Saturday, 22 March 2008

Home Made Chocolate Easter Eggs

Home made Easter Eggs are easy to make:

300g/10½oz chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
icing for piping Easter eggs
8 x small egg moulds - (available from specialist kitchen shops)

Wipe the interior of each mould with a little sunflower oil – this gives a shine to the chocolate when it is finished as well as stopping the chocolate from sticking. Break the chocolate into small, even pieces and melt gently in a bowl over a saucepan of hot, not boiling, water. Place a cooking thermometer into the chocolate and heat until it reaches 43C/110F. Take off the heat and cool to 35C/95F.

Pour spoonfuls of the chocolate into each mould. Swirl around until coated, use the pastry brush if necessary and then remove excess chocolate. Leave to set, flat side down on a surface. You will have to repeat the process another two or three times to build up a good layer of chocolate in each mould. Wait for about 20 minutes for the chocolate to set in between layers. Draw a clean ruler or the flat edge of a knife across the chocolate to ensure a clean edge every time you add a layer. This is important so that the two sides of the egg stick together evenly. Leave to chill in a larder or cool place until set.

Carefully take out the egg halves from the moulds and place on a clean surface. To stick the two edges of an egg together, heat a baking sheet and then place the edges of two halves on it for a few seconds, then gently push the edges together. To decorate the eggs, sit an egg in a glass or small cup and use as a stand while you pipe your desired message on the egg.

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