March 18th 2015
For those of you that enjoyed the Guardian article about making your own creem eggs here is my full recipe, including details of how to temper chocolate”
To make two fondant eggs
500g shop bought fondant
100g caster sugar
Egg yellow gel or paste edible food colouring
To make the fondant liquid, grate the fondant into a mixing bowl.
Bring the water and sugar to the simmer for one minute.
Allow to cool until just warm and add to the fondant mixing well until it becomes a smooth paste.
Take out 1 tablespoon of fondant in to a small bowl and add egg yellow colour mixing until evenly coloured.
Its always best to use the fondant as soon as its made but do cover it with food wrap to avoid crusting as it will dry out in the air.
What does tempering mean?
The definition is the addition of hardening crystals into melted chocolate and the methods are marble slab tempering or seeding. The main difference with marble slab tempering the chocolate is worked on cold marble or granite to reduce its temperature and seeding is all held within a mixing bowl.
Let me explain
Marble slab tempering
Chocolate melting pot or a mixing bowl and sauce pan
Optional – digital thermometer
Over a bain marie melt at least 1kg of chocolate to a maximum temperature of 55 degrees centigrade. Do not let the water boil or simmer but keep hot and allow the chocolate to melt for at least two hours. This will ensure that all the fats, sugars and crystals have melted evenly.
Pour two thirds of the chocolate onto the marble slab.
Spread evenly over the slab with the palette knife and scrape back together with the triangle scraper.
Repeat this action until the chocolate cools to 27-28 degrees centigrade which is when the chocolate begins to crystallize and begin to harden.
You can check this temperature by using a digital thermometer or by touching some chocolate with a separate palette knife on to your bottom lip. The chocolate should feel neither cold nor warm but at body temperature. Practice is the best policy here and soon you will be able to determine the right temperature. This is my preferred method.
Now scrape the cool chocolate in to the warm chocolate at 55 degrees and mix very well until fully incorporated, be vigorous and confident working smoothly at this stage.
Mixing is very important and lots of it to bring the temperature even throughout the chocolate. The temperature should now be 31 to 32 degrees centigrade; this is called the working temperature.
To check if the chocolate is tempered dip the end of your palette knife into the chocolate and place aside to set. If the chocolate sets with a shine and is crisp then you have tempered your chocolate perfectly.
If the chocolate is streaky, grainy or dull then there are a few ways to determine what has happened.
The temperature of the chocolate may still be too high and you may need to re temper on the marble slab briefly.
You may need to continue you’re mixing to emulsify the chocolate together or you may have not melted your chocolate sufficiently at the beginning.
Once you have your bowl of tempered chocolate it is ready to use but you must maintain the working temperature by warming briefly on the bain marie.
Seeding – Tempering
I recommend you trying this method first as it requires no special equipment at all and its also very clean, no pouring chocolate onto your kitchen counter. Once you have mastered this technique there will be no stopping your creative urges to produce amazing chocolate bars, truffles and other yummy goodies.
Glass or stainless steel mixing bowl
1kg dark chocolate
Place two thirds of your required amount of chocolate into the mixing bowl.
Fill the pan with water until just below the bottom of the bowl when sat on to of the sauce pan.
Place on a medium heat and allow the water to become hot but do not allow to boil as this can burn the chocolate and it will become grainy and totally ruined. So take care.
Allow the chocolate to melt for at least one hour. The temperature of the chocolate should be at 55 degrees centigrade
Once fully melted remove the bowl from the sauce pan and place on a towel or cloth.
Now while mixing vigorously add the remaining one third of chocolate in small pieces. Keep mixing until fully melted and until the chocolate cools to 27 to 28 degrees centigrade, this is when the chocolate begins to crystallize.
At this point place the bowl back onto the heat until the temperature reached 31 to 32 degrees, this is the working temperature and the chocolate is now ready to use.
Dip the end of a knife or spatula in to the chocolate and allow to set. If the chocolate is smooth, glossy and brittle when set then you have mastered seeding tempering.
Chocolate Melting temperature crystallizing temperature Working temperature
White chocolate 50 degrees c 26 to 27 degrees c 29 to 30 degrees c
Milk chocolate 50 to 55 degrees c 26 to 27 degrees c 29 to 30 degrees c
Dark chocolate 55 degrees c 27 to 28 degrees c 31 to 32 degrees c
To line your hens egg sized moulds
Clean the moulds well with cotton wool until shiny.
Fill the moulds until they overflow.
Scrape off any excess chocolate then tap the mould on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Set the mould aside for a few minutes until the chocolate sets to form a thin sell. Tip out any excess chocolate and scrape the mould to create clean finish on the eggs.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the chocolate has set and released from the mould.
Wearing a pair of cotton of vinyl food handling gloves remove from the mould and place on a clean tea towel so they don’t roll away.
Now carefully spoon or pipe the fondant into the egg leaving room for your fondant yolk.
Add your yolk in to each egg.
Using your finger or a piping bag apply a small mount of chocolate around one half of the eggs.
Swiftly bring the two halves together to seal the fondant.
Enjoy your eggs within two weeks of making and store at room temperature.