Sabado, Marso 26, 2016

Homemade hand-decorated Easter Eggs

I made my own Easter eggs for the first time this year! They did take a bit longer than I thought and I didn't exactly plan elaborate designs for decorating them but I was still quite pleased with them.

I made some small Easter eggs last year using a silicon mould, which I filled with soft fondant. For a long time now I've wanted to make full-size Easter eggs so recently bought myself a mould from Hobbycraft, as it was only £1. I was a bit worried as it was rigid plastic rather than silicone so it was a bit difficult to get the chocolate out of the moulds but I did manage it - and I will explain how further down!

I made three eggs, two milk chocolate and one white.

To begin, I melted 250g milk chocolate in a bowl in the microwave and poured about half of it into both parts of the Easter egg mould. You don't need to spread it with a spoon - instead, tip the mould to swirl the chocolate around, making sure it goes right up to the edges. Put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

At this point, the thinner chocolate around the sides will have set and the melted chocolate will have pooled at the bottom of the mould; this will be cooler and thicker but still not quite set. Using the back of a teaspoon spread this chocolate, and some more from the melting bowl, up the sides of the mould and return to the fridge to set again. After another 15 minutes or so take the egg out of the fridge and add a little more melted chocolate; keep some in the bowl for sticking on the decorations. Put the egg moulds in the freezer for 10-15 minutes for a final chance to set.

Getting the egg out of the mould wasn't as easy as if I had a silicone mould but it did work eventually. You have to pull opposite corners of the mould, then turn it over and gently push - you can see as the chocolate slowly starts to separate from the mould and eventually it will just pop out. I made three eggs so that should have been six halves but I ended up having to make eight as two halves broke - one of the milk chocolate and one of the white chocolate halves. Just pop the chocolate back in a bowl in the microwave and start over again!

To decorate the first egg, I used the leftover melted chocolate to stick a mixture of milk chocolate buttons, white chocolate buttons and some 'jazzies' - white chocolate circles with hundreds and thousands stuck on. On the other side of the egg I stuck some Tesco chocolate dotties (basically like Smarties) and some mini Jazzies which came in a little tube from Sainsbury's, in a chevron pattern. Leave for a little while to set.

If you are going to put anything inside the egg now is the time to do it - I used a mini packet of Maltesers and a mini packet of white chocolate buttons. I used a small paintbrush to brush the meltd chocolate along the edges of both halves of the egg, and carefully stuck them together. I left the egg for a little while to start to set then put it in the fridge to fully harden.

I made two more eggs - another one with milk chocolate, where I used a writing pen of white chocolate from Sainsbury's to draw chevons and stuck on some mini Jazzies. On the other half, I used the same writing pen to draw flower petals, using a large Jazzie as the centre of each petal, and stuck on a Dr. Oetker wafer butterfly. I put a packet of mini Maltesers and a packet of Tesco mini eggs inside the egg and glued it closed with melted chocolate as before.

I also made a white chocolate egg for my mum, and spooned a little melted white chocolate onto the shell so I could sprinkle over some freeze-dried raspberry pieces from Sainsbury's. I added some Dr. Oetker wafer daisies and some wafer butterflies, and did the same on both halves of the egg. My mum really likes flying saucer sweets so I filled the egg with them - the pastel colours look just the thing for Easter. I sealed it shut with some melted white chocolate.

 Here are some photos of the finished eggs (taken from both sides):

I packaged them up in cellophane to give as Easter gifts.

I was really pleased with these - if I'd had more time I would have made some chocolates to go inside, maybe next time!

I'm sending these to We Should Cocoa, as the theme is chocolate and eggs. It's hosted this month by Linzi at Lancashire Food on behalf of Choclette at Tin and Thyme.

Easter and spring is  the theme for Tea Time Treats, hosted by Jane at the Hedgecombers and Karen at Lavender and Lovage.

I'm sharing these with Alphabakes, hosted by myself and Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker, as the letter she has chosen this month is C.

And finally because it's Easter I'm sending this to the Food Year Linkup hosted by Charlotte's Lively Kitchen.

Food Year Linkup March 2016

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