My step-by-step guide to making Easter eggs at home.
When I was little one of the things I used to love about Easter eggs was cracking them open to see what treat was hidden inside. I’m not normally particularly nostalgic, but having two chocolate bars lined up next to the egg just isn’t the same for me, it takes away some of the excitement (clearly I was relatively easily pleased as a child!).
The solution – to make my own.
Not only does this mean you can fill them with treats, so they rattle nicely on Easter Day, it also means you can choose the treats, make them from your favourite chocolate, and add decoration to the outside to make them really special.
So, what do you need to make your own Easter Eggs?
Good quality chocolate (of course) – I used Lindt for these but I’ve also tried Dr Oetker Fine Cook’s Chocolate and Choceur from Aldi.
I’ve also tried Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, but that doesn’t melt well at all. The ingredients used make it are quite likely to sieze, which is where it goes hard, lumpy and basically unusable.
To make one egg in a 9x14cm mould I use 150g chocolate. However, I prefer to melt a bit more than I really need (as I’d rather have too much than not quite enough and then use the extra to make mini eggs, or let it set and put it away to use again another day).
Easter Egg Moulds
I use these reusable Easter egg moulds from Lakeland. You get four large moulds (enough to make two eggs) and four mini egg moulds (enough to make 36 mini eggs).
Something to melt the chocolate in
I’ve been purposely vague here as there are different ways to melt chocolate. I choose to melt mine in a small saucepan directly over a very low heat. However, many websites recommend using a bain marie (chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water). You can also melt chocolate in a microwave, but it’s difficult to control the heat and ensure that the chocolate melts evenly.
If you choose to use a bain marie, then be extremely careful not to get any of the water from the pan into the chocolate, as a single drop can ruin an entire batch of chocolate.
To mix the chocolate in.
A cooking thermometer suitable for chocolate.
I find it easier to temper the chocolate when making Easter eggs (I’ll talk a bit about what this is and the advantages of it a little later). Don’t worry, the name makes it sound technical and complicated and it really isn’t.
I use this Thermospatula from Lakeland, which checks the temperature while you stir the chocolate (and it can be used for lots of other things too).
A baking tray
This is used to melt the edges of the finished egg so you can stick the two sides together.
To temper or not to temper?
As I mentioned before, I prefer to temper my chocolate before making Easter eggs. Tempering chocolate is what gives it a lovely glossy finish and snap when you break it. If you don’t do this your chocolate will end up crumbly and dull-looking.
As well as the lovely glossy finish there are a couple of other advantages to tempering chocolate when making Easter eggs…
- It’s easier to get the finished eggs out of the moulds
- The melted chocolate has been cooled to a much lower temperature than when it was first melted, therefore it sets more rapidly (especially dark chocolate). This means that it’s easier to get the eggs a relatively uniform thickness across all sides – if the chocolate is too hot when you put it into the moulds it’ll slip down the sides leaving you with very thin sides and a thick puddle of chocolate at the bottom of the mould.
- When you put chocolate in the fridge it can sometimes start to look white and mottled when it cools. This won’t happen if it’s been properly tempered.
How to make Easter eggs
Temper the chocolate
If you’re new to tempering chocolate then I’d recommend you take a look at my guide which includes a quick video demonstration showing exactly what you need to do.
- Place about two-thirds of your chocolate into a small pan over a very low heat (or bain marie if you prefer) and heat the chocolate until it reaches a temperature of 45ºC (milk and white chocolate) or 48ºC (dark chocolate) – Don’t worry if not all of the chocolate has melted, it will continue to melt after it’s removed from the heat.
- Decant the melted chocolate into a bowl and add a piece of the unmelted chocolate you set aside before. Stir the chocolate in until it has melted.
- Keep adding pieces of the unmelted chocolate until the temperature of the chocolate has been reduced to 32ºC. At this point it’s ready to use.
- If you have any lumps of unmelted chocolate left, I’d recommend removing these and setting them aside to reuse at a later date (or as a mid-egg making snack).
Make the Easter Eggs
- Pour about 75g of chocolate into each mould, it’ll go about halfway up the side (picture 1).
- Gently tip the mould to spread the chocolate around the edges (picture 2). I recommend going slightly over the edges to ensure they’re thick enough to join later (picture 3). It’s best to hold the mould by the edges rather than cupping it in your hand as the heat from your hands may slightly melt the chocolate meaning you get a dull finish and potentially making it more stubborn to get out of the mould.
- Keep gently swirling the chocolate around until it won’t move any more (I’ve found this takes 3-4 rotations), trying to get it as even as possible.
- Once the chocolate won’t move about any more use a sharp knife to scrape off the excess chocolate (picture 4). It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as most of it’s gone (picture 5).
- Pop the egg into the fridge to set completely (I find this usually takes about half an hour).
- Repeat for each of the eggs. If the chocolate has hardened too much while you’ve been making the first ones then gently heat it back to 30ºC before pouring into the mould.
- Once the egg has set it’s time to get it out of the mould. Remove it from the fridge, turn it over and give it a hardish tap on a flat surface. If it’s ready to come out then it will fall out easily. If it doesn’t then pop it back into the fridge for a bit longer.
- Put a baking tray into the oven at a low temperature (I use 50ºC). Once the tray has warmed, remove it from the oven and very gently put the egg edge side down onto the warm tray until the edges are just starting to melt (picture 6). Do this for both sides of the egg and then carefully line the edges of the two halves up and stick it together (picture 7).
- Put it into a cup (or similar) to hold it in place until the chocolate has set.
And there you have it, your completed egg…
If you want to add decoration (as I’ve done above) follow the same steps to temper the different chocolates (one at a time, allowing each type to set before adding the next) and then pipe your design into the mould. Leave the decoration to set before adding the chocolate to make the main egg.
A couple of points to note if you’re adding a design…
- If you’re adding writing you’ll need to write the words backwards.
- Make sure you trim the edges before you put it in the fridge to set (as you did with the edges of the main eggs).
- When swirling the chocolate around for the main egg it’s especially important you hold the mould by the edges rather than the body of the egg. The heat from your fingers can melt the chocolate design meaning that it looks smudgy on the final egg.
So all that’s left for me to do now is to wish you all a very happy Easter xx
I originally learnt to temper chocolate on an evening course with Oliver Dunn at the Cheshire Cookery School. This was a course I received as a Christmas gift from family, but I wanted to mention it here as it was a fabulous course which I would thoroughly recommend to others wanting to learn the basics of chocolate work. It gave me a great grounding in skills such as tempering chocolate which I’ve since built on.