Thursday, March 28, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Easter eggs

Ever since I can remember, my mother has made us homemade chocolate eggs for Easter. From bunnies to eggs, chickens to baskets, white chocolate, dark chocolate, filled, hollow – you name it, we got it. All lovingly handmade. It was not until I took over this family tradition that I realised how much work goes into making your own basket of chocolate eggs, it is also extremely rewarding when people tuck into your chocolate creations with gusto. In our home, I find it a comforting ritual and after this post, I hope it will be one that you adopt in your own. It’s a great way to keep the kids busy over the long weekend – and of course, there is the opportunity to lick the leftover chocolate in the mixing bowl!

Step 1: Stock up on ingredients and equipment.
  • Chocolate moulds – most baking specialty stores stock these in a variety of shapes. 
  • To make hollow eggs, you will need two mirror image moulds that you can sandwich together. 
  • Clothing pegs – these are used to hold the two moulds together and stop them from shifting before the chocolate sets.
  • Good-quality chocolate – for beginners, baking chocolate is the best. Again, baking shops will have a good-quality kind with a high cocoa content that tastes better than the baking chocolate you buy in the supermarket. Don’t even try to use the generic ‘eating’ chocolate slabs – this chocolate isn’t designed for melting and moulding so it simply won’t reset. Always buy more chocolate than you think you’ll need.

Step 2: Make sure your moulds are spotlessly clean – any dirt will stick to the chocolate and will give dullness to your finished eggs. We’re going for a spotlessly shiny look!

Step 3: Melt the chocolate.
This is best done in a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Water is chocolate’s enemy and if even the smallest drop falls into your chocolate, it will seize and you’ll have to begin again.

Step4: Time for filling.
  • Get your two moulds ready and place the matching pieces next to each other.Fill one of the moulds with chocolate before placing the second mould on top. Make sure the edges match up and secure with 4-5 pegs to avoid the moulds moving. Holding it firmly, rotate and move the chocolate to coat the entire mould – there should be no gaps. Sometimes a bit of a shake or tapping it on the kitchen counter can help get the chocolate into all the nooks and crannies.Once coated, place in the refrigerator to set. The chocolate is set when it pulls away from the mould and has a glossy appearance. Remove it from the fridge and gently pull the moulds away. I place mine onto a clean kitchen towel or baking paper. Avoid touching the eggs as much as possible as your fingerprints will dull the beautiful shine of the chocolate. Store in the refrigerator or cool place. 

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