Make your own Easter eggs
- Credit: Kerstin Rodgers
Easter is trending. Perhaps our curtailed Christmas along with more time at home for crafts and cooking has led to a lockdown resurgence of popularity for the Spring Christian festival.
Easter Sunday is on April 4 this year, so why not have a go at making your own chocolate eggs? Plastic egg moulds, both small and large, are available and inexpensive to buy online. You will also need a pastry brush for painting on the chocolate.
To make the large eggs, it's quite tricky getting them out of the mould in one piece. Smaller eggs are much easier and you can fill them with different flavoured centres.
After painting on the 'shell', I add coconut oil, solid when cold and liquid when hot, to the filling. This way the chocolate flows more easily and achieves that Lindt-style 'cold' effect.
Mini Filled Easter eggs
Use a good quality chocolate, I used Guittard chocolate drops.
For the shells:
100g good quality chocolate dark
For the filling:
300g good quality chocolate either milk, white, mint, butterscotch or dark or a mix.
a few teaspoons of coconut oil
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First polish your moulds with a lint-free cloth or cotton wool. This helps give a shine to the chocolate.
Melt a small quantity of the chocolate you will be using for the shells in a microwave, 30 seconds only. Melt the chocolate (s) you will be using for the filling in a microwave. You can end up with lots of little bowls of different flavours if you want.
Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to each bowl of the chocolate filling and stir.
Brush the shell chocolate into the moulds. Try not to go over the edges or wipe spills so you get a crisp line. Put in the fridge for 5 minutes. For the mini eggs, one layer should be enough. For larger eggs you will need to repeat this several times, to build up the thickness of the chocolate.
Remove the moulds from the fridge and using a teaspoon fill the mini egg moulds from the bowls of chocolate flavours that have coconut oil added. Fill to the top but no further. Put in the fridge. Chill for half an hour.
Remove from the fridge and pop the egg halves out from the moulds. Using a heated baking tray turned upside down, carefully press the flat bottom of each half of the chocolate eggs then stick the two halves together. If you want a more perfect look, wear cotton or plastic gloves to prevent fingerprints.
For the larger egg moulds, carefully pull at the edges of the flexible plastic mould to release them. Slowly you will see the air slowly leak between the plastic and the chocolate, releasing the vacuum.
Easter egg nests (serves 8)
You will need silicon cup cake holders. This way you can ‘paint’ the chocolate inside then peel the insides off.
100 g dark chocolate
200 g cream cheese
125 g condensed milk
40 ml of double cream
1 tsp of vanilla paste
4 tbsps of Pedro Ximenez sherry or other dessert wine
Mini chocolate eggs (either home-made as above or shop bought)
Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds. If it needs a little more time then give it another 30 seconds. On no account put it in for a minute to save time. Chocolate can seize very quickly.
Using a clean dry pastry brush, paint the insides of the silicon cupcake holder quite thickly, maybe leaving to dry, then painting it again. You want it fairly thick so that you can release it from the silicon without it breaking. Refrigerate.
Whip the cream cheese, condensed milk, double cream, vanilla and finally PX together for around five minutes until it thickens. Refrigerate. Once the cream mixture is chilled, remove the chocolate silicon holders from the fridge. Using your thumbnail, lift the chocolate on the sides from the silicon, going all away around the holder. Gently pull away the silicon and push up from the bottom to remove the chocolate, which will now be a shell in the shape of the cupcake holder.
Place on the plate you are going to serve it on (don’t handle it too much) then scoop the cream mixture inside. Decorate with mini chocolate eggs and some chocolate powder.