25 March 2010

Home made Easter eggs

It's been absolutely years since I last went to the trouble of making home made Easter eggs. There hasn't been much point really.  Good chocolate drops/pennies (or whatever else you like to call them) have become really expensive to buy, even in bulk.  You can buy cheap chocolate, but it takes like just that.  Cheap chocolate.

In the 'olden days' we used to have to fork out big money for Easter eggs, but that's not the case to-day.  You can buy great products for good money.  Especially if you shop wisely.  Lindt is still my favourite brand and I've found the Lindt bunnies to be a great favourite with my grown up chickadees.

So why the sudden interest?  I'm not sure, might have to do with having just made the Christening cake. It bought back sweet memories of many happy hours spent 'creating' in my kitchen.

When we moved to Sydney I gave away all my chocolate moulds. They were beginning to get brittle anyway and I thought that my (very talented) friend in Auckland would put them to good use.  I'm sure she has.

We had two small boys living in the townhouse next door to us, at one stage.  I'd promised to teach them how to make their own eggs in an effort to give their mum a few quiet moments to herself.  So I had to buy some more moulds that are now sitting in my cupboard.  They're very basic, but I'm quite tempted to put them to use again.

Now, I could re-invent the wheel and give you instructions on just how to go about the process of creating these eggs.  The job has been done for me on

Great instructions, but they've left out the instructions on how to melt your chocolate.  GENTLY.  Just that one word should say it all.  You should put your chocolate pieces into a clean, DRY, bowl.  Don't put in too many to start with.

Make sure your glass bowl fits snuggly over a cooking pan of boiling water.  No steam should escape around the edges or it will condense 'into' your bowl and spoil your chocolate.  Chocolate and water do not mix!!!

The bottom of your bowl must NOT TOUCH the boiling water in the pan. There must be an ample gap between the bowl and the water.  Why? Well, if you allow the boiling water to bubble around the bottom of your bowl you will over cook the chocolate and it will spoil.  Try it with a small amount of chocolate, if you don't believe me.  It will be useless afterwards. You'll have to eat it, what a hardship.

You want your chocolate to have a smooth, runny and very shiny consistency.

One other thing the instructions on don't tell you... when you've coated your egg mould on both side and have pegged/clipped them together... you should give them a quick 'bump' on your work-surface.  Why?  Well, you want to release any bubbles in the chocolate.  You'll need to work quickly when you're doing this step or you'll have an uneven egg.

I used to use cellophane packets or sheets to pack my eggs.  The cellophane doesn't sweat.

Tomorrow I'll talk about making Easter egg shells out of castor sugar.  A great favourite for presenting 'fillers' which can be made out of chocolate, nuts, biscuits, crunchies or some small 'crafted' animals etc.

Before I sign off for today.... REMEMBER, don't wash away the chocolate left over in your bowl.  Especially if you've bought expensive chocolate.  Make sure you have some rice crispies, slivered/chipped nuts, coconut and chopped biscuits at hand.  Put your favourite 'fillings' into the bowl (you'll have to decide yourself how much you need, I like to have only a smattering of chocolate around the 'goodies') and make sure you get to pick up all the remaining chocolate.  Mix well.  Line a tray with baking paper, drop spoonfuls of this mixture onto your tray.  You could use small chocolate moulds too.  Pop them into the fridge (not the freezer!) to set for a few minutes.  If you leave them in the fridge too long they will 'sweat' and the chocolate won't be shiny anymore.

Have fun.

April Blackbird

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