The Crafty Lass does… Chocolate Easter Eggs!
So, the husband has gone out this Easter Sunday – the whole day – so, I have the house to myself – to do whatever I want. I could have spent a few lovely leisurely hours catching up on all my overdue to be watched Masterchef (I haven’t seen the last SIX episodes!) or, I could have gone out and spent some time in the rare sunshine. No – instead, I stayed in and made a mess, I made a huge chocolatey, fun, mess. I did make some chocolate Easter eggs in the process…but mainly a mess. 😉 The finished eggs aren’t perfect and, it would of course have been ALOT easier to go into my local supermarket and just BUY eggs. But, where would the fun be in that?
Chocolate, especially making moulded chocolate has always frightened me. Haha – not literally – but, ‘What if it’s too hot?’ ‘What if it’s too cold?’ ‘What if water gets into it?’ (Chocolate and water DO NOT mix!) ‘What if it just won’t come out of the mould?’ So many concerns! And, as it turned out, it was fine!
Chocolate, needs to be at the right ‘temper’ (don’t we all!) to ensure a lovely glossy sheen, a perfect ‘snap’ when you break into it, and to stop the chocolate ‘blooming’ (when fat and/or sugar can rise to the surface – which is still safe to eat, but just makes it look unsightly.) Ideally, I would have a fantastic ‘tempering machine’ at my disposal (quite a bit of cost in that!) Second to that, I would try and use a microwave to slowly melt the chocolate to the right temperatures/consistency…however our’s recently broke, and is yet to be replaced. So, I used the the ‘Bain-Marie’ method. This ‘Instructables’ tempering guide clearly shows the step-by-step process, and the temperatures required. And, as long as you stick to these – it really is that easy.
Top Tip 1! Bowls. I actually used plastic (instead of glass or metal) – to try and ensure the actual bowl didn’t ‘keep’the the temperature up too hot once off the heat, so it would cool down much quicker.
Top Tip 2! Lakeland have a great device that I used – a ‘Thermospatula‘ – a silicone spatula and thermometer combined – perfect!
Once the chocolate was tempered, I poured the chocolate into the egg moulds and swirled/twisted them around to ensure all areas were coated. I then repeated this process to ensure the eggs would be thick enough – too thin and they could easily crack when coming out! Once all coated, it was into the fridge for five minutes. The chocolate doesn’t take long to set – and if tempered correctly, as the chocolate re-forms into a solid mass, it will slightly shrink away from the mould, allowing it to easily come out. Luckily for me, this did actually happen – a slight ‘tap’, and out they came, and as hoped – with a lovely shiny finish. If they don’t come out that easily – a quick blast in the freezer can sometimes help!
Top Tip 3! Once each of the ‘half eggs’ are out of the moulds – I used a heated tray straight from the oven… gently resting the egg halves on here, to slightly re-melt the edges before putting together. Et voila, one whole egg!
The finished result – I am happy that they do actually look like eggs (not sure what else they would look like!) – but I have learnt a few things:
1. It isn’t hard, or scary. Working with chocolate is alot easier than you think – and importantly, fun! I’d highly recommend anyone to give this a go! It doesn’t have to be Easter themed – there are a whole multitude of moulds, in all shapes and sizes out there to try! And joking aside – it wasn’t THAT messy, just a few bowls/moulds to wash up! 🙂
2. You need to work quickly with chocolate – I poured the tempered chocolate into the moulds, and didn’t swirl it around into the egg shape quickly enough – so the chocolate started to set – and allowed for a few air holes in the eggs. A way to combat this? I should have banged the mould gently on the work surface to bring these air bubbles to the top – and out of the chocolate – before setting, but I didn’t, so there are a few little air pockets here and there.
3. Quantities? You need to work out just how much chocolate is required for your specific egg mould. I melted FAR too much. It’s ok – it will just have to be eaten 😉 – but next time – I will melt less (I melted 400g for these three eggs, added in around 150g in the tempering process – and probably only used around two thirds.) Anyone out there with some ‘top tips’ for measuring what is required?
Next year’s attempt will be to try patterned eggs! Dark, milk and white, filled with sweeties, little gifts – the ideas are endless.
Now, all that there is left to do… is eat! Happy Easter everyone!