Make your own Easter egg: the recipe
Follow our step-by-step guide to making your own Easter egg, plus delicious chocolates to fill it with
Chop three-quarters of the chocolate (300g) or use the same amount in buttons or pistoles (coin-shaped pieces). Set aside. Finely chop the remaining quarter (100g).
Place the larger quantity of chocolate in a bowl. Half fill a saucepan with hot water, and put the bowl over it, without it touching the bottom of the saucepan. Slowly heat the water, ensuring it does not boil. Alternatively, use a microwave, in “defrost” position or at 500W maximum. Stir regularly using a flexible spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly.
Check the temperature with a thermometer. When it reaches 55C-58C (131F-136F) for dark, or 45C- 50C (113F-122F) for milk or white, remove from the bain-marie.
Set aside one-third of the melted chocolate in another bowl, in a warm place. Add the finely chopped 100g of the chocolate into the remaining two-thirds of the melted chocolate, stirring constantly. Dark chocolate should reach a temperature of 28C-29C (82F-84F), milk 27C-28C (80F-82F) and white 26C-27C (79F-80F).
Add the warm melted chocolate you set aside to raise the temperature. Stir until you hit 31C-32C (88F-90F) for dark, 29C-30C (84F-86F) for milk and 28C-29C (82F-84F) for white.
Top tip: If the chocolate has reached the right temperature but there are still unmelted pieces, remove them before increasing the temperature, or your chocolate will get sticky.
EASTER EGG RECIPE
For a 180mm Easter egg mould, which requires approximately 250g of chocolate per egg.
Melt and temper (see above for full recipe) at least 500g of chocolate, whichever you prefer, in a heatproof bowl over water, or in the microwave.
Once the chocolate is tempered, use a ladle to fill the egg mould completely. Give the mould a gentle tap to remove air bubbles.
Invert the egg mould and let the excess chocolate drip out. Once the dripping has slowed or stopped, clean the surface with the palette knife or spatula.
Invert onto baking paper to allow the chocolate to set partially.
Once the chocolate is no longer fluid, repeat the process of filling, tapping and scraping to add another layer of chocolate to the mould.
Turn out onto baking paper and let the chocolate set fully. The egg should release itself from the mould within 20 minutes.
To stick the two halves together: Warm a baking tray in the oven for a few minutes. The tray doesn’t need to be very hot, just warm. Quickly press once on the flat side of the egg to ever so slightly melt the edge. Now stick the other half of the egg to the melted surface.
Hold for 30 seconds then let rest on something like an egg carton until the chocolate sets.
Ideally leave overnight to dry completely before decorating.
RASPBERRY GANACHE TRUFFLES
400g dark chocolate
250g raspberry purée (available frozen from wholefoods.com)
30g orange-flavoured liquor
150g soft cubes unsalted butter
Tempered dark chocolate for dipping
Cocoa powder, to dust
Melt the chocolate either in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave.
Bring the raspberry purée, liquor and honey to the boil.
Pour one third of the purée mixture into the melted chocolate. Stir with a rubber spatula in the centre of the chocolate. When all the purée has been incorporated, add the next third and repeat the stirring process. (It’s all right if at this point the chocolate looks a little split.) Stir in the final third of purée. At this point the ganache should be smooth and very glossy.
Place a piece of cling film on the surface of the ganache. Let the ganache cool to 40C (104F), then stir in the butter. Mix vigorously until all the butter is incorporated and there are no lumps. Leave to set for 24 hours, covered in cling film, in a cool place, not in the fridge.
After 24 hours the ganache will be set enough to pipe into small balls. Pipe into desired size using a piping bag, dip in chocolate and finish by rolling in cocoa powder. Affix to your egg with a little tempered chocolate. It will stick after 40 seconds with a little pressure.
SALTED CARAMEL MILK CHOCOLATE BONBONS
To prepare the bonbon moulds for the caramel you will need 400g tempered milk chocolate, baking paper, a palette knife or flat scraper and your desired bonbon mould.
When you have tempered your chocolate, fill your bonbon mould completely with chocolate. Ladle the chocolate over the mould, covering the whole thing. Tap the mould to bring any small air bubbles to the surface.
Now turn the mould upside down over the chocolate bowl, letting all the excess chocolate drain out.
Use your scraper in one swipe to remove the extra chocolate from the surface.
Now place upside-down on the baking paper to allow the chocolate to harden. Once the chocolate has set the shells can be filled.
For the filling
250g caster sugar
65g double cream
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp sea salt
35g crème fraîche
To make the caramel, place the caster sugar in a medium-size heavy pan, over medium heat. Gradually the sugar will melt and start to caramelise. Use a wooden or long-handled metal spoon to stir the sugar and ensure all the sugar turns to caramel. Once all the sugar has caramelised and turned a dark amber, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream. Be careful as the sugar can bubble violently.
Return the pan to the heat and bring to a simmer to dissolve any hard bits of sugar. Once all the caramel has dissolved, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Once cooled to room temperature, stir in the lemon juice, salt and crème fraîche.
Leave a 1cm space at the top of the mould when filling the moulds with the caramel. Leave to set for a few hours or overnight. Or if you’d rather cheat, buy dulce de leche (ready-made caramel condiment) and use this as your filling.
The final step is to cap the chocolates. Pour tempered chocolate all over the surface of the open bonbons.
Use your palette knife to remove all the excess chocolate and smooth the surface. Once the chocolate is set, you can invert the tray and the chocolates will pop out, or give a gentle tap to loosen.