EASTER EGGS & Co.

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It’s almost spring even if this year it doesn’t seem to want to arrive… but it’s time for rebirth and chocolate!
So before it gets too hot, the time has come to try making chocolate eggs (whether they’re Easter eggs or not). Don’t be scared, it’s not that difficult, you just need a little patience and method, but you will be rewarded by the result… few things are as satisfying as making Easter eggs at home and putting inside a surprise chosen specifically for the recipient.
To obtain beautiful shiny and thin eggs you need to know how to “temper” the chocolate, that is, work it at precise temperatures to obtain a nice shiny chocolate. A kitchen thermometer, preferably digital, which ranges from 0 to at least 70°C is therefore essential. In this recipe, dark chocolate is tempered because it is good to practice with this as tempering is simpler than other types of chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 60% dark chocolate (don’t go for higher percentages, otherwise it will be more difficult to unmold your eggs) – for a medium-sized egg consider at least 250 g of chocolate
  • a digital cooking thermometer
  • a basin with cold water
  • molds for chocolate eggs or other subjects (here I have an ancient cockerel-shaped mold).

Note for chocolate molds: there are now many types on the market. The best ones remain those made of hard and transparent polycarbonate which guarantee the best results, alternatively there are the semi-rigid ones, usually transparent, or the silicone molds which are easier to de-mould but must be cleaned to perfection, finally those of metal composed of two halves that are joined with pliers (like that of the cockerel in this post, but modern ones are also found).

First, wash your molds well and dry them carefully with paper towels, they must be perfectly dry. Now you will have to temper the chocolate: there are different methods, the one I illustrate below is the “sowing” method. The process is divided into three phases:

1 – Break up the chocolate and chop it in the mixer until it is reduced into very small pieces. Place two thirds of it in a slightly tall saucepan and place the saucepan on the heat in a bain-marie (i.e. inside a larger saucepan half full of water, the water must be in contact with the smaller saucepan inside) and let the chocolate melt gently, stirring occasionally. The chocolate will reach a temperature of around 45°C (for milk and white chocolate) and 50°C (for dark chocolate).

2 – In the meantime, prepare a large bowl with cold water and place it on the kitchen counter.

Remove the chocolate from the heat and add 1/3 of the chocolate that you had previously chopped and set aside. Mix well and quickly until this last chocolate has melted completely. Check the temperature with the thermometer. The chocolate must quickly reach the temperature of 28-29°C (for milk and white chocolate) and 30°C (for dark chocolate). If the temperature is still high, place the saucepan in the bowl of cold water and, stirring constantly, bring the chocolate to the temperatures indicated above.

3 – Bring the chocolate to the processing temperature by placing it briefly over the hot bain-marie (even without turning on the heat if it has remained hot enough). It’s a matter of little, you will have to bring the chocolate to a temperature of 30°C (for milk and white chocolate) and 31°C (for dark chocolate). Now your chocolate is tempered, mix it carefully throughout the entire manufacturing process.

At this point, pour it into the molds and rotate the molds so that the chocolate covers all parts. You will have to be patient at this stage and rotate for a long time while the chocolate cools and thickens a little (it no longer drips). If you use aluminium/metal moulds, use tongs to pour all the chocolate into the cavity and rotate it well to cover the entire surface and to let it cool. Rotate until it almost no longer drips and before putting it to cool in the fridge, leave it on the pan for a while in case some of the chocolate drips.

If you have molds with half polycarbonate eggs you can pour a little chocolate into the center of the egg and then spread it evenly with a spoon and rotate them until it no longer drips. At this point, place them in the fridge first with the chocolate facing upwards, then when it seems a little solidified, you can also place them with the chocolate facing downwards, taking care to place a sheet of baking paper on the fridge shelf.

Wait about an hour and, if everything went well, your half eggs will have solidified well and you will find them already detached on the refrigerator shelf. If this is not the case, wait a little and if they do not come off on their own, try to use a little force on the edges to detach them, making them slide out of the mould, or, only if you use rigid polycarbonate moulds, give a few sharp taps with the mould. on the counter and they will come off. If you have used silicone ones you can turn them out carefully by turning the mold very delicately. Be careful to always have clean and dry hands when forming the eggs so as not to touch them too much and ruin the shine. If you have aluminum molds, carefully remove the tongs and remove the chocolate figure.

If you have made half eggs to combine them, place a thick-bottomed pan upside down on the stove and heat the bottom. Place the half egg on it for a second to allow the edge to melt just a little and seal immediately with the other half (remember to put the surprise inside first… then it will be too late!).

Et voilà… here are your homemade Easter eggs!

Aren’t they beautiful?

When you become more expert you can also try your hand at milk and white ones, which are more difficult to work with… and you can also create inlays and a thousand other things. Chocolate is plastic and allows you to do many things! Good fun!

You can also have fun with the colours, for example I added a few drops of food coloring to the tempered white chocolate and made some “drawings” on the egg molds (with a piping bag or a spoon), once they had set I added ” the background” in white or dark chocolate. I’m still at the first experiments but by refining the technique I can produce very beautiful and original eggs. These are the ones from 2019!

With baby carrots

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Or with a “watercolor” effect in a floral theme

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Or by making colored lines (large with the back of a teaspoon)  or with a doodle effect using the fork to “throw” the colored chocolate onto the molds.

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An idea could be to make two-coloured chocolate boxes (I used a decorated silicone mould), closing them with a shortcrust pastry biscuit and hiding a little surprise or sugared eggs inside. They were my revelation of 2016!

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