Home Made Chocolate Creme Eggs

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It’s almost Easter! Just a few more days until the Easter Bunny is due to deliver the goods. And when you’re six years old, this is a Very Big Deal indeed. Such a big deal in fact, that the six year old living at my place has been counting down the days since…well, December 25th came and went. My kids are also currently on school holidays, so to help keep Mr 6 amused (and yeah, maybe to keep the Bunny-ache at bay…), we’ve been making all sorts of Easter Yummies. First up, the mandy wrangles version of that oh-so-amazing-gooey-chocolately-fondantey-goodness in a ball – the Cadbury Creme Egg.

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Gooey Easter Goodness

 

What You Need:

Egg shaped chocolate moulds. Mine are plain, but you could use patterned ones.

Milk chocolate melts.

White fondant, available from all cake decorating shops, some supermarkets and online.

Yellow food colouring.

Vanilla essence.

A clean paintbrush.

Brushing chocolate up the sides of the egg moulds.

Brushing chocolate up the sides of the egg moulds.

 

Using a spatula, spread melted chocolate as smoothly as possible across the back.

Using a spatula, spread melted chocolate as smoothly as possible across the back.

How It’s Done:

Make sure your moulds are clean and completely dry. Remember: when working with chocolate, moisture is your enemy. Melt milk chocolate using your favourite method, whether it be a small amount at a time in the microwave, over the stovetop using the double boiler method, or like me, using a cheap little fondue set. Once your chocolate is melted, you need to work fairly quickly. Place a small teaspoon full into each chocolate shape. Now, you need these eggs to be hollow, so don’t over-fill. Using your paintbrush, brush the chocolate right up the sides of the mould before moving on to the next egg shape. Once all egg shapes have been chocolatised (yes, that is totally a word. Now.) put aside to set at room temperature.

Chocolate shells with fondant.

Chocolate shells with fondant.

 

While your chocolate egg shells are setting, take a couple of tablespoons of the white fondant and add some vanilla to taste and a few drops of yellow food colouring. The vanilla flavour won’t give you the exact flavour of the Cadbury kind, but it’s pretty darn yummy. Technically, you could use any flavour – in fact I’ve been considering making up some zombie easter eggs with green or blue insides flavoured with blueberry or mint…but that could be an entirely different blog post…

Once your shells are set, spoon a teaspoon of white fondant into each. Then repeat with a smaller amount of yellow fondant in the centre. Melt up some more chocolate and smear over the top of your shells, trying not to make too much mess of your fondant. Smooth off the top with a flat knife or spatula, as in my pic.

 

Once the egg halves are completely set (don’t rush them), they will pop out of the moulds with a small tap. Then, with a little more chocolate dabbed onto the back, join two halves together to make a whole. See…so easy a six year old could do it!

 

See? So easy a six year old can do it.

See? So easy a six year old can do it.

 

 

 

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Glass Shard Cupcakes

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With only a few weeks until Halloween, I thought this would be a good time to share some of my favourite – but kind of gruesome – recipes for your Halloween party. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting both sweet and savoury recipes of the very dark kind, along with others of the more cheerful kind (unless you have an aversion to fairgrounds and clowns, that is…)

Today we’ll kick things off with Glass Shard Cupcakes. As usual, I’ve used a few ‘cheats’ where possible.

Glass cupcakes_1What you need:

1 x chocolate cake mix. I used White Wings brand.

1 x Betty Crocker vanilla frosting.

1 x packet of clear Isomalt Sticks – available from any cake decorating suppliers or online.

1 x Red Queen brand ‘Writing Icing’. Comes in a pack of 4 tubes, available at the supermarket.

Black food colouring.

How it’s done:

Make up a batch of chocolate cupcakes according to the packet instructions. Allow to completely cool.

Glass cupcakes_2Isomalt Glass Shards:

I use the ‘Cake Play’ brand of Isomalt sticks. It’s meltable, mouldable candy. It can be coloured as well as flavoured, but for this recipe I used it straight. It’s brilliant for so many different decorating ideas, but especially candy glass. A little on the expensive side at around $15 for a packet of 12 sticks, so it’s worth trying to catch them on special or online. Using Isomalt is a bit daunting at first, but, like working with chocolate, once you get the hang of it, a whole new world of ideas is opened up to you.

Prepare a flat surface with a large sheet of baking paper.

For this recipe, I used 6 Isomalt sticks. Snap each stick into 2 or 3 pieces, and add to a microwave safe container. I use a coffee mug because it has a handle and this stuff gets HOT. *Don’t even think about sticking your finger in there!*

In increments of about 10 seconds at a time, melt your Isomalt in the microwave, until it’s completely liquefied and bubbling. Since each microwave is different, the time could vary. Give it a good, quick stir with a metal spoon. Working very quickly – Isomalt hardens again fast – pour the candy mixture onto your baking paper and smooth out as thin and smoothly as possible in large pieces. Don’t panic if you get a few lumps or bumps. If you find the candy in your cup has hardened too quickly, just zap it back in the microwave for a few seconds.

Glass Cupcakes_5Your ‘sheets’ of melted Isomalt will be completely hard again in about 5 or 10 minutes (depending on room temp). Place another sheet of baking paper over the hardened candy, and with the heel of your hand, press down and crush carefully. It’s the best way to get bigger pieces. Lift from your baking paper and put aside in a bowl.

*Isomalt clean up is with hot water and elbow grease.

glass cupcakes_7Decorating:

Ice your cooled cupcakes with the pre-made vanilla frosting. This stuff saves a crazy amount of time and is DELICIOUS. Then, stick shards of candy glass into the cakes, making sure you use some smaller pieces as well as large ones. Try not to make this bit too even – a more haphazard style works better here.

To make up the ‘blood’, I squeezed about half a tube of the red ‘Writing Icing’ into a tiny shot glass. It’s too thick to use directly (we want the blood to drip and ooze) so I added a few drops of warm water. Unfortunately, this made the colour too bright – easy fixed with a single drop of black food colouring. The end result was a colour and texture very close to the real thing. I used a chop stick to both mix the ‘blood’ and also to drizzle it over the glass, as well as a few well-placed drops on the plate for effect.