Post updated April 2017: recipe slightly tweaked and re-photographed.
I have seen this sort of sweet dessert with sponge and various goodies such as mousse inside an egg shell, although often it is served in the actual egg shell. However, I wanted the whole thing to be edible so I decided to make a light dessert in a crisp white chocolate shell.
These are perfect as a light dessert or served as a very quirky part of Afternoon Tea.
The dessert components:
The dessert consists of the following:
- a lime-zest flavoured sponge base, with a splash of lime drizzle syrup and rum soaked into the baked sponge (although it works excellently with a ginger sponge which I used when I re-made them)
- an instant lime cheesecake (no-cook)
- fresh mango purée
- tempered white chocolate
- thin shortbread fingers, made with a little semolina for extra crunch, represent the “soldiers”
Using real egg shells to bake in and to fill up
You can bake the sponge in clean egg shells and layer up the egg shells with the rest of the filling.
For the egg shells used to bake the sponges and contain the cheesecake, carefully cut off the tops of some raw eggs, poured out the filling into a container before rinsing and drying the shells. The eggs you have evicted from their shells can be frozen for later use: although an omelette is always a joy to make.
Once the layers have been added to the egg shell, you freeze the lot and, once frozen, carefully peel off the shell to reveal the layers of the dessert. You then dip these in melted (or ideally tempered) white chocolate to form a thin chocolate shell, dunking a second time if you want it thicker.
An alternative approach: for a thinner shell
For thinner shells you can do either of the following:
(I) Spooning some tempered or melted chocolate into clean egg shells, swirling it around to cover the inside, apart from a bit of shell around the top. Leave the chocolate to set. Once set, apply another layer.
The shells then peel away to give a thin chocolate shell….however, the chocolate is very delicate so you need to go carefully, but start peeling from the top (the bit of the shell without chocolate on) will allow the shell to peel off.
If you make the shells this way, then for the sponge component, simply make up the sponge in a small tin and bake it. Once cooled, break it into small pieces and pop some inside the base of the chocolate shells, along with some liqueur of choice. You then add the rest of the components, layer by layer.
A quicker dessert!
To make a much quicker dessert:
- brush or swirl melted chocolate around the inside of small silicone cake pop moulds and leave to set: the silicone peels off easily giving a smooth hemisphere of chocolate, ready for filling.
- use cake that has been made before (if, like me, you freeze the trimming from cakes, then dig them out and use them for this!). Crumble up the cake, mix with a little liqueur of choice and pop a little into the chocolate mould.
Recipe: mango and lime “egg cup” desserts – makes 6
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 25g vanilla caster sugar (or use brown sugar plus 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger for a ginger sponge)
- 25g plain flour, sifted
- finely grated zest of one lime
You will also need 6 egg shells, rinsed and dried.
(1) Preheat the oven to 170C (fan) and place empty egg shells in small muffin tray which will keep them upright.
(2) Put the egg, the sugar and the lime zest in a bowl and place over a small pan containing barely simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Whisk for about 5 minutes or so, until the mixture thickens and a trail is left when the whisk is lifted up.
(3) Fold in the flour carefully until there are no patches of flour remaining. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the base of each egg shell, coming just under half-way up.
(4) Bake for about 8 minutes until the top of the sponge feels springy. Leave to cool.
Lime syrup (optional)
- juice of 1 lime
- 30ml water
- 30g sugar
Put these 3 ingredients in a small pan and bring slowly to the boil, making sure the sugar has dissolved. Simmer gently until you get a thin syrup. Leave to cool
- 125g cream cheese
- 40g caster sugar
- 50g crème fraîche
- a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract
- juice of two whole limes
Simply beat the ingredients together for a few minutes until very light and soft. Chill until needed.
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 40g vanilla caster sugar, plus a little extra to sprinkle over
- 100g plain flour
- 20g semolina
(1) Preheat the oven to 160C(fan). Rub the butter and flour together well until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and semolina and knead gently in until it just forms a soft dough without over-working it.
(2) Roll out the dough on a surface with a light dusting of icing sugar (or roll between two sheets of baking parchment) and cut into thin rectangles. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon sheet and lightly prick them all over with a fork.
(3) Bake for about 12-15 minutes, taking them out when they are just have just a touch of colour. Leave them on the tin for about 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle over some sugar.
- the flesh of half a ripe mango
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar
- a spritz of lime juice
Purée the mango with the icing sugar and lime juice. Set aside until needed.
The assembly of the eggs (recipes for the components are above):
(1) Spoon over a little lime syrup and/or rum (or liqueur of choice) over the cooled sponge and let it soak in.
(2) Spoon some of the cheesecake into the egg shells on top of the sponge, coming up almost to the top of the shells.
(3) Scoop out a little of the cheesecake (this will be replaced with the mango purée later).
(4) Freeze these until solid and peel off the egg shell carefully. Meanwhile, melt or temper the chocolate and pour it into a fairly narrow but deep container such as a mug.
(5) Dip the frozen desserts in the white chocolate, using a fork in the top to help you dunk. Let the chocolate go right up to the top and then leave them upside down onto a wire rack or baking parchment (with the frozen cheesecake face down) while the chocolate sets: they will set in moments as they are still very cold from the freezer.
(6) Once the chocolate has set, invert them so the cheesecake layer is facing upwards and place in egg cups or the muffin trays. Spoon over a little mango purée (which will also cover the fork hole made when dipping them into the chocolate).
(7) Place the desserts in the fridge to defrost. Eat and enjoy!