DIY Easter Eggs

I love making my own Easter Eggs. As a child I had a chocolate making kit, and I have fond memories of playing with that and then devouring the results! A warning: you will get absolutely covered in chocolate, and might not even want to eat any for a day or so. But there’s something so special about giving people eggs you’ve made yourself, and it’s definitely worth it!

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This year I’ve so far made one large chocolate orange egg, and 18 salted caramel-filled dark chocolate mini eggs. The first has yet to be broken into (my boyfriend is diligently saving it for Easter weekend!), but the salted caramel eggs are quickly being devoured by my family with relish! I’m so pleased with how they’ve turned out, and definitely plan on making them again. To make your own eggs, you’ll need some egg moulds and a sugar thermometer.

Large Egg:
– 200g your choice of chocolate (I used 150g of Lindt orange intense and 50g of Sainsbury’s 70% dark chocolate)
– a little extra chocolate, or thick water icing to decorate

1. Polish the inside of the moulds with kitchen towel, then do the same again with a little sunflower (or other flavourless) oil. Meanwhile, pour a couple of inches of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and place a large heatproof bowl on top, ensuring it doesn’t touch the water. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the bowl, then melt gently. Place the thermometer into the bowl and heat until it reaches 43°C, then take off the heat and cool until it reaches 35°C.

2. Pour spoonfuls of the chocolate into each mould, then swirl to coat. Scrape away any excess chocolate that escaped the mould, then allow to set flat side down on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Repeat this two or three times to build up a thick layer of chocolate.

3. Heat a baking sheet in the oven; meanwhile carefully remove the eggs from the moulds. Place the two egg halves flat side down onto the hot baking sheet for a few seconds to melt the edges, then firmly press them together.

4. Place the egg into a small glass or egg cup to stand it up while you decorate it. You could make up some icing and pipe a pattern or message, or use melted chocolate to stick on almonds or smarties. I melted a little extra dark chocolate and used a teaspoon to flick it about, Jackson Pollock style!

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Salted Caramel Mini Eggs:
– 250g 70% dark chocolate
– 65ml double cream (or coconut cream to keep it vegan)
– 10g dark muscovado sugar
– 20g caster sugar
– generous pinch of sea salt flakes (to taste)

1. Begin in the same way as with the large egg: by polishing the moulds with kitchen towel and then the same again with a little flavourless oil. Pour a couple of inches of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and place a large heatproof bowl on top, ensuring it doesn’t touch the water. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the bowl, then melt gently. Place the thermometer into the bowl and heat until it reaches 43°C, then take off the heat and cool until it reaches 35°C.

2. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of each mould with chocolate, swirling to coat as you go. Scrape off any excess chocolate, then place flat side down on a sheet of greaseproof paper and allow to set in a cool place. This will need to be repeated once more to build up a thick enough layer of chocolate.

3. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel filling. Pour the cream and dark muscovado sugar into a large saucepan, and heat gently until the sugar has melted. In a separate pan, heat the caster sugar until melted, stirring until it has done so to make sure it doesn’t catch. Remove from the heat and carefully pour in the warm cream and muscovado mixture, stirring quickly to form a caramel. Allow to cool for a few minutes before stirring in the sea salt, then cool completely.

4. Remove the chocolate egg shells from the moulds, then divide the salted caramel mixture between them (don’t over-fill). Use the pastry brush to paint the edges of each shell with a little extra melted chocolate, then stick together to form whole eggs.

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