It’s around this time of year that I spend a lot of time grumbling about irresponsible chocolate manufacturers and how it wouldn’t be hard to make mini, individually foil-wrapped, chocolate eggs (you know, the ones you use for Easter egg hunts) in a factory where they don’t also process nuts (or nutty chocolate). Sigh.
Three years ago I bought a mold for making said mini chocolate eggs which I promptly put in a cupboard and forgot about. Excuses for not making the eggs so far have included: not knowing how to temper chocolate, finding out how to temper chocolate but not having a chocolate thermometer and, finally, deciding I could get away without tempering the chocolate but not having pretty foil squares to wrap the eggs in (no, cutting up bits of silver foil wouldn’t be good enough, it has to be pretty foil).
This year, under increasing pressure from my children for an Easter egg hunt (and not wanting to buy loads more bags of Easter Haribo which I would end up giving to the PTA just in time for the Christmas Fayre) I cracked. I got out the mold, washed three years worth of dust from it and melted some chocolate.
I totally wouldn’t recommend that you follow my process, although I have ended up with eggs that my children will be fine with. They will be too wonky to stick together, but surely finding half eggs will make the hunt twice as long and therefore twice as much fun? They also have a slight bloom (where some of the cocoa fat has risen to the surface because I didn’t bother to temper my chocolate – they look dull or sometimes white, not lovely and shiny) on some of them which is considered to be unattractive by professional chocolatiers but I suspect that my children won’t actually be assessing them in the manner of professional chocolatiers before they stuff as many into their mouth as they can manage in one go.
So , with that in mind, here’s what I did:
Take a pan of hot water and put a glass dish on top to melt the chocolate in. Don’t let the water boil or your chocolate will melt too quickly and burn (or something equally terrible). Buy far too many chocolate buttons, working on the theory that you will need to eat at least half of them to calm your nerves (or some equally tenuous reason for eating a large quantity of giant buttons). Tip half of the buttons into the glass bowl, reserving the other half for, er, eating. Melt said buttons.
Next, find your molds, wash out three years worth of dust and get your children to pose for a picture with them. Ensure you have two large molds as you’ve been watching a lot of Star Wars lately and the girl has developed a bit of a thing for Princess Leia. (Note, no large molds were used in the making of these eggs as I found out that I couldn’t actually get the eggs out of the mold after the chocolate had set so I had to melt those back down.)
Fill the molds (obviously).
Refrigerate until set (couldn’t tell you how long for as I made more than one batch and they got left in the fridge for varying lengths of time). Curse about not being able to get the large eggs out, chip them out and re-melt the chocolate. Be a little bit smug about the fact that, actually, the little ones look ok.
Repeat until you have enough eggs for an egg hunt, or have used all the melted chocolate. Consider melting more chocolate as you’re quite in the swing of things but realise that (a) you have more than enough half eggs (18) and (b) there is no chocolate left to melt as you’ve eaten it all.