Easter Eggs

A decade ago and very many years before that; come Easter season and I used to admire pictures of Chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs and Marzipan Easter eggs that used to appear in various magazines and wonder at the enormity of process making these gorgeous master-pieces.  I used think how difficult and impossible a task making them at home must be even whilst toying with the idea myself.  With three young children of our own and several children in the family and friends’ circle, it was a challenge to find “reasonably priced” good quality ‘edible’ easter eggs.

So about ten years ago when my niece Melissa (Dias) Pereira was in Kuwait and I was going through Femina which had pictures of the Easter Bunny, I wondered aloud how does one make these bunnies and to my great surprise she said “Aunty Zenia makes exactly these at home!”.  This was a revelation.  I knew my sister made marzipan easter eggs but had no idea about the chocolate ones.  As Melissa was due to visit Mumbai in the next few days, she volunteered to bring the chocolate molds etc.  and with my sister Zenia Machado’s recipes and tips and encouragement not to mention the chocolate molds, ribbons, wrapping papers, etc.that she was kind enough to send and by sourcing other things from local market, Melissa and I embarked on our first Easter Egg sale project in 2005 with these baskets, etc:

2005  Melissa & my first Easter Egg venture

Although it was a stressful two to three weeks of chocolate making in our spare time, I found it thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable even though it meant staying up late nights to fulfill orders and then having to rush to work early next morning. Both Melissa and my sister Zenia and I have come a long way since then….  Melissa is now settled in the UAE and works independently managing her cakes and confectionery business from home and my sister Zenia’s www.Julianz.in is well known in Mumbai!

That’s how my passion for chocolate making was stirred.  Since 2005, it’s been an On Off venture with my daughter Nicole joining the league since a few years…….would say we have acquired these genes from my mother and so it carries forth.  My husband Rudy has been a strong support and wrapping the chocolates has almost always been done by him.

2006 added the following and soft toys to the baskets :

2009 revamped and added a whole lot of new products some of which were made by my daughter Nicole:

2012 following Easter goodies made by Nicole, like Bunny and Egg cupcakes, Easter cookies and cake pops were added to the catalogue:

2014 added the following...

Since 2015 I have scaled down the venture and supply only to the local charity Easter bazaar held at a church/school. 2015 added Easter cookies:

Easter cookies

2016 made the following new product, half hollow egg with chocolates with almond, pistachio and cashewnut:

So much for my Easter ventures…….

Making your own Easter Eggs

In this blog I would like to share my knowledge and the art of ‘How to make Chocolate Easter Eggs’ to demonstrate step-by-step how easy it is to make your own!

The beautiful ‘blue’ colored nails and fingers are my younger daughter-in-law’s.  Valencia assisted me in making these Easter chocolates this year.

Ingredients and accessories

  • Chocolate Dark, Milk and White, as required
  • Chocolate molds
  • Rubber spatulas
  • Glass or ceramic bowls

Step 1 Melting plain Chocolate

Microwave method (I use this method)

Break or chop the chocolate and place in a clean dry microwave-safe bowl.  A glass bowl is best because it conducts the heat from the chocolate as it melts, and reduces the risk of over-heating.  For small quantities it is safest to use a LOW or MEDIUM setting.  For larger quantities and once you become experienced, use HIGH .  The table below should only be used as a guide because melting times vary according to the brand and type of chocolate, the initial temperature of the chocolate and the size and material of the bowl used.  Check the chocolate frequently and prod it with a spoon – it may look solid when in fact it has melted.  White chocolate will burn more easily so watch it carefully.  A few lumps that appear after microwaving will dissolve upon stirring and help bring the temperature down of the chocolate which is a key to tempering chocolate.  The super-market bars of cooking chocolate, also referred to as Baker’s chocolate, do not really require tempering but heating and cooling the chocolate (tempering) is important to avoid the patchy and mottled look, which doesn’t alter taste but wouldn’t give you the glossy professional finish.

Approximate melting times in a 650-watt microwave oven

QUANTITY                      LOW                   HIGH

  •  50 g (2 oz)                     5 mins                2 mins
  •  75 g (3 oz)                     5 mins                2 mins
  • 125 g (4 oz)                    5 mins                2 mins
  • 172 g (6 oz)                    6 mins               2 mins
  • 225 g (8 oz)                    6 mins               2 1/2 mins

Bain Marie (double boiler) method

Cut the chocolate into small pieces and put it in  the top of a double saucepan.  The bottom pan should  be three-quarters full of gently simmering water.  If you haven’t got a double saucepan, put the chocolate in a clean, dry heatproof, preferably glass bowl and set it over a saucepan that’s about one third full of gently simmering water.  The bowl should fit snugly over the saucepan so that no steam can escape  round the sides.  The base of the bowl or top pan should not touch the water below.  Heat the water gently but do not allow it to boil. Leave the bowl on the pan until the chocolate looks melted. Remove the bowl or pan  from he heat and gently stir the chocolate until it is completely melted.  The temperature of the chocolate should not go above 50 deg C (122 deg F).  If water or steam come into contact with the chocolate, the texture will be spoilt and the chocolate will ‘sieze’, that is it will turn into a solid mass and will not melt.

Step 2 Filling the chocolate molds

Using cotton wool or soft muslin cloth polish the insides of the Easter candy molds. Place on a tray or counter lined with  baking parchment.

Spoon the chocolate into the molds (do not over fill) and tap the mold lightly to smoothen the surface and remove air-bubbles, if any.

Step 3 Setting the chocolate

Place the molds in the freezer for a few minutes until set and the underside of the mold appears opaque.  If it has wet patches on the underside, then it is not fully set.  Keep a while longer.Easter Chocolates Eggs (19)

Step 4 Unmolding the chocolate

Remove molds from the freezer and unmold by turning the mold upside-down onto a flat surface. Tap the mold lightly to release the chocolate.  Leave to dry.

Step 5 Presentation

Finish by wrapping in colored chocolate paper and decorative boxes and ribbons.

Be creative and make chocolate eggs with fruit and nuts, rice krispies, praline, marzipan, truffles….

To make Hollow Egg:

Fill the mold with melted chocolate and place in the freezer for a few minutes till the sides are set but the centre is still soft.  Remove and pour out the soft chocolate from the centre.  Smoothen the interior of the egg with your fingers and place it back in the freezer until completely set.  Unmould and when dry join two halves together by applying some melted chocolate around the edges to form a full hollow egg. Prior to sealing the two halves, place some candy or small toy inside for a beautiful surprise for the kids.  Wrap and tie bows with colorful ribbons.

To make Chocolate with marzipan eggs:

  • Ingredients of Marzipan
  • 250 gm. Blanced almonds
  • 500 gms. Icing sugar
  • Rose water for kneading

Powder the almonds and mix with icing sugar.  Knead to a soft dough using rose water a little at a time.  Make small egg shaped portions depending on the size of the chocolate mold. The marzipan egg must be smaller than the chocolate mold.

Pour a little melted chocolate in the mold.  Place the marzipan egg in the centre and press lightly.  Pour more chocolate over the marzipan to cover and fill the mold.  Put in the freezer to set.  Unmold when the underside of the mold turns opaque.  Leave to dry, then wrap each half in choclate wrapping paper.  Place two halves together and wrap again in decorative paper for a full 3D egg!

Ref: Good Housekeeping


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