Here’s an Easter recipe from the chocolate instalment of the Great British Back Off’s Bake It Better series. You know, just in case you needed another excuse to stuff your face with chocolate this weekend.
The secret to making chocolate Easter eggs and shapes that will last is to ensure the chocolate is properly tempered. However if you know you are going to eat the chocolate shapes straight away, and just want to have some fun with the moulds, have a go at making the shapes by just melting the chocolate and using that instead. Chocolate moulds come in every possible shape and size. You’ll need to temper at least 300g of chocolate as it is difficult to work with smaller amounts – this will give you enough to make one large hollow Easter egg and several small chocolates.
Hands-on Time: 1 hour
Hands-off Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour setting
palette knife or scraper
To fill the moulds:
300g white chocolate
300g dark chocolate
about 50g contrasting chocolate (optional)
Sweets or small chocolates to fill the egg (optional)
- Before you start to fill your moulds you can decorate them. Firstly, ensure that they are spotlessly clean, as anything on their surface will come off on your finished chocolates.The high shine on the chocolates made by top patissiers comes from the mirror-like surface of the insides of their moulds. Melt a small amount of contrasting chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, and then paint or pipe that carefully into a pattern on the inside of the moulds. Allow any pattern you create to set fully before you fill the moulds with your chocolate.
- Temper your white chocolate, place 210g of it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Using your kitchen thermometer, measure the temperature of the chocolate as it melts. Stir it to ensure the heat is evenly distributed and do not allow it to get above 40–45°C (104–113°F).
- Just before it reaches temperature (as it is likely to continue to rise for a little while after you remove the heat source), take the bowl off the heat, and continue to stir to melt any visible pieces of chocolate.Then add in the remaining 90g chocolate and stir this into the melted chocolate. Keep stirring, as the newly added chocolate melts and the temperature comes down. Keep checking the temperature of the chocolate; you want it to reach 27°C (80.6°F).
- When it has come down to the correct temperature, place the bowl back over the simmering water very briefly, keeping a watchful eye on the temperature.You want it to come back up to 30°C (86°F), but no higher. Bear in mind that the temperature will rise quickly, and continue to rise once you have removed the heat source.
- When the white chocolate is at 30°C (86°F) leave the bowl off the heat, dip a knife into the molten chocolate and scrape off one side on the edge of the bowl. Allow the remaining chocolate on the knife to set to test if it has been successfully tempered. Pop the knife in the fridge to allow the remaining chocolate on the knife to set.Touch the set chocolate very lightly – if it feels smooth and dry and doesn’t take the impression of your finger tip then it is tempered.
- If you just want to melt the chocolate without tempering, place the 300g chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- When you have a bowl of melted or tempered chocolate you need to work quickly, as the longer you take the thicker the chocolate will become as it cools.To fill a hollow Easter egg mould, fill the mould with enough chocolate to fill to the brim.
- Wait for a moment, and then turn the mould upside down over your bowl of molten chocolate and allow all but a fine coating of chocolate to pour back out. Repeat to make the second half. Then scrape the surface of the mould clean with a palette knife or scraper.
- If you want you can fill your hollow Easter egg with sweets or small chocolates. Place a few sweets in one chocolate egg half. Press the other half onto the base of a hot pan for a few seconds before holding both halves together. Allow to set fully.
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