Hollow Chocolate Eggs

Photos: Louise Haywood-Schiefer

To make 6 chocolate eggs, you will need at least 300g dark chocolate (although using a greater quantity e.g. 600g will make it easier to dip the balloons. Leftover chocolate is not wasted; can be stored and re-melted another time). The method below is specifically for tempering dark chocolate; the temperatures for tempering milk and white chocolate are different. For best results, choose a dark chocolate with minimum 70% cocoa solids.

Ingredients

  • 300g dark chocolate

Equipment

  • A digital kitchen thermometer
  • A flexible spatula
  • Mini balloons (or water balloons)
  • A piece of string to use as a drying line
  • Clothes pegs

Method

  1. Before you start, rig up a string hanging line between two kitchen cupboards or hooks. Have clothes pegs handy so that once you have dipped your balloon you can hang it up to set.
  2. Melt two thirds of the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water. Chop the remaining third into fairly equal pieces and keep to one side.
  3. Wash, dry, and inflate six mini balloons until they are roughly the size of a large egg. You can manipulate their shape with your hands once they are inflated and tied.
  4. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pan and place it on a tea towel.
  5. Add the remaining chocolate pieces and stir to melt. This will bring the temperature of the melted chocolate down, but you will need to continue stirring for at least fifteen minutes or so in order to temper the chocolate. To speed this up, you could spread the chocolate out on a clean, dry, metal baking tray or a cool marble surface.
  6. Use a digital thermometer to measure the temperature - you want to firstly cool the melted chocolate to 27℃.
  7. Once at 27℃, place the bowl back over the hot water and bring the temperature of the chocolate up to 30-31℃.
  8. Transfer to a jug or narrower bowl to aid dipping.
  9. Dip the first balloon into the jug of melted chocolate and tilt or push down lightly to coat the balloon - leave clearance of about 2cm around the knot of the balloon.
  10. Peg the chocolate-covered balloon by its knot onto the string line.
  11. Repeat with the other balloons.
  12. If needed, use extra clothes pegs to create spacing on the line - you don’t want the chocolate-covered balloons to touch.

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