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?!]

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.

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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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Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

    • 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. . . .) ;)

  3. WOW, the filling sounds so lovely!!

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

  5. 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!

    • 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! :D

  6. 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!

    • 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! :D

  7. 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!

    • 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!

  8. 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?

    • 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Dear Ricki…

    you are my hero.

    love Allyson <3

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

  12. 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..

    • Thanks so much, Gillian! :D 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!

  13. 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…

    • 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. :D

  14. 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

    • 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!

  15. 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.

    • 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). ;)

  16. 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 :)

  17. 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!!!

    • 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! :)

  18. 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*

  19. 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 :D 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

  20. 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.

  21. ooh, another good variation :) i just made some peanut butter eggs yesterday… might have to try these, too!

  22. 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!

    • 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. :)

  23. 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!

    • 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. :)

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

  25. 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!

    • 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! :D

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