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Friday, April 3, 2015

cheesecake-filled chocolate easter eggs.

dessert / party - cheesecake-filled chocolate easter eggs

Happy (early) Easter y'all! Frankly speaking Good Friday and Easter Sunday don't hold any special significance for me but Easter-themed bakes are too fun to pass up! The last time I made some dyed eggs with vanilla pound cake baked in them and they were just so precious I wanted to make them again this year. Unfortunately I've been a bit busy lately so I had to give up on that notion but good news - I might have found something even more exciting!

I was scanning through my bookmarked recipes recently and I found a cheesecake-filled chocolate easter eggs recipe by Raspberri Cupcakes. What's amazing about this recipe is that the insides of the eggs are meant to look like real egg whites and yolks; step aside creme eggs *cue shooing motion* The recipe is pretty easy and straightforward and it shouldn't have taken me more than half an hour to complete (minus chilling time) but the problem was, I couldn't find any hollow chocolate eggs in my local supermarkets. I figured that in the time I would spend searching for those seemingly non-existent eggs I could probably churn out a dozen of homemade ones so I sighed, switched on my laptop and googled homemade chocolate eggs.

There are a few ways to go about forming the shells of the chocolate eggs. One, use an appropriate mould. Two, a hollowed out egg shell. I didn't have a mould and I wasn't very confident that I could peel away the egg shell from the wall of chocolate within without leaving behind about a million nail marks on its surface so I went with Plan C - balloons.

Blowing up balloons, coating them with melted chocolate, letting the chocolate set and then releasing the air in the balloons such that they naturally and gently peel away from the chocolate is a rather popular method for making chocolate containers. I think I came to know of this ingenious idea sometime before Valentine's Day this year when I was searching for recipes for chocolate desserts. It isn't hard to execute but there are a few tricks to take note of in order to ensure chocolaty success. Tricks that I only learned of after the painful destruction of more than half of my chocolate eggs.

Most recipes would tell you to temper your chocolate such that the eggs are able to hold up longer at room temperature. Do that, and also remember to coat your balloons thickly with chocolate. I didn't coat the upper sections of my balloons well enough so when the balloons started to deflate, they took the fragile parts of the chocolate eggs down with them. In the worst case scenario the entire egg might collapse in on itself. Trust me, I know. Also, to make sure that the balloons peel away from the chocolate with as little resistance as possible - and therefore lower the possibility of damaging the shells - lightly grease the balloons with butter before dipping them in the chocolate. Lastly, try not to let too much air out of the balloons at one time to allow the balloons to gradually detach themselves from the chocolate.

Dealing with the chocolate eggshells used up most of my patience so I decided to take a short-cut with the egg yolk component. In the original recipe, you're supposed to make a passionfruit jam of sorts but I bypassed that completely by using some store-bought apricot jam. In my defense, it's good quality jam.

The moment I spooned the jam into the little cheesecake crater the egg practically sprang to life. It's astonishing how much a difference that small pop of colour makes! Seriously, because of the collapsing edges of the chocolate shells and the very sloppily-piped-in cheesecake filling (was not in the best mood) I thought the chocolate eggs looked like The Biggest Mistakes of 2015 but the moment the apricot jam hit the cheesecake I gathered enough enthusiasm to give these another try.

But that's for another day.

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