BUNNIES!!!! This is a gratuitous bunny laden, chocolate clad post. And because I can’t pick just one bunny book to talk about. I’m going to talk about lots of them, old and new.
My favourite fictional rabbits are probably, the White Rabbit, Brer Rabbit, Peter Rabbit, Miffy, any rabbit drawn by Richard Scarry and the Velveteen Rabbit. I was never a massive fan of Bugs Bunny; Watership down made me cry, and Thumper from Bambi was a bit too cute.
My new, all time favourite rabbit artist has to be Delphine Durand. I bought Big Rabbit’s Bad Mood a few months ago – and it is hilarious. Rabbit is followed around by a giant, hairy Bad Mood which sprawls on the sofa and throws his chips and bogeys on the floor. My bad mood likes to use a Hoover like a weapon and beat dough into a pulp. The only thing that gets rid of this bad mood, unsurprisingly, is cake!
My second favourite, is by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present is slightly surreal, but very unique. This gangly rabbit helps Little Girl find a present for her mother. Like most Sendak drawings, they are intriguing and disturbing, and this rabbit in particular, is a bit too human-like and a little bit cocky. Check it out.
The House Rabbit Society has a long list of rabbity books, including a book I had forgotten – ‘Bunnicula’! This is one sinister rabbit.
A really sweet rabbit tale I just stumbled across, is the pen and ink illustrated, The Magic Rabbit. A white rabbit is Ray the magician’s best friend in the whole wide world. They watch TV together, do chores together; the rabbit even sleeps in a hat on top of Ray’s bed. When he gets lost – Ray’s world is torn apart. I can relate to the sense of panic of losing one’s rabbit. Ours always insisted on burrowing under the fence to go walkabout around the neighbouring streets. Annette Le Blanc Cate’s rabbit’s ears effectively convey the scariness of being alone in a big city. Ears are very helpful for expression. If I had long rabbit ears I could just bend it to show displeasure or annoyance – I’m sure that that would save on frowning and un-necessary wrinkles.
I have a bit of an obsession with rabbit culture and have bored my family with rabbity facts from my dissertation on the History of the Rabbit. After struggling for months to come up with a dissertation idea, my history lecturer presented me with ‘The Easter Bilby’. Not Bunny – Bilby. In Australia, due to their rampant rabbit problem, they’ve engaged in a cultural war against the Easter Bunny and have been replacing him with the Easter Bilby! This marsupial is the underdog, terrorized by the evil rabbit. Australian Easter chocolate is now Bilby shaped.
I’ve never understood why Easter Bunnies deliver chocolate eggs, but why question it? So, this week, here’s my anti-candida, sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. All I need is a fluffy bunny to pose next to them.
Chocolate Cupcakes (sugar and gluten free)
1/2 cup cacao powder
25g (4oz) coconut flour
125g (4oz) chestnut flour (or you could use a gluten free flour mix)
125g (4oz) butter, at room temperature
200g (4oz) xylitol
2 tbsp cacao brazil nut spread
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
100ml (3½fl oz) natural yogurt (try Rachel’s Greek yoghurt)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1½ level tsps gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
Rococo sugar-free, dairy free chocolate
284 fl oz cream
1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa together.
3. In another bowl whisk your eggs and vanilla essence.
4. Add in the egg mixture into the butter and sugar mixture – one tablespoon at a time. This stops it from curdling and keeps it light and fluffy. Its more work but the results are much better.
5. Add in the flour mixture – again – one tablespoon at a time.
6. Finally stir in your yoghurt and use the milk to make the mixture feel like soft peanut butter. (Add more milk if needed, depending on the size of your eggs you may need more.
7. Put the mixture into silicon cupcake holders.
8. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes at Gas Mark 4 / 180°C / 300 F.
9. To create your topping, melt the rococo chocolate over a bowl of boiling water.
10. Slowly add the cream in making sure it doesn’t seize.
10. Leave to cool slightly, until it becomes thick. Then put into a piping bag and pipe over your cupcakes.