Happy Easter with a cake and Easter bunnies!

Looking for this year’s cake for Easter, we found on Pinterest a nice idea – a cake with an Easter bunny digging inside!


And because last year we dedicated our article to the Easter eggs, we decided in our article this year to star the Easter bunny… In our Easter article, then, we look for the story of the Easter bunny, we find original chocolate creations and we make a cake of of chocolate with a bunny digging its surface.

Our Easter cake this year

In fact the Easter bunny has nothing to do with the Resurrection of Christ. But when it is made with chocolate, it immediately becomes a delicious Easter gift. The bunny brings presents to the children, just as Santa Claus does at Christmas.

So here we are faced with another sweet mystery. There are various theories about the origin of the Easter bunny. We read in Time magazine that it is possible that it is of pagan origin, specifically from a female goddess who was associated with fertility and had a hare as her symbol. In Wikipedia we found that her name -Eostre- was probably the root of names for English Easter and the German Ostern.

The pagan goddess Eostre along with her symbol, the hare (πηγή)

Elsewhere we learned that a more modern hare is found in early 17th century Germany. This hare was believed to bring colorful eggs to children.

The History channel reports that, according to some sources, the Easter bunny arrived in America, specifically in Pennsylvania, along with German immigrants in the early 18th century. We read the German myth of the Easter bunny that was exploited by a company in Saint Louis, USA, Donnell Manufacturing, which in 1897 launched on the market a dye of hare eggs and colored eggs in the packaging and instructions in English, but also in German.

The Easter dye of the white hare, as it was called (source)

The children of German immigrants made nests for the hare to lay painted eggs. We also read that the children were playing a game, in which they were looking for eggs hidden in the yard or at home. Customs spread, Easter hare gifts began to include chocolates and other sweets and the nest was replaced by a basket. For their part, the children used to leave carrots as a treat for the hare.

As a typical example we found the story of the German Frau Zehner in an American magazine of 1899. She was a street vendor, who was known as Rabbit Woman in New York. Every Easter she sold bunnies in the street in whatever color one can imagine.

Rabbit Woman in an 1899 magazine (source)

Chocolate hares are said to have been made in Germany in the early 19th century. The question that remains unanswered is why the Easter eggs are brought by the hare and not a hen. Here we return to the pagan goddess of fertility whose symbol was the hare. We also read that only during the Victorian era, towards the end of the 19th century, the celebration of Easter took its modern form in Europe. Then the Easter hare became fashionable.

Easter card of 1915 (source)

Another thing we found and we were impressed is that in Australia there is no Easter bunny but an Easter bilby. The bilby is a small indigenous wallet with huge ears and a pointed snout. The reason; We learned that Australia has a complicated history with bunnies … Hares were not native animals, but were brought by Europeans in the late 18th century. When they were released into the wild they caused a great deal of environmental disaster and the Australians did not sympathize with the Easter bunny. That’s why they chose their own bilby – which is now an endangered species – to bring Easter presents.

The Australian bilby (source)
The Australian Easter Bilby (source)

Back to our places, the chocolate Easter bunny is one of our favorite seasonal gifts. Doing a little research on the internet we saw that various well-known confectioners have made their own versions…

“The most luxurious Easter bunny” by award-winning confectioner Martin Chiffers, hand-carved from a single piece of expensive chocolate, with two diamonds for eyes and eggs adorned with gold leaf. (source)
Easter bunny by Pierre Marcolini from his patisserie in Brussels, nestled in a handmade dark chocolate egg, resting on a box of 30 small praline eggs and a box of 30 small animals and praline / caramel bells. (source)
Smiling Easter bunnies from Jacques Torres patisserie in New York (source)
And in our country, a patisserie in Lykovrysi, Attica, makes Easter bunnies of the Coronavirus era, with masks and gloves! (source)

Having studied the Easter hare, it was time to make our own, which digs the surface of a cake made with chocolate cake and chocolate ganache montée, with waffer rolls for a fence.

Our Easter hare!

Our recipe

Easter chocolate cake

Ingredients for the chocolate cake

For the cake (recipe from the book The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum):
Cocoa63 gr
Boiling water236 gr
Eggs (big)3
Βανίλια9 gr
Cake flour (sifted)235 gr
Sugar 300 gr
Baking powder1 tsp
Salt ¾ tsp
Butter (at room temperature)227 gr
For the ganache montée:
Couverture 100 gr
Heavy cream300 gr
For the decoration:
Wafer rolls
White fondant
Dark chocolate prinkles
The ingredients for the chocolate cake
The ingredients for the ganache montée
The ingredients for the decoration of our cake

How to make chocolate cake:

Start with the ganache montée, since it will take a few hours in the fridge. Melt the couverture in a baking pan and heat half the cream (150 gr). Once it starts to boil, add the hot cream to the melted couverture in three portions and stir constantly with a silicone spatula.

Then add the remaining half cold heavy cream, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture into a pan and cover the surface with cling film. Put the mixture for at least 5 hours in the refrigerator or even better overnight.

While we wait for the ganache to cool, we prepare the chocolate cake. According to the instructions of Rose Levy Beranbaum, in a bowl mix the cocoa with boiling water until the mixture is homogenized. Let it come to room temperature.

In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the ¼ of the mixture with the cocoa and vanilla.

Pour the solid ingredients into the mixer bucket and beat for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the rest of the mixture with the cocoa. Beat with the mixer first on low until the solid ingredients are wet. Then raise to high and beat for 1½ minute to get air in the mixture and create the structure of the cake. Add the eggs in 3 portions, beating for 20 seconds each time to incorporate the ingredients and stabilize the structure of the cake.

Grease your form or hoop and fill to the middle. Bake in a preheated oven at 175°C for 45-50 minutes. Take out the cake and as soon as it cools down a bit, turn it over on a large plate and place something heavy on top to flatten your cake.

And now the most fun time has arrived: we will decorate our cake. After the ganache has cooled enough, fluff it with the mixer.

Spread the ganache montée on the top of the cake and on the sides. There you will set wafer rolls broken in the middle to make the fence. Then fill the surface with chocolate sprinkles and a grated wafet rolls to make it look like soil. Make the bunny with fondant and cut small carrots from a fresh carrot. Now admire your creation, since it is both beautiful and delicious.

Happy Easter with health and optimism!

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