We bake bread, we cure our own bacon, yet for some reason we never make our own Easter eggs. Perhaps because there are so many brands and sizes already available - but also, I suspect, the need for a perfectly shiny shell and smart design can be daunting. It's one place where 'rustic' isn't so chic.
Yet when making an egg you choose exactly what type and quality chocolate to use - 54% cocoa solids is dark and rich without being bitter, 70% cocoa solids is a more acquired taste, or swirl milk and white for something sweeter.
For a professional finish it is most important is to ‘temper’ the chocolate correctly. Tempering is a careful process of heating and cooling the chocolate, to ensure a shiny finish and a crisp snap. See ‘How to temper chocolate’ for a more detailed guide.
Chocolate couverture is used for chocolate work as the high percentage of cocoa fat means the chocolate runs easily from a mould when melted, creating a finer chocolate shell. In the recipe below, the chocolate is poured into the mould, and then half is poured away, to create a fine egg shell finish. Keep the reserved chocolate, and melt and temper again to repeat the recipe. A finished chocolate egg weighs 50-60g, so you can repeat the recipe a number of times with a 500g bag of chocolate couverture.
Customise the eggs by decorating and flavouring the surface of the moulds with the orange and strawberry chips (step two below). Fill one side of the chocolate shell with treats before sticking the two halves of the chocolate egg together. Or even pipe in a rich ganache for the ultimate indulgence.
Ingredients Serves: 4
- Diamond pattern polycarbonate chocolate Easter egg mould
- Superfast Thermapen thermometer
- Metal spatula
- Baking parchment or waxed paper
- Clean the polycarbonate mould and dry thoroughly with a cloth.
- (Optional) First create a pattern on the surface of the chocolate. Melt the strawberry and orange flavour chips in the microwave on a low heat. Dip the end of a teaspoon in the chocolate and use flicking motions to draw random lines and dots on the inside of the moulds. For a more elaborate design, use a piping bag. Leave to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile temper the 54% couverture.
- Pour the tempered chocolate into the mould, filling it to the brim. Tap the mould firmly on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Turn upside down over a bowl to let the excess chocolate drip out. Shake vigorously a few times to ensure a thin shell.
- Using a spatula, scrape any excess chocolate from the flat surface of the mould into a bowl. Leave to set in a cool place.
- Once the chocolate is set, rest the mould upside down on a work surface. The eggs will de-mould naturally as the chocolate cools further and contracts. This can take up to 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, if the eggs don’t release naturally tap the mould firmly on the work surface until they do.
- To stick the two half shells together, melt a little more chocolate and dip the rim of one shell in the chocolate. Press the two shells together. Leave to set.
- Store in a cool, dry place and enjoy within 1 week.