Sunday, March 31, 2013

Recipe: Easter Creme Eggs

This is my third year making homemade Cadbury knockoff eggs for Easter, so I figure it's about time to share the recipe. My photos are a bit lacking in terms of 'in progress' shots - my kitchen has exactly zero windows, and it's super dark and rainy this weekend, anyway. But the important part is being able to make them yourself! (If I ever take process shots, I'll come back and add them in.)

Since making these, I don't really enjoy the Cadbury variety that much - the chocolate is too cheap and milk-y, the filling is overly sweet, and the chocolate to creme ratio is a bit high. This is probably good - it prevents temptation in the Easter candy section, but obviously it requires a bit more effort to get my fix! It's totally worth it once a year though.

You'll need a few tools for these:

  • egg molds (I tried plastic easter eggs and couldn't get the chocolate out in one piece, so I recommend investing in some sort of silicone candy mold) - I use these, and a smaller, non-egg version I picked up at Daiso
  • a stand mixer, or a hand mixer if you're willing to put in a bit more effort
  • a double boiler for melting chocolate (you could also use the microwave, but I find it melts a bit more evenly and is less likely to burn on the stove) - I use a regular pot and a metal bowl on top
  • piping bags (but you can try large ziploc bags)

Chocolate coating:

  • dark/semi-sweet chocolate (chips or baking bars) - get a pound, but you may not use all of it
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil (optional, for shine and smooth melting)
  1. Bring water to a simmer. Put about half the chocolate and 1 tablespoon of oil in the top of your double boiler and melt, stirring continuously with a heat safe spatula, until almost entirely smooth.
  2. Pull from the heat and keep stirring until any remaining chunks are melted. Let rest for 5-10 minutes to let it cool down a bit (but not long enough for it to solidify!)
  3. Make sure your mold is clean and dry, and put a dollop of chocolate in each well. Using a regular spoon, smooth the chocolate around inside and up the sides of the mold, making sure there aren't any holes.
  4. Pop in the freezer while you start the filling. Keep the remaining chocolate around - you'll need to reheat it later!
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups + 2/3 cup powdered sugar (used separately)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (or extra vanilla, or another flavor of your choosing)
  • yellow food coloring
  1. Cream together the butter, corn syrup, 2 cups powdered sugar, and vanilla, using the paddle attachment on your mixer. Set aside.
  2. Start your double boiler again - this works best if you can use a one of the bowls from your stand mixer over your simmering water. In the metal bowl, whisk together egg whites and granulated sugar, then place over the boiler. Whisk constantly until the egg whites are foamy and the sugar is dissolved (pinch some between your fingers - it shouldn't feel grainy at all).
  3. Move the egg white mixture to your mixer, add the whisk attachment, and whip on speed 8 until it's room temp - this will take several minutes.
  4. Once it's cool, switch to the paddle attachment (no need to rinse from the earlier mixture) and add the butter mixture, remaining 2/3 cup powdered sugar, the cornstarch, and the almond extract. Beat on medium speed until it's all combined and fluffy.
  5. Remove about one third of the mixture to a smaller bowl and tint yellow.
  1. Put the white and yellow filling mixtures into separate piping bags. Get your chocolate shells from the freezer.
  2. Pipe white filling into each chocolate shell until it's about 2/3 full, then go back through and pipe a bit of yellow in (they should be full but not overflowing - see photo below!). Return to the freezer.
  3. Melt the chocolate over the double boiler again, adding more chocolate and/or oil if necessary. Let cool for a few minutes as before.
  4. Once the filling is cold and slightly firm, dollop some chocolate on each egg and spread to completely cover the filling. Return to the freezer one more time.
  5. When the last layer of chocolate is completely hard, you can pop the eggs out. Silicone molds are great because you can just push the mold inside out, and the candy will come right out.
  6. If you have more chocolate and filling than molds, you may need to repeat the melting, chocolate coating, filling, and final chocolate layer steps again, with a bit of freezer time between each step (maybe this is a good time to start cleaning up).
  7. All done! Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container - eat cold, or bring to room temp for a gooier filling.

And, some photos from last year (put sprinkles in the molds before adding the chocolate):