Alibi V.14 No.12 • March 24-30, 2005 

Bite

"Cadbury" Easter Eggs

Spring has sprung and Martha Stewart is on the lamb; so why not wing it with your own homemade Cadbury-style Easter eggs? Crafting your own is a lot easier than you think. Start with at least one pound of semisweet couverture chocolate—a top-shelf block with at least 32 percent cocoa butter (available at the Specialty Shop, 5823 Lomas NE, 266-1212). The more Euro the better, as the higher percentages of cocoa butter in Old World brands will give your eggs the best texture and taste. You'll also need plastic egg molds, a candy thermometer, a rubber spatula, some aluminum foil and a plastic sandwich bag. And if you're feeling fancy, cotton gloves, also available at the Specialty Shop, will keep your finished eggs smudge-free.

Temper, Temper

Wipe off the insides of your egg molds with a soft cloth. You want them to be clean and polished so that your eggs will release easily. Break the couverture into small pieces and place two-thirds of them into a metal bowl. Bring a shallow saucepan of water up to a simmer and rest the bowl of chocolate on top. Make sure the bottom of the bowl clears the water without touching. Now, even though this is called a "double boiler," resist the temptation to actually let it do that. A gentle simmer is more than enough heat for the job.

Use your rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until it's a smooth liquid and your candy thermometer registers about 115°. Remove the bowl from the water and place it on your countertop, with a towel underneath for stability. Stir in the remaining 1/3 of chocolate pieces, letting the mixture cool to about 88°. It should be smooth and glossy.

Now for the Fun Part

Pour your chocolate soup into the first tray of egg molds, filling each depression completely. Pour off the excess chocolate back into the bowl, leaving a uniform chocolate coating behind in each mold. Use a clean, naked finger to clean up the edges. Repeat each step, reheating the chocolate over water as needed, until each set of egg molds is coated. Chill the trays in your refrigerator, and reserve any remaining chocolate in the bowl at room temperature.

Once the chocolate molds are set, remove the egg halves by gently twisting each tray over a sheet of foil. Fill one-half of the egg shells with your choice of innards—try chocolate ganache, jellybeans, Peeps or fresh raspberries. Rewarm the reserved bowl of chocolate over simmering water until it again reaches 115°, stirring frequently. Remove it from the water. Spoon the hot chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag, snipping off a small hole from one of its corners. Squeeze the molten chocolate onto the rim of a filled egg bottom. Immediately place an empty egg half on top, and gently press them together. Wipe away any excess chocolate that forms at the seam. Repeat with the remaining egg halves and refrigerate, covered, for up to two weeks.