Easter is coming: the supermarket shelves and the shop windows are filled with all kinds of chocolate eggs. Colorful and cheerful packs, hand-decorated eggs, white, milk or dark chocolate, with almonds or hazelnuts. An immense and delicious variety to satisfy everyone’s tastes, young and old *. Today we will see together how to prepare them at home, how to do if you don’t have a mold and we will experiment with many ideas to create Easter eggs in a workmanlike manner: moreover, you will choose the surprise to be found in the eggs of your loved ones or friends. However, even when the Easter holidays end, in the pantry there are always one or more hermetically sealed boxes with the leftovers from the eggs and today we will offer you many recipes to use all that delicious chocolate.
How To Make Easter Eggs At Home
Making Easter eggs at home is easy and fun: patience and precision will suffice; the rest will be left to the enthusiasm of bringing your homemade egg to the table at the end of Easter lunch, also perfect as a sweet gift for more special friends.
First you need to learn to temper the chocolate. Tempering is the heat treatment of chocolate that must be followed when preparing chocolate eggs or chocolates in home. In fact, if you just simply melt it and let it harden, the chocolate will alter in its structure, resulting opaque and not crunchy, yielding to the touch and not very fragrant. This is because of the cocoa butter, which, after melting, no longer resumes its regular crystalline form. And it is for this reason that we resort to tempering that allows melted chocolate to return hard, crunchy, shiny, fragrant and velvety to the taste. The recommended melting temperature is 45°, for all types of chocolate. Once melted, it is brought back to a temperature that can oscillate between 24° and 27°, by spatula or mixing. The movement with the spatula is very important because it helps the correct concentration of the crystals while the butter thickens. Tempering can be done through three different methods: by trowelling, by grafting and by bain-marie cooling. This method, mainly used to prepare Easter eggs at home, requires some care because the water in the saucepan could contaminate the chocolate, drastically compromising the final result. So pay close attention, but don’t be afraid and go straight to the stove.
To pack the perfect egg you will need: a saucepan for the water bath; a thermometer; a bowl compatible with the diameter of the saucepan; a long and sharp blade knife; a cutting board; a saucepan; a spatula.
Heat the water for the bain marie, without boiling it but bringing it to 55-60 °: the thermometer is an indispensable ally if you want to temper the chocolate. On a cutting board, chop two chocolate sticks weighing 500 g each; get some homogeneous pieces and collect them in the bowl. Place it on the bain-marie and melt the chocolate mixing with the pot-lick until it is completely melted. Its temperature must be around 45 °, or slightly more for the dark type. Pour about 2/3 of the mass on a cold marble surface, spread a thin layer with the spatula and collect it with the help of a scraper. Repeat this several times until it starts to grow thick and dull. Collect it and add it to the hot chocolate left in the bowl. Stir until the temperature rises again between 30 ° and 31 °. Check, with the tip of the spatula or with a spoon, that it thickens quickly: it means that it is at the right processing temperature.
At this point, you will have a perfectly tempered chocolate, ready to turn into delicious Easter eggs.
Remember that the right processing temperature varies according to the type of chocolate you use: 27-28° for white chocolate; 28-29° for the milk one; 30-31° for fondant.
How To Make Easter Eggs With The Silicone Mold
Using a silicone mold to prepare an Easter egg is certainly the safest method for obtaining an excellent result, worthy of haute patisserie.
After tempering 600 g of chocolate in a workmanlike manner and having fun with an operation that manages, in its complex delicacy, to give great satisfaction to pastry lovers, the time has come to shape the chocolate and pour it into the shaped molds of shell that will give life to your dessert, a symbol of the Easter tradition.
The silicone molds can be soft or rigid and are very practical to easily and practically and quickly create perfect shells to join together.
First, after having properly tempered it, pour the chocolate into the grooves of two molds of about 15 cm, rotate them in all directions, distributing the chocolate evenly over the entire surface of the mold. Then pour the excess back into the bowl. When the chocolate begins to thicken, trim it along the edges, place the molds upside down on a wire rack with a sheet of baking paper underneath and let it harden. When the chocolate has partially cured, scrape off any burrs, proceeding very gently with the help of a knife with a smooth and sharp blade and let it rest for at least 8 hours. Eventually, if the chocolate has been properly tempered, the half egg will come off easily. After the necessary time, you will have obtained shiny and smooth shells; wearing a pair of latex gloves, unmold them and place them for a moment on a newly heated plate, so as to soften the edges and weld them together making them perfectly match … not before having hidden a nice surprise inside! Leave them to rest for at least 30 minutes to make sure they are well joined together, then prepare decorations and packaging for your very own perfectly shaped chocolate egg.
There are also molds that contain the shape for different shells, so you can prepare small Easter eggs to put on the festive table as a placeholder for each child * who will have to wait for the end of lunch to satisfy the curiosity of discovering the little surprise hidden in the inside of the eggs.
How To Make Easter Eggs Without A Mold
If you do not have the classic silicone mold, you can have fun with your children * to prepare perfect Easter eggs using a simple colored balloon. How? Dilute your chocolate and transfer it to a very large bowl; inflate medium-sized balloons (for a balloon it will take about 250 g of chocolate) and immerse them in the bowl holding them by the knot that closes them; rotate them until the entire surface is completely covered with chocolate. Let them drain and place them with the lower part on a plate lined with parchment paper where you have poured a small amount of chocolate with a spoon to stop the eggs and let the chocolate thicken. Take them, gently peel off the chocolate base, taking care not to break the chocolate, and with a needle prick the balloon from the part that comes out. Gradually it will deflate and you will be able to extract it from the egg.
How To Make Easter Eggs Without A Thermometer
The method for making Easter eggs without a thermometer is to use a tool that is always very useful in the kitchen for many preparations: the microwave.
By means of this tool, the grafting tempering method is implemented, therefore the chocolate is melted in the oven at 500 W in two steps.
We describe the procedure below. Take 2/3 of the chocolate you need to prepare the eggs and put it in a 500 W microwave oven bowl, stirring every 30 seconds: the chocolate must melt slowly and never exceed 45°. Then add the remaining chocolate and stir until the temperature has dropped to 31°.
A quick and easy method that allows you to shorten the processing times of the chocolate and obtain an optimal result even without the thermometer.
At this point, in addition to the chocolate for Easter eggs, you will have obtained the melted chocolate to make delicious chores to do with your children *.
How To Make The Easter Egg With Hazelnuts
If you want to enrich your Easter egg with the intense taste of hazelnuts, you will have to prepare them by toasting them in a pan and putting them in a bowl with the chocolate that will be poured into the shells of your eggs.
First, chop 600 g of dark or milk chocolate and proceed with the tempering, checking, according to the type of chocolate chosen, the right processing temperature. Fill the molds, rotate them until they completely cover the surface and turn them upside down on a wire rack placed over a large bowl in which you will keep the chocolate to mix with the hazelnuts. Let the shells thicken and, in the meantime, toast in a pan about 100 g of coarsely chopped hazelnuts with a long and smooth blade knife. Mix them with the chocolate in the bowl and, if necessary, heat them for a few minutes in a water bath. One vote that the chocolate of the shells has thickened, after having carefully filed the edges with a knife, pour the chocolate and hazelnut mixture into both shells and swirl again to distribute the hazelnuts well over the entire surface. Leave to harden for about 6 hours, then proceed to close the egg: wearing latex gloves, lay the shells on a hot plate, let them soften slightly and, after placing the surprise inside, combine them making sure that the edges adhere perfectly.
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