Easter Dippy Eggs & Soldiers

You will need

For the Eggs:

6 medium-sized hollow chocolate eggs (these can be bought at most local supermarkets – I bought mine from Marks & Spencer’s)
150g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
100ml double cream, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
30g icing sugar
1 jar lemon curd

For the Shortbread Soldiers:

55g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180g plain flour
Zest of one lemon


The Shortbread Soldiers:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line one large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. To make your shortbread soldiers, first cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Now add the zest of one lemon and give it a mix to combine.

3. Sift in the flour and combine the ingredients together until they form a rough dough. Use your hands to work it into in a smooth ball. Lightly flour a clean worktop surface and rolling pin, tip your dough out and roll it out to about 1cm thick.

4. Cut the dough into 12 fingers and place on a baking tray – you will have to recombine the scraps of dough and roll it out again to get 12 fingers.

5. Use a fork to prick the fingers and sprinkle each one with a little caster sugar. Refrigerate the shortbread for 20 minutes to prevent them spreading out too much when baking. Bake for 12 minutes until they are pale golden-brown. 

The Cheesecake Eggs:

1. To make your eggs, first use a small-serrated knife to carefully remove the tops of each egg*. Place the eggs and the cut of tops in the fridge to keep them chilled while you prepare the cheesecake filling, you can use eggcups or your fridge egg holder to keep them upright. 

2. Place the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk on medium until the mixture is smooth and fluffy (this will take about 1-2 minutes). Now in a separate bowl whip the double cream until it starts to form stiff peaks (this will take approx 30seconds, so keep an eye on it)**. 

3. Using a whisk, gently combine the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until it is smooth. Carefully spoon the mixture into the chocolate shells and into the cut of egg tops, place them back in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.

4. Once chilled, use a very small spoon to carefully scoop out a hole in the centre of each cheesecake and fill each hole with a little lemon curd. Return the eggs to the fridge to chill again for at least 30 minutes.

5. Remove the eggs from the fridge for 10 minutes before serving. Place each egg onto a small plate along with an egg top, spoon and two shortbread soldiers.

*Heating the knife under warm water will make this easier and neater.

**Be careful not to over whisk as this will cause it to loosen and turn to liquid!