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Chocolate Egg

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 149 April Spring 2006

We used Valrhona dark chocolate in this recipe because it is relatively easy to temper; the temperatures that are listed apply specifically to this brand.

Chocolate Egg How-To

1. Using a pin, poke a hole in the bottom of a large raw egg; insert the tip of a utility knife, and turn to open the hole slightly. Using a rotary drill fitted with a 3/8-inch bit, carefully widen the hole to at least 1/2 inch in diameter.

2. Insert pin into the hole to pierce and "stir" the yolk. Hold the egg, hole down, over a bowl, and blow air into the hole with a rubber ear syringe (the air will displace and expel the egg). Rinse out egg. Repeat to make 12 blown eggs (you may want to make extras in case some break).

3. Sterilize eggs: Submerge them in a pot of cold water with 1 tablespoon white vinegar; bring to a boil, then simmer, skimming foam from surface, 10 minutes. Let drain on a pin board. If not dyeing eggs, let dry completely on pin board, 2 to 3 days (check insides for moisture).

4. If dyeing eggs: Mix 4 tablespoons vinegar and 12 drops of blue food coloring with 2 cups boiling-hot water in a heatproof glass or enamel bowl. Fill a separate cup with white vinegar. Using a plastic spoon, dip eggs in vinegar, then into the dye, 2 to 3 minutes. Pat eggs with paper towels to eliminate streaks. (If dye begins to cool while you're working, make a new batch.) Let the eggs dry as described above.

5. Using an offset serrated knife, very finely chop 3 pounds of chocolate. Reserve 1 cup chocolate; using a bench scraper, transfer remaining chocolate to a large heatproof bowl.

6. Temper chocolate: Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, until a chocolate thermometer registers 131 degrees. (Note: Many brands of dark chocolate should not be heated to more than 118 degrees.) Remove from heat; stir in reserved cup chocolate until completely melted. Pour 2/3 of the melted chocolate onto a clean smooth work surface (such as marble or stainless steel). Spread thinly with an offset spatula. Then gather together chocolate, and take temperature. Continue spreading and gathering chocolate until it cools to 82 degrees to 84 degrees.

7. Scrape chocolate back into bowl with remaining chocolate. Stir until it cools to 82 degrees to 84 degrees. Set bowl over a pan of warm water, and reheat to 88 degrees. To check consistency, dip a spoon in chocolate and remove; chocolate should set in about 2 minutes, turning shiny and hard. Note: This temperature must be maintained as you fill the eggs; keep a thermometer in the chocolate, and check frequently. Rest the bowl on a heating pad wrapped in a towel, or set bowl over the pan of warm (not hot) water.

8. Place eggshells in an egg carton. Place a disposable pastry bag in a tall glass, and fold top down. Fill bag with chocolate; cut tip to create a 1/4-inch opening.

9. For solid chocolate eggs: Insert tip of bag into each egg, and fill with chocolate (about 1/4 cup per egg; fill a new bag with chocolate as needed). Let set completely, about 4 hours.

10. Alternatively, fill eggs with ganache: Fill all eggs with chocolate, then let stand 5 minutes instead of letting chocolate set. Pour chocolate out of eggs into a glass measuring cup, tapping your hand against cup to let most of the chocolate drain out (do not add to tempered chocolate). Let chocolate "shells" set completely.

11. Fill a disposable pastry bag with ganache (recipe follows); cut tip to create a 1/4-inch opening. Insert tip into egg; fill with ganache. Tap egg gently, hole up, on a folded kitchen towel to eliminate air pockets; fill to top. Continue with remaining eggs. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. Ganache-filled eggs can be refrigerated up to 1 week; solid eggs can be stored in a cool, dry place until ready to serve.

To Make Ganache

For semisweet ganache, use 2 cups heavy cream and 1 pound semisweet chocolate. For milk-chocolate or white-chocolate ganache, use 1 1/4 cups heavy cream and 1 1/4 pounds milk or white chocolate. Bring cream just to a boil, then pour over finely chopped chocolate into a medium bowl. Let stand 5 minutes; stir until smooth. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface; let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool enough to pipe (no warmer than 80 degrees), 1 to 2 hours.

Note: The steps here are for tempering chocolate by hand. If you work with chocolate frequently, investing in a tempering machine will save time and make cleanup easier -- and the chocolate will be perfectly creamy, smooth, and shiny. Every brand of chocolate requires different tempering temperatures; see package instructions. For Valrhona, the following temperatures apply: milk chocolate, heat to 118 degrees, cool to 81 degrees to 82 degrees, then warm to 84 degrees to 86 degrees; white chocolate, heat to 118 degrees, cool to 79 degrees to 81 degrees, then warm to 82 degrees to 84 degrees.

Comments (18)

  • lady_godiva 2 Apr, 2010

    I came up with this idea on my own only to find Martha beat me to it!! Of course.

    When preparing the egg to be filled, should the thin membrane on the inside of the shell be removed? Some of the eggs shed this when blown, others stuck and I was wondering if it'll make a difference.

  • AmberCachia 25 Mar, 2010

    Or you could just use really good cooking chocolate, and avoid the tempering process altogether!!

  • sassysheila 25 Mar, 2010

    Sounds way to hard for my limited abilities. Will buy high quality chocolate store bought eggs and read a good book ...:)

  • diplocase 21 Mar, 2010

    There's a medieval recipe like this using oatmeal and saffron-dyed ground meat! Use the same technique to add a surprise "yolk" to your chocolate eggs:
    Temper white choc as above. Color 1 cup of white choc with yellow cake decorator's gel dyes. Fill shells halfway, cool for 15 min. Use wooden spoon handle to press a hollow in chocolate. Pipe in yellow choc, cool 5 min. Fill up with white chocolate and refrigerate til firm. Or just use dark choc for 'yolk'.

  • Robinbankz 11 Mar, 2010

    ok one comment there is a easier way to keep your chocolate tempered that a lot of pro's use and it is actuely just to keep a blow drier near by and point it on high at your chocolate every once and a while to keep it melted and just did a piece of paper into chocolate and pull it out is its nice and shiny when it dries its still tempered people use this technique to keep it tempered all day its less messy and better for your chocolate

  • mizwiz 29 Mar, 2009

    I made these with a peanut butter filling, better than store bought, I can use Sugar free chocolate

  • DebbieVignola 3 Jan, 2009

    I tried these and my shells stuck to the chocolate when I tried to peel them. What did I do wrong?

  • Sarah46464 3 Apr, 2008

    I had so much fun making these eggs. Yes it's a lot of work but when I gave them out at Easter my family's faces lit up. They loved them and that's what counts.

  • rike 1 Apr, 2008

    My seven year old son and I made these eggs for Easter. We had such a great time together and will make it an annual tradition. I was a bit intimidated by the instructions; however, we followed the directions and were successful. The tempered chocolate was so delicious, and our family was amazed by the egg itself.

  • lormicher 16 Mar, 2008

    why not just get the plastic easter eggs and drill a [filtered word] in the top of those?or i guess you could probably scrape out the middles of each half and add a jelly bean(s) in it then use a little more chocolate to "glue" the two sides back together. maybe even get white chocolate and put that on the inside or paint the outside.

  • orion84 7 Mar, 2008

    I've made these eggs a couple of times now and I am having a bit of trouble sterilizing the eggs. The skin inside the egg peels away from the shell, but doesn't come off. This ends up making a gross mess when you peel the egg open; I also worry that it may be unsanitary. What am I doing wrong? I've followed the directions faithfully.

  • jasonjason 5 Mar, 2008

    @sunshine: if the chocolate is properly tempered it will cleave from the egg-shell mold without sticking, due to its crystalline structure

  • boring4546 1 Mar, 2008

    What I would like to know is how you make the hard shell that you can actually eat as well as the chocolate. It is some sort of candy.

  • sunshine 22 Feb, 2008

    This a wonderful idea. But what I don't understand is what keeps the chocolate from sticking to the shell of the egg so your children are not eating the shells (or alults). Is it the oil in the chocolate?

  • suehorne5892 21 Feb, 2008

    I love this idea! I can't wait to play in my kitchen with these chocolate eggs.

  • inky86 19 Feb, 2008

    Martha Stewart, you are completely amazing. Who else could think up these things. I'm making some for my nieces and nephew.

  • tilda2 15 Feb, 2008

    I love the idea of being able to "crack" open the egg for the surprise inside.

  • yankeecook 29 Nov, 2007

    Jello came out with plastic eggs that you pour jello in and cool in refrigerator and they make gorgeous colored jello eggs. One might be able to use these in making the chocolate eggs and have less work.