 hours; drain.  (Alternately, pour boiling water over the cashews in the bowl and allow to soak for 30 minutes to an hour; drain).

Place the cashews and remaining cheesecake ingredients in a high-powered blender (such as a VitaMix) and blend until perfectly smooth.  The mixture will be thick and you’ll need to scrape down the sides of the blender container repeatedly. Transfer to the molds or container, then freeze until just firm, 3-4 hours.

For eggs (if you don’t have molds), use a small ice cream scoop and scoop the firm mixture onto a cutting board or plastic-lined plate.  Using your hands or two tablespoons, shape each ball into an oval and place back on the board; return to the freezer.  Otherwise, invert the entire block of filling onto the cutting board and cut into small cubes; return the cubes to the freezer.  Freeze the eggs or cubes until very hard, another 2-4 hours.

Make the coating: In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil over very low heat.  Whisk in the carob powder and stevia until smooth.  Transfer to a small, deep bowl.

Finish the eggs: Have a clean, plastic-lined board or plate at the ready.  Working quickly, take the eggs (or cubes) one at a time and dip the bottom in the chocolate.  Then place the egg gently on the tines of a large fork  over the bowl (chocolate dipped side down) and, using a teaspoon, spoon melted chocolate over the top of the egg so that it runs down the top and sides and coats the entire egg.  Tap the handle of the fork against the side of the bowl so that excess chocolate drips into the bowl.  Gently push the egg off the fork and onto the plastic-lined plate.  Depending on how quickly you work, you may want to keep the uncoated eggs in the freezer and just take them out one at a time.

Once all the eggs are coated, use any extra chocolate in the bowl to touch up little holes or spots on the eggs that aren’t well-coated in chocolate (any cracks or white spots will allow the cheesecake filling to seep through the coating later, once it is no longer frozen).  Place the plate with the coated eggs in the refrigerator to allow the filling inside to defrost.  Once the middle is no longer frozen (several hours to overnight), the cheesecake interior will be soft, creamy and smooth when you bite into it.  For frozen cheesecake treats, keep the eggs in the freezer rather than the refrigerator.  Makes 6-8 eggs.

**NOTE: if you are not on the ACD or don’t mind sugar, you can just use chocolate chips melted with 1 tsp (5 ml) coconut oil for the coating.

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I’m also submitting this recipe to Diane’s Real Food Weekly event  for a real holiday treat, and to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, where you’ll find healthier versions of all kinds of recipes.

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls!  Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email.  (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as treats!”)

Last Year at this Time: Asparagus, Pea Shoot and Pea Salad

Two Years Ago: Anti-Candida Desserts: What Do You Eat?

Three Years Ago: Nut Roast Extraordinaire (GF, easily made ACD friendly)

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57 comments to Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Easter Ovoids

  • I am loving this, Ricki! I just made a wonderful orange-cashew dip and this reminds me of it, with a wonderful coating of chocolate. Yum!

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    Ricki Reply:

    You could just as easily use the filling as a spread or even a frosting on cupcakes. . . yes, definitely yum! 🙂

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  • That story cracked me up! I can just imagine the poor melted chocolate bunnies! Just the type of thing to cause a fit of giggles. =)

    These would be perfect for Kyle. He has always been a Cadbury egg junkie but has been trying to eat more vegan lately. I should make him a batch of these for next weekend!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I was actually going to try to create a yellow center from a slightly different recipe, but just ran out of time. But since you freeze the whole thing before coating it, that would actually be quite doable. Let me know what you think if you do give them a try! (and yes, poor melty bunnies. . . .) 😉

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  • WOW, the filling sounds so lovely!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    It’s equally good on its own, just from a spoon. . . not that I’d have any knowledge of that, of course.

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  • So THAT’s what you were talking about on Facebook yesterday! These look crazy delicious. The “cheesecake” filling? Oh my!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Ha, ha! Glad you saw the mention (I do tend to go on, don’t I?) 😉 And yes, I’d agree–I went a little crazy for this filling!

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  • YUMMY! I would love to make these, but have a hard time finding ingredients like liquid stevia and coconut oil. Is there a good place to order these online? I found some agave nectar, but it is from Davids tea, so there must be a more economical place I can get it from for baking!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Lindsey, and for reading! 🙂

    I’m not sure where you’re located, but iHerb has great online ordering in the US, and Upaya Naturals is a good place in Canada. However, having said that, if you personally aren’t on an anti-candida diet like me (or eating very low glycemic), you can always use agave, coconut sugar, Sucanat, maple syrup, etc. instead of the stevia (or even organic evaporated cane juice–ie, sugar–gasp!!) 😉 In theory, I really don’t have a problem with people using those ingredients in moderation; it’s just that I am not able to be moderate myself when I use them, so they’re not in my recipes. Hope this helps! 😀

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  • three cheers for delightful cheesecake ovoids, Ricki! might i add, your story had me laughing out loud in my office. it sounds like you ladies had an absolute blast working at the drugstore. brnnnesss made me laugh hard and “rejects from a GMO product-development experiment” was brilliant. i think dan’s gonna go nuts for these and i cannot wait to whip a bunch up for the both of us. mmmmmmm!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Any time I can make someone laugh (especially at the office), I am a happy gal! Yes, we did have a blast–I mean, we were a bunch of 15 and 16 year-olds, who all hated their boss. 😉 And I *do* hope you know which mega-conglomerate “King of the GMOs” I was referring to there. . . Hope you both enjoy! 😀

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  • These look DELICIOUS! I love chocolate and I love cheesecake! Around Easter every year a church by my house makes something similar but uses a peanut butter filling and they are HEAVEN!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Peanut butter filling does sound heavenly to me, but sadly, I still can’t have it. (Wah!). But now you’ve got me thinking of almond butter cream. . . hmmmm!

    [Reply]

  • Another GREAT Ricki story. I wonder if I could recall events like this from my childhood? Your attention to detail is awesome. I love this recipe, wish I had egg molds too – not sure I have the patience otherwise (I am also lazy and rushed)…Also, what do you mean by a nonreactive bowl?

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Maggie! For some reason, teenage years in particular are very vivid in my memory . By “nonreactive,” I mean, basically, not aluminum. Sometimes the acids in ingredients can react with certain metals (apparently copper is another culprit)–you’ll see lots of marinade recipes tell you to use a “nonreactive” container. If the metal reacts with the food, it can cause it to have a sour, metallic taste that is really unpleasant. For this one, I’ve found that soaking too long in a metal bowl has this effect. . . or maybe it’s just me. 😉 I’ve just updated the recipe to specify “glass or ceramic,” which I think is much clearer! (no pun intended—guffaw).

    [Reply]

  • Wow Ricki – both the ovids and the squares look incredible. I can’t imagine a better gift this holiday than vegan cheesecake bites coated in chocolate.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Lisa! I always think your raw treats are so incredible. . . I am honored you like these!

    [Reply]

  • Dear Ricki…

    you are my hero.

    love Allyson <3

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    But, wait a minute. . .can we both be each OTHER’s heroes? Okay! 😀

    [Reply]

  • So pretty and luscious looking. I need to make some truffles too.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Ooh, yeah. . . truffles! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • You’re such a great story teller! I love imagining you and those melted bunnies 🙂 And those eggs? I want one now! those look incredible! Perhaps a weekend project for me..

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Gillian! 😀 They’re not really all that difficult, just take some time (esp without the molds). Get ready to be licking your fingers as you shape the frozen filling into egg-like shapes!

    [Reply]

  • Ovoids? Ha! I actually can’t wait to make these, because the classic Cream Eggs are one of my biggest sugar weaknesses. Those and mallowmar/candycorn pumpkins. There really isn’t any “healthy” version of candy corn…

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Hee hee. 😉 But please don’t expect the same flavor as the Cadbury ones. . .this filling is quite lemony! You could try subbing more vanilla instead for a more “classic” flavor, though. 😀

    [Reply]

  • I used to love the compound chocolate but no more will I put up with much of it – I will have a taste because the thinness of the chocolate still delights me – and it just seems like the worst of commercialism. Nowadays I would prefer your ovoids and be happier with lumpy home made than smooth factory made. Love your story of the pharm! I had a few odious bosses in my student jobs but at least having your friends around you sounds like fun

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I defer to your better taste. . . I am pretty sure that, given the chance, I would still love that compound!! In retrospect, yes, the job was fun, but of course at the time we had no idea how lucky we were!

    [Reply]

  • Ricki – all I can say is yum, yum, yum! I’m always so impressed with the desserts that you create and this is no exception! I love raw “cheesecake,” so I’m really tempted to make these for Easter as I’m not eating the usual dairy-filled chocolate treats.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    They are really worth it–my hubby gobbled them up! (Luckily, the recipe only made a few. . . after I had one, the rest were gone by the end of the day). 😉

    [Reply]

  • Oh, Ricki. Ricki Ricki. Please let me know when you decide to do international shopping for your gorgeous, amazing creations! I’ll be your first customer fo’ shiz 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I like the idea of hand-delivering them better! If only I could get to where you are. . .!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Mallory

    I would really LOVE to make these as I have found memories of enjoying a Cadbury Easter egg each year, but now do without since I don’t eat anything processed or artificial! I have everything on hand except the liquid stevia–is it possible to use honey or maple syrup instead?

    Thanks for the recipe!!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Mallory, I’m sure you could sub either one, but I can’t vouch for the consistency. The filling is already quite soft when it defrosts in the refrigerator, and I’m afraid it would be too liquidy with a liquid sweetener. You could try adding more nuts to compensate and see how that works. . . if you do, let me know how it turns out! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Poor brnnnesss!! What a story! That Evil MR sounds like a piece of work.

    Your ovoids look delicious! That creamy filling seems so smooth! *drool*

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I know, I felt awful for those brnnesss, too! But not so much that I didn’t eat them. 😉

    [Reply]

  • I really don’t know what I like better… the fact that these look to DIE FOR, or that you call them ‘ovoids’. Love it 😀 I’ve added these little guys to my Favorite Recipes post for last week. Also, I loved your suggestion for ‘real time’ recipe additions. Thank you for sharing it! I’ve put a note about it this week, I hope it takes off. Thanks again!!! ~Aubree

    [Reply]

  • YUM! Thanks for sharing a healthy alternative to those of us who have a lot of specific dietary preferences! I included this recipe in this article.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    That’s great–thanks so much! 😀

    [Reply]

  • ooh, another good variation 🙂 i just made some peanut butter eggs yesterday… might have to try these, too!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    PB eggs sound like the ultimate Easter egg to me. . . wishing I could have PB these days!

    [Reply]

  • Lisa

    I don’t have chia seeds (and they seem hard to find), could you leave them out or substitute something for them? They sound delicious!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Lisa, the chia is just to firm up the texture (so it’s more like a “cheesecake” and less like a mousse), so you could leave it out if you like, but it would probably be a bit softer when defrosted (though it’s inside of chocolate at that point, so might not really matter). I also just noticed that I typed “orange juice” for the filling–which is fine for everyone except those of us on the ACD! I made mine with lemon juice, which I’ve now added to the recipe. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Maureen

    I plan to make these tomorrow! Do you have an unsweetened chocolate brand that you recommend? I’ve only ever bought Baker’s chocolate, but I understand when you say it may be too bitter. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Maureen, I use Cocoa Camino, but depending where you live, it may not be available (it’s only in Canada). I’ve heard that Ghirardelli makes an unsweetened chocolate as well, but have never tried it. If you can have a touch of sugar and/or agave, you could probably be fine with the Baker’s. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • […] Chocolate Covered Love Treats (Or Easter Eggs but why Confine these to a Holiday, By Ricky at Diets, Desserts and Dogs […]

  • I would much rather eat these than the store bought easter eggs! Love the sound of the cheesecake filling.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Ashley! It was really yummy. 🙂

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  • Jenny

    I am helping my future sister in law plan her wedding. Right now, we’re working on the wedding favors. Allison is giving the reception guests a single truffle. These will make the perfect gift! I did a test run and these were easy to make and delicious! She and I began looking for packaging, and we found the cutest favor boxes from Box and Wrap! These boxes fit a single truffle, and the boxes come in all colors. Favors Done!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Jenny, that is so wonderful!! I would caution that they need to be refrigerated, however (unless you use regular melted chocolate or chocolate chips for the coating, which is firm at room temperature). Happy Wedding! 😀

    [Reply]

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