Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Chocolate/Buttercream Eggs in Real Shells
This will be a two-day project, but I wanted to share some observations made so far.
1. Drying eggs completely is essential. Once you have drained and rinsed your eggs, swab the inside with a q-tip to be sure all water and excess egg is removed. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and place an egg in each, hole side up. Bake 10 minutes, then let cool completely in cups before removing to an egg carton for filling. If you have any water in the shells when you add chocolate, it will seize. You don't want that. You also want to harden the shells a bit, which the baking will do.
2. Don't worry about making the hole too large. At the end, you'll seal it with a sticker or some sort of decoration. It is more important to get it the proper size allowing for whatever candy you plan to fill it with. Once the shells have been baked, they are harder to widen-so plan ahead.
3). Pour the chocolate in using a tiny spoon, or if you prefer, a pastry bag. You'll need to coat the inside of the shell first in layers if you plan anything for the centre. If you're going for a solid egg, just go ahead and fill it. Again, Q-tips are a good way of working the chocolate around without being strong enough to damage the shell. Do this in layers, returning the shells to the fridge for a good half hour between coats. You did save the egg carton, didn't you? Good, that makes it easier to move them around.
I added some melted marshmallow around the buttercream yolk. You need to work fast if you go the marshmallow route as it firms back up quickly.
4). Buttercream: 1 stick of butter and about 4 cups icing sugar kneaded together and tinted. I made tiny yellow yolks which I then encased in larger white buttercream. These will be the centres of the eggs. You could use fondant if you prefer a candy that will hold up without refrigeration.
Extra buttercream can be used to fashion bunnies and chicks. OK, you can fashion anything you like, but I was trying to stay topical. Feel free to do the Stations of the cross out of buttercream if you feel inspired (why have I never done that in decorated cookies?! I have to remember to do that next year. Someone be in charge of reminding me, OK?).
Don't the bunnies look like they're having a bit of gossip at the chick's expense?
OK-I'll update the results tomorrow.