With the range of chocolate Easter eggs available in our local 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 an awful lot of choice available starting with the ever popular Cadbury Mini eggs, through to large eggs with fancy decorations and jaw dropping price tags.
But have you ever wondered how to make your own an Easter egg?
Well, it's pretty simple!
Of course by making homemade Easter eggs you're not only saving a few pounds, but you're able to customise them exactly how you want. If you love marshmallows, then why not fill the egg with marshmallow cubes; a delicious centre of homemade fudge pieces would also make a great treat too. As for the exterior of the egg, you can of course leave your chocolate Easter egg plain and unadulterated, like ours, though a drizzle of contrasting melted chocolate flicked to and fro would look very 'artistic'. Alternatively, affixing some sugar flowers (which can be bought in the baking section of larger supermarkets) onto the shell with some royal icing or melted chocolate would look particularly pretty. Or why not simply pipe the name of the recipient onto the chocolate shell - which would hopefully prevent squabbles between youngsters!
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 (like our two halves not meeting exactly in the lead image), don't worry because you still have the consolation of having all of that lovely chocolate to eat! Chocolate heaven!
Making your own Easter eggs really isn't that difficult. Once the chocolate is melted (I would recommend tempering it which should give you that lovely shine & snap) 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. Easy eh!
Where to buy Easter egg moulds from.
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. Ours came from The Range, costing just £1.00, and contained 3 moulds sufficient to make an 11cm tall Easter egg (as seen standing in the images) and 9 mini eggs! The plastic mould used to make the larger egg, in the image above, also cost just £1.00! Bargain!
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!
So, here's how to make Easter Eggs.
Homemade Easter Eggs
- 600 g Milk Chocolate from the baking section or if you prefer use dark or white chocolate. See note b below for the varying tempering temperatures
- Selection of your preferred confectionery (optional), see note c below
- Ingredients to decorate (optional), see note e below
- Prepare the chocolate egg mould. Ensure the Easter egg mould is thoroughly clean and dry.
- Prepare to temper the chocolate. Have to hand a tea towel or square of kitchen roll; ladle or large spoon; and a long sharp knife or long pallet knife.
- Begin to temper the chocolate. Break the 600g chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof glass bowl. Build a bain marie by suspending the bowl over a pan containing some water, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Place the bain marie on the hob over a low – moderate heat. Allow the chocolate to start to melt. Stir the chocolate making a note of the temperature. Melt the milk chocolate to 46℃ / 115℉. Be careful not to take it any higher than this temperature as it could soon seize and become unworkable!
- Cool the chocolate. Remove the bowl from the bain marie and sit it on the tea towel / kitchen roll. Stir the chocolate constantly whilst monitoring the temperature. You’re aiming for it to reduce to 26℃ / 80℉. This will take a number of minutes and will start to thicken as it cools.
- Reheat the chocolate to make it workable. Return the bowl of chocolate to the bain marie. Continue to stir and monitor the temperature. You’re aiming for it to increase to 30℃ / 86℉. The chocolate is now tempered. Remove the bowl from the heat and sit it back on the tea towel / kitchen roll.
- Fill the chocolate moulds. Use a ladle or large spoon (which is completely dry) to third – half fill the moulds with chocolate. Lift the egg mould and gently swirl the chocolate around the shell. Aim to get the chocolate to the edge of the half egg mould. Continue to swirl the chocolate around until it has thickened and there is an even coating of chocolate all over. Run the sharp knife / pallet knife over the top of the mould to remove excess chocolate. This will neaten the edges of the shells making it easier to join the two halves of the egg together.
- Set aside to firm up. Set the chocolate shells aside until set for at least an hour, avoid putting them in the fridge.
- Turn out. Once the chocolate has completely set it will have shrank very slightly. Turn the chocolate shells out carefully.
- Heat the oven. Place a baking tray into the oven. Allow it to get hot.
- Join the egg shells together. Place the sweeties (if using) into one of the half shells. Set aside on your work station. Remove the hot tray from the oven. Rest the matching egg shell on the hot tray for 2 seconds so that it melts the edge of the chocolate shell a little. Position the shell onto the half shell containing the confectionery to create an egg shape. Hold the egg together whilst the melted chocolate starts to sets and ‘glue’ the two pieces together.
- The 600g of chocolate was sufficient for us to make a 16cm egg, an 11cm egg plus 6 mini eggs. Even if making just once small egg temper at least 300g of chocolate. Anything less makes the process very difficult. Any left over chocolate can be poured into a bowl lined with greaseproof paper, left to set and then wrapped up in the paper for use another day.
- To temper dark chocolate – melt it to 49℃ / 120℉, cool to 27℃ / 82℉, reheat to 32℃ / 90℃. To temper white chocolate melt it to 43℃ / 110℉, cool to 25℃ / 78℉, reheat to 28℃ / 82℉.
- Avoid adding heavy confectionery to the inside of the shell. Suggestions would be marshmallow, mini eggs, Malteser chocolate rabbits, treat size chocolate bars.
- Reheat the chocolate to the appropriate ‘reheat’ temperature if the unused chocolate starts to thicken before you’ve finished shaping the shells.
- If you’d like to decorate them, consider flicking contrasting melted chocolate over the shell. You could do this either before filling the shells with chocolate allowing the flicked chocolate to completely set before moving onto step 6 above, or after the eggs have been removed from the plastic shell and joined together. 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.
- If you’d like the eggs to stand up: create a large chocolate ‘button’ by spooning some tempered chocolate onto greaseproof paper. Allow it to set. Once the egg has been assembled briefly melt the base of the egg on the hot baking tray & position the egg on the chocolate ‘button’. You may find it helpful to use a container to prop the egg up whilst it sets in position. (Note, this was easier with the smaller 11cm egg than the 16cm egg).