By Claire Smail
I cannot believe it, it is nearly that ‘eggciting’ time of year again where my family and I can eat as much chocolate as we like! Over the last few years I have tried to make my own Easter eggs as I feel it is a great opportunity to explore more original and loved family flavours. I also think it makes giving the gift of an Easter egg even more special.
I am planning to make an Easter egg for each of my parents and this year I want to try out two different flavours. The first one is inspired by the delicious Milk and Orange Tokolate, made by Kernow Chocolate for Saltrock. I love how they combination high quality, sustainably grown cocoa in their rich milk chocolate with zesty orange oil Tokolate. I am hoping to decorate this egg with a white chocolate painted wave and stripes. The other egg will be for my Dad and because he loves surfing and coconut flavoured sweets I am planning to make a white chocolate and coconut egg, decorated with a dark chocolate painted wave.
Now last year I has some success with my chocolate crafting in making these delicious decorated button (see the blog HERE) but for some reason when it came to creating the actual egg I somehow must have got the chocolate tempering technique all wrong and so ended up with some very ‘Airo’ like chocolate. So this year I have taken the time to research the best and most importantly easiest way to temper the chocolate so the Easter eggs are shiny, set quickly and have a clear ‘snap’ when broken. Importantly to me I did not want to buy any new cooking equipment for this process, like a marble slab or thermometer. After looking online I found some great instructions and clips that explain how you can temper the chocolate the easy way with no thermometer (because once the chocolate is melted you need to correctly aligned the fat crystals). I found this blog particularly easy to follow: https://www.sweet2eatbaking.com/chocolate-tempering-how-to-temper-chocolate/.
You will need:
(Makes two 9cm by 6cm eggs)
- 200g Milk and Orange Tokolate (or milk chocolate and some orange essence)
- 200g White Chocolate
- 75g Dark Chocolate
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- Two plastic Easter egg moulds (I ordered my online)
- 1 clean pastry brush
- Heat-proof bowl
- Sauce pan
- Kitchen Towel
- Metal spoon
- Baking parchment
- Tea towel or ice
- Baking tray
How to make the Tokolate Orange Egg:
Firstly, I found I needed to clean off the moulds from last year with a proper hot, soaping wash and then a thorough drying with kitchen paper to remove all the water and make sure they are grease free.
After my revision on how to temper the chocolate I then set out everything ready for use. I filled the pan with a couple of inches of water and set on the heat. In the heat-proof bowl I broke up ¾ of the white chocolate, leaving the remaining ¼ for the tempering process.
Once the water was simmering I placed the broken up chocolate chunk filled, heat-proof bowl on top of the pan (make sure no water meets the chocolate as it will ‘seize’) and allowed the steam from the heated water to melt the chocolate. I kept stirring during the melting process (otherwise the chocolate could burn) until about ¾ of the chunks had melted.
Remove the bowl from the pan and place in a cold, wet tea towel to stop the chocolate getting any hotter. Stir continually for a few seconds so the bowl has a chance to cool, then move off the cold damp cloth.
Now is the time to temper the chocolate by placing a square of the remaining ¼ of un-melted chocolate into the bowl and stirring it until the block has melted in with the rest. You need to continue this process until a block of chocolate no longer melts in. I found the white chocolate melted quite a few blocks of chocolate before it was tempered and ready to use.
When the block of chocolate is no longer melting into the mixture, now is the time to dip the pastry brush into the chocolate and brush your design into the inside of the moulds. I tried a wave on one mould and stripes on the other. I did find the brush left a very thin layer of chocolate, so I had to add a couple of coats to build up the pattern.
Then I placed both moulds in the fridge to set. As I only have one pastry brush, at this stage I did wash it and then made sure it was completely dry by putting it on top of a hot radiator.
Whilst the first layer is setting, I started on the Milk and Orange Tokolate for the next layer. I repeated the melting and tempering process and once a chocolate block was no longer melting in, I took the moulds out the fridge. In this time the white chocolate decorations had set fully, so all I had to do was load up the clean and dry pastry brush with milk chocolate and paint the entire inside of the mould. I was careful to brush the chocolate right up to the edges of each mould.
Place in the fridge to set but this time lay the moulds down flat on a piece of baking parchment so the chocolate has a chance to run from the centre of the mould to the edges.
I found this layer did not take long to set (about 2-5 minutes) and so I was able to take the mould out the fridge and apply the last, thicker layer with the remainder of the cooling, tempered chocolate (the chocolate was thicker at this stage because it had started to set but it was still just melted enough to brush on).
Then return to the fridge to fully set. I left the egg for a couple of hours just to be sure.
At this point I found I had some remaining chocolate which I thought I would just use to make some buttons for the inside of the egg. On another sheet of baking parchment I spooned the left over chocolate into teaspoon size button shapes, then to make them extra yummy I toasted about 1 tablespoon of flaked almonds in a frying pan. Once toasted golden, I placed two almond flakes on each chocolate button and then placed in the fridge to set.
Assembling is surprisingly easy. When you are sure that both parts of the egg are set, you can remove them from the fridge. Whilst the egg halves are still in their moulds, use a sharp knife to trim off any uneven chocolate and drips around the sides. Then carefully remove them from the moulds, by placing them flat on a plate and slightly ‘squeezing’ off the moulds. They should come out easily and try not to handle them too much as the warmth from your hands will course them to start to melt and lose their shine.
Finally place a metal baking tray in a low heated oven for about 10min, just until it feels warm to touch (not hot). Then place both halves of the eggs onto the heated tray. Leave them just long enough for all of the edges to melt slightly. Then pick up both parts, fill one half with the almond buttons before placing together. You will find the melted chocolate will stick the egg together. Wipe off any excess melted chocolate what might be oozing out of the join and leave to set.
How to make the White Chocolate and Coconut Egg:
To make the second egg I repeated all the steps above but used dark chocolate to paint on a wave shape and then filled the rest of the egg with two layers of white chocolate. I did have to re-melt the while chocolate and so also had to repeat the whole tempering process again. Once I had brushed on the second and final thick layer of white chocolate, in the inside of each mould I sprinkled over the desiccated coconut so it would set into the inside of the chocolate egg.