Easter eggs are always fun to receive but did you realise you could have even more fun by making your own.
It's an easy task to make your own Easter Eggs at home if you follow this how-to guide. As well as being lots of yummy fun, it's the perfect way to customise them to make them even more special.
With the range of chocolate Easter eggs available in shops, stacked from floor to ceiling, I think it's fair to say that chocolate is a key ingredient as part of our Easter celebrations!
There's a huge amount lot of choice available from the ever-popular cream eggs, through to large eggs with intricate decorations and jaw-dropping price tags.
But have you ever wondered how to make your own Easter eggs? Well, it's not that difficult! It does take time and patience but it is great fun and very rewarding.
Your own unique Chocolate Eggs
Of course by making homemade Easter eggs you're not only saving a bit of cash, but you're able to customise them exactly how you want.
You can fill the eggs with hidden extras. If you love marshmallows, then why not fill the egg with marshmallow cubes. A delicious centre of homemade fudge pieces or a few homemade chocolate truffles would also make a great treat too. Or perhaps fill with your favourite mini chocolate bars. Nothing to heavy mind, you don't want them to break the shells.
Keep it simple or go to town
As for the exterior of the egg, you can of course leave your chocolate Easter egg plain and simple.
You can choose to opt for a fancy iced egg, and personalise them with the name of the lucky recipient. Or simply fix a few sugar flowers or other ready-made sugar decorations to them.
Or you could opt for a more contemporary design which is surprisingly easy to achieve by drizzling some contrasting chocolate back and forth over the mould before fully coating with the milk chocolate.
You can also do that after making the eggs which would give a different effect again.
Whichever you choose it's so much fun to make your own bespoke Easter egg whilst allowing your creativity to shine. And if your egg doesn't turn out perfect, don't worry because you still have the consolation of having all of that lovely chocolate to eat! Chocolate heaven!
Tempering the chocolate
The key to success is to have well-tempered chocolate. Tempering chocolate is a process of heating and cooling the chocolate and then reheating to a workable temperature which will then set to a crisp, shiny finish.
It gives chocolate that characteristic snap when you bite into it. Untempered chocolate has no “bite”, will look dull, and may develop a bloom (spotty dull white colour) which spoils the appearance.
Tempered chocolate will not melt at a cool room temperature. It is particularly important when making Easter eggs and other moulded chocolates as tempered chocolate will shrink slightly and so release from the moulds easily.
My how to temper chocolate master class has more details and tips on tempering chocolate successfully every time so its worth popping over to read before you start.
Once you have tempered the chocolate it's simply a case of part filling the plastic half egg moulds and swirling the chocolate around to ensure that a nice even thickness builds up over the whole surface.
Where to buy Easter egg moulds
Easter egg moulds are easily sourced from large craft stores, and some supermarkets, though do shop around as the price can vary enormously for the exact same product.
You will also find them on line, I purchased mine from The Cake Craft Shop . Personally I prefer clear plastic moulds to silicone moulds as I think they give a better shine to the finished Easter eggs, although you may find eggs slightly easier to remove from silicone moulds especially if the temper isn't perfect.
Chocolate will take on the surface from which it is set. Wash the moulds in warm soapy water and dry well (Water is the arch-enemy of chocolate). Before using polish the inside of the moulds with a piece of kitchen paper or lint-free cloth (teashirt material is perfect) to ensure a nice shine once the chocolate is turned out.
What chocolate is the best for making easter eggs?
The chocolate that we use to make chocolates is known as couverture and contains extra cocoa butter and a higher percentage of cocoa solids. It melts evenly, pours and spreads more readily and will give a more even coating than other chocolate.
Couverture must be at least 31% cocoa butter and the combined percentage of cocoa butter and other lower fat cocoa solids must be at least 54%. You will need to head for the baking section of the larger supermarkets rather than the confectionary counter for couverture but confusingly it probably will not be labelled as such so check the packaging for the percentage of cocoa butter before opening the packaging.
If you are going to cook with chocolate regularly it is better to buy larger blocks or bags of chocolate chips sold for catering purposes as it will work out a lot cheaper in the long run.
If I'm buying bars from the supermarket I like Menier chocolate best, but generally my preferred chocolate is Callebaut chocolate which is a good quality Belgium chocolate at a reasonable price, and sold as drops. I buy it online.
Chocolate drops are all the same size, so melt more evenly and quickly than chocolate you have chopped by hand from a bar.
You can use plain (dark), milk or white chocolate to make The Esater eggs.
Plain chocolate is the least sweet and contains no milk so has the most pure chocolate flavour. Milk chocolate is sweeter, and the addition of milk gives it a creamier flavour and texture. White chocolate is the sweetest and is made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla with a mellow buttery texture and flavour.
If you like plain chocolate and are new to chocolate making I highly recommend that you start with plain chocolate as it is the easiest to temper. White chocolate is the hardest with milk somewhere between the two.
Just imagine the number of bespoke Easter eggs you could make for friends and family at a fraction of the price and without all of the excess packaging!
Step by step – How to make Easter eggs.
Step one – Temper the chocolate
There are different ways to temper chocolate this method is called the seeding method.
Place two-thirds of the chocolate in a bowl and place over a pan of hot water so that the base of the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pan. Melt the chocolate stirring gently.
The chocolate should reach a temperature of between 45/48°C (113/118°F) for milk and white chocolate and 53/55°C (127/131°F) for dark chocolate. It will be quite runny at this stage.
Remove the bowl from the heat, wiping the base of the bowl dry. Add the remaining "seed" chocolate. Stir vigorously, breaking the chocolate down with the spatula until all the chocolate has melted.
The chocolate should cool to between 27/28°C (80/82°F) for milk and white chocolate, 28/29°C (82/84°F)for dark chocolate.
At this point it will be quite thick and viscous, so needs to be gently rewarmed to a working temperature. Place the bowl back on top of the saucepan of water and heat very gently whilst stirring to 29/30°C (84-86°F) for milk and white chocolate, 31/32°C (87/89°F) for dark chocolate. You may need to reheat the water first.
Step two – Prepare the Moulds
Ensure the Easter egg mould is thoroughly clean and dry and polish the inside with a piece of kitchen roll or lint-free cloth. I do this while the chocolate is being melted before adding the seed chocolate so that the moulds are ready by the time the chocolate is tempered.
Step three – Coat the insides of the moulds with chocolate
Spoon enough chocolate into the mould to fill by about a one-third then tilt the mould until the chocolate has coated all the inside of the mould. Then hold over the bowl of chocolate and tip out excess.
Next, use a palette knife to remove the chocolate from the surrounds of the mould. This will neaten the edges of the shells making it easier to join the two halves of the egg together later.
Place the coated mould upside down on the work surface of a baking tray for about 5 minutes. Turn upright and allow the chocolate to set.
Repeat the process of filling with more chocolate and removing the excess chocolate.
Step four – Unmoulding the Easter Eggs Set aside to firm up.
Set the chocolate shells aside and allow the chocolate to set for at least an hour, avoid putting them in the fridge.
Once the chocolate has completely set it will have shrunk very slightly. loosen the edges of the chocolate buy gently pulling at the moulds. Then turn over and carefully press the chocolate shells out.
Step five – Finishing the eggs
Heat a baking tray in the oven or a heavy based frying pan on the hob until hot.
Gently place the matching eggshells on the hot surface for a second or two so that it melts the edge of the chocolate shell a little. At this point you can place a few additional chocolates or sweets inside one egg half before carefully joining up the two halves, holding the egg together whilst the melted chocolate starts to sets and ‘glue’ the two pieces together.
It is a good idea to wear disposable gloves to avoid getting fingerprints on the finished egg.
Leave the eggs plain or pipe tiny shells of royal icing along the join. Decorate as desired.
More Easter Fun from Only Crumbs Remain
Homemade Easter Eggs
- 600 g Chocolate
- Selection of your preferred confectionery (optional)
- Ingredients to decorate (optional)
- Easter egg moulds
- palettte knife
- Ensure the moulds are scrupulously clean and dry and polish the insides with a piece of kitchen paper or cloth.
- Place about two thirds - 400g (14oz) chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Suspend the bowl over a pan containing some water. Heat gently stirring until the chocolate thas melted and reaches between 45/48°C (113/118°F) for milk and white chocolate and 53/55°C (127/131°F) for dark chocolate.
- Cool the chocolate. Remove the bowl from the pan and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry. Add the remaining 200g (7oz) chocolate. Stir the chocolate constantly until the additional chocolate has melted and cooled down to 27/28°C (80/82°F) for milk and white chocolate, 28/29°C (82/84°F)for dark chocolate.
- Return the bowl of chocolate to the pan. Continue to stir and gently reheat to 29/30°C (84-86°F) for milk and white chocolate, 31/32°C (87/89°F) for dark chocolate. The chocolate is now tempered. Remove the bowl from the heat wiping the bowl dry again
- Spoon enough chocolate into the mould to fill by about a one-third then tilt the mould until the chocolate has coated all the inside of the mould. Then hold over the bowl of chocolate and tip out excess. Next, use a palette knife to remove the chocolate from the surrounds of the mould. This will neaten the edges of the shells making it easier to join the two halves of the egg together later.
- Place the coated mould upside down on the work surface of a baking tray for about 5 minutes. Turn upright and allow the chocolate to set. Repeat the process of filling with more chocolate and removing the excess chocolate.
- Set the chocolate shells aside and allow the chocolate to set for at least an hour, avoid putting them in the fridge. Once the chocolate has completely set it will have shrunk very slightly. loosen the edges of the chocolate buy gently pulling at the moulds. Then turn over and carefully press the chocolate shells out.
- Heat a baking tray in the oven or a heavy based frying pan on the hob until hot.Gently place the matching egg shell on the hot surface for a second or two so that it melts the edge of the chocolate shell a little. At this point you can place a few additional chocolates or sweets inside one egg half before carefully joining up the two halves, holding the egg together whilst the melted chocolate starts to sets and ‘glue’ the two pieces together.
- Leave the eggs plain or pipe tiny shells of royal icing along the join. Decorate as desired.
- The 600g (1lb 5oz) of chocolate should be sufficient to make about 3 x 14cm (5½in) Easter eggs. Even if making just one small egg temper at least 300g of chocolate. Anything less makes the process very difficult.
- Any leftover chocolate can be poured into a piece of baking parchment and left to set and then wrapped up in the paper for use another day.
- It is a good idea to keep some spare fresh chocolate on hand which can be used as "seed" should you need to retemper the chocolate.
- Avoid adding heavy confectionery to the inside of the shell as this may break the fragile chocolate shell. Marshmallow, mini eggs, Malteser chocolate rabbits, treat size chocolate bars are all good for this
- Reheat the chocolate to the appropriate ‘reheat’ temperature if the unused chocolate starts to thicken before you’ve finished shaping the shells.
- For a contemporary finish flick or pipe contrasting tempered chocolate over the shell. You could do this either before filling the shells with chocolate allowing to set completely before coating the shells. Add the main chocolate at a little at a time if you add a large amount it may warm the set chocolate decoration too much causing it to melt. Alternatively decorated the eggs with the contrasting chocolate after assembling.
- A pretty idea would be to affix sugar flowers onto the outer casing of the shell with melted chocolate or royal icing. You could pipe the name of the recipient on the shell.
- You can pop the eggs into the refrigerator for a few minutes to speed up the setting but avoid leaving them in the fridge for more than 10 minutes. (see note on storage below)
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