Every Sunday I seem to find myself tuning in to watch Sunday Brunch on Channel 4, I love the down to earth style of the presenting and the laid back approach to cooking on there. So last Sunday I had the intention of baking something for Easter but hadn’t actually put my finger on what yet but it was going to be either cookies or cakes. That was until I saw Paul A Young (took me a while to realise it wasn’t my 80’s crush) making Easter Eggs on the show. I say making, I only remember the putting them together and decorating part. So armed with 3 facts from the show my baking idea flew out of the window. The tip I learned from Paul were to never leave your chocolate to cool in the fridge for longer than 10 minutes or it would become wet. To seal the 2 halves of the egg together by holding them in contact with the bottom of a hot pan and then sticking together. Then finally to make chocolate base fill a muffin tray mould with melted chocolate!
So after lunch and trip to the shops I trotted to the kitchen and dug out an old cardboard Easter egg which was going to be my mould that I would line with foil. This turned out to be a great idea apart from the fact that I was down to my last strip of foil which was glued to the roll and so removing the foil from the card egg was nearly impossible. Luckily perseverance paid off and eventually I got the one stubborn egg half to extract itself. I was starting to have flashbacks of my Valentines Chocolate where I’d make them in an unlined mini muffin tin and there they wished to stay!. On my trip around the shops I’d seen a lovely egg which was just a mesh/lattice of milk chocolate that you could see through – maybe I could do the same I thought? Once I got started and was applying my pattern of milk chocolate I realised that with my limited chocolate making equipment (a teaspoon) this was not an option so just decided on a milk chocolate pattern to which I’d add a base of dark chocolate. I gauged the amount of chocolate I’d need by eye so if you’re making a larger egg do the same. I’ve heard about tempering chocolate and I believe that this needs a thermometer so I didn’t bother with this as I don’t own said thermometer! My milk chocolate did go cloudy so possibly I over heated it but the plain chocolate stayed shiny so I think another time I’d stick to that for a more professional finish. Once I’d decorated my egg with Smarties though it didn’t really seem to matter that you could see crinkles from the foil or that the milk chocolate didn’t look perfect. My daughter who helped me begged for the egg to be hers – I don’t blame her as I think it is nicer than the kids eggs you get in the shops and you can decorate and fill it with exactly what you likeJ So why don’t you be brave and have your own Blue Peter moment like I did. Next year I’m going to be really organised and make lots of Easter eggs as they really are fun to make and it puts a smile on my face every time I look at our little creation! Happy Easter.
Ooh and I nearly forgot to mention that I had a lovely tweet from the man himself:
I’m entering my Easter Egg into Credit Crunch Munch because the egg cost just 65p using value chocolate and the Smarties I used were bought in a sale after Christmas for 33p for a massive tube. The lovely Helen at Fuss Free Flavours is co-pilot of this challenge with me and is also this month’s host.
- 50g Milk or White Chocolate
- 100g Plain Chocolate
- For base & sticking on decorations:
- 60g Plain Chocolate
- Chocolates and or sweets
- Line 2 halves of a cardboard egg (the size of your hand) with a sheet of foil leaving at least an inch of foil around the edge as you’ll need this to pull out the chocolate later.
- Melt the milk or white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water over a very low heat. Do not over heat the chocolate.
- Using a teaspoon swirl the chocolate over the foil bases.
- Put in the fridge to set for a maximum of 10 minutes
- Then melt the dark chocolate over a pan of water again.
- Then using a pastry brush paint the dark chocolate over the milk layer, trying to keep the chocolate thicker at the top edge. I did this in one hit but in hindsight it might have been better to do this in 2 stages.
- Put in the fridge to set for 10 minutes (maximum) and if not completely set just wait for it to set at room temperature. I allowed mine to set curved side down but maybe left the other way up on baking parchment would have been better. The thin edges didn’t seem to matter though once I’d melted and welded them together.
- Meanwhile melt the 60g of dark chocolate and almost fill a foil lined muffin tin mould with chocolate to use as a base for your egg. (I’d run out and had to use cling film).
- Once set pull the foil from card eggs and gently peel the foil off the chocolate.
- Then using the hot pan that you heated the water in push the open side of each egg half onto the pan to melt slightly, fill with chocolate/sweets then fuse the halves together.
- Put the egg onto your chocolate base and hold for a few seconds until it sits upright.
- Now decorate your egg using the rest of your melted chocolate as a glue.
- Once the base has set, remove the foil and place in a pretty bag and add a few more chocolates/sweets. I find roasting bags very handy for this part! Tie with a bow et voila! Happy Easter.