Cadbury in their infinite wisdom have always only ever sold creme eggs around Easter. Most of me agrees with this as it makes them special, part of me however thinks we should have the choice to eat them at any time of year. Now you could stock up when they are available and hope that you can put of eating all of them until they are next available.
If on the other hand you fancy a bit of a challenge you can give making your own a try. The hardest bit to recreate is the runny centre, having trawled the internet for inspiration and coming across recipes using corn starch or golden syrup I settled on liquid glucose. Being clear and sickly sweet I decided this was the best option.
- 300g chocolate
- 85g liquid glucose
- 185g icing sugar
- 27g butter
- 1tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- yellow food colouring
- In a medium heatproof or Pyrex bowl, break 200g (two thirds) of the chocolate into small evenly sized pieces.
- Half fill a small saucepan with water, and place over a medium heat.
- Bring the water to a simmer and lower the heat.
- Place the bowl over the saucepan and ensure the base of the bowl is not touching the water.
- Allow the heat to gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally.
- Test the chocolate temperature using a chocolate/ candy thermometer; the chocolate should be between 48-49ºC.
- Remove the chocolate from the saucepan and wrap the bottom of the bowl in a tea towel. This will allow the chocolate to cool down gradually.
- Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to melt gently, stirring occasionally. By adding the chocolate at this point, it helps to give the cocoa butter crystals good. Also the stirring helps to give good crystallisation.
- Test the chocolate temperature, and when it has reached 28-29ºC, place the bowl back over the saucepan and gently bring the temperature back to 31-32ºC. Do not allow the chocolate to overheat. The chocolate is now ready to work with.
- Now mould you eggs
- First put the liquid glucose into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the butter and vanilla extract and mix them together. You could do this with a wooden spoon instead, but the liquid glucose is quite stiff (if you can warm the tube using hot water to make this easier)
- When you have a creamy mixture, add the icing sugar and a teaspoon of water. (carefully or a cloud of sweet white powder will coat everything in sight).
- Now, already, you have your filling
- Make sure the filling is really thick, add more icing sugar until you could stand a wooden spoon up in the bowl without it falling over.
- Split off about one third of the filling and using the yellow food colouring make it a bright yellow for the yolk.
Making Creme Eggs
Before we can fill a creme egg we need an egg to fill, now we could cheat a little here and use a purchased egg, but where’s the fun in that? So we need an egg mould
and some chocolate, you can get mould from various places, I got mine from Lakeland. The first hurdle is actually moulding the eggs so you have two halves that for a whole, which is easier said than done.
Now if we are going to do this properly, which we should shouldn’t we? We’ll need to temper the chocolate. This raises a few questions; is it difficult, do you need special equipment, which chocolate should you use, is it messy, and how is it different to just melting chocolate?
Well; it isn’t hard, ideally you’ll need a chocolate thermometer but nothing more fancy than that, you’re better off with a good quality chocolate but any will do, and it’s as messy as you make it.
The difference from just melting chocolate is that the chocolate is melted and cooled in a controlled way, this is to make sure that the crystals in the cocoa butter are small and even in size. The result of this is that the chocolate is more stable and doesn’t melt as easily. Also when you break the chocolate you get that lovely snap and a shiny surface. If the chocolate isn’t tempered it can taste grainy or be too soft and melt easily, the last thing you want while trying to eat a chocolate creme egg.
The hardest part of the whole process is to actually mould two perfectly fitting halves of a chocolate egg. You’ll need to build up the thickness gradually to make sure you end up with a level lip where the two halves will meet. It’s a bit of a try it and try it again until you get egg shells you’re happy with, you can always melt them down and try again.
Hopefully now we have two halves of an egg and the filling both white and yellow. We now need to fill the eggs to turn them from chocolate shells into creme eggs.
Firstly you’ll need something to keep the egg shells level, I kept mine in the mould. Fill the shells with white filling until nearly full (you need to leave space for the yolk), then add a blob of the yellow filling for the yolk (you have to be careful not to over fill at this point).
It is best at this point to put the filled shells in the fridge to let the filling go really solid, it helps not to make a mess when assembling the two halves.
Once the eggs are nice and cold, I left mine over night, we need to join the two halves. You’ll need to melt a little bit of chocolate to act as a glue to hold the two halves together, take a small amount of melted chocolate and run it round the edge of one shell, then place the other half on top and gently squish together.
Hopefully now you have one complete chocolate creme egg all ready to devour.