Introduction: DIY Hand Painted Hollow Chocolate Easter Egg (with Surprises Inside!)
I don't think anyone can really resist cracking open a candy filled hollow Easter chocolate no matter what shape, but I find the Egg to be one of the easiest to do at home for your loved ones (or maybe even just for you *wink wink*). We just need a few things to get started:
- Egg shaped chocolate mold (I have two halves w/ 7" x 4" x 2" sized cavities found here)
- Good quality chocolate in whatever form (just check the ingredients for sugar, cocoa butter, and chocolate as the base, no veg oils or other weird fats added. I'm using organic white chocolate found here)
- Food coloring powder - NO LIQUID for painting the eggs (found a rainbow pack here)
- Cheap paint brushes (got mine at the dollar store)
- Whatever you would like your surprise fillings to be (the ideas are endless! small toys, candy, sprinkles, clues for scavenger hunts, etc. I did peeps, chocolate eggs, and jelly beans w/ grass from the dollar store)
- A baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Pastry scraper or offset spatula to clean the mold's edges
- Glass bowl for double boiling method or microwavable bowl for the microwave method (details later)
- Plastic or silicone spatula or spoon for stirring chocolate
- Thermometer (I use a temp gun so it stays clean but any stick thermometer will work)
- Dish towel(s)
- Small glass ramekins for propping the molded chocolate when filling
Once we have everything gathered, we just want to make sure that every surface that touches chocolate has been thoroughly cleaned and dried because we do not want any oil or water contamination with our good chocolate; it will effect our final result and can cause odd reactions with the chocolate. Also, just quickly buff your chocolate molds with a cotton pad or ball, this will enhance the shine and appearance in your final result. Now we are ready to hop into the next steps!
Step 1: Tempering the Chocolate
To achieve a properly molded chocolate, one that is shiny and has a nice snap, we have to do what is called "tempering" the chocolate. There are several ways to temper chocolate, but I would say the two easiest for home crafting is either using the double boiler/seeding method or the microwave method. I will be using the double boiler and seeding method (cause I like to pretend I'm fancy) but I will put a link to the microwave method for you here and it is just as easy. To get started with the method I'm using I'll need:
- The glass bowl mentioned before
- A pot slightly smaller than the bowl so no steam will escape
- Good quality chocolate mentioned before
Grab the pot and put about an inch or two of water into the bottom and bring to a simmer, while that is happening break up all the chocolate into smaller pieces if you happened to buy bars like I did, if you already have chips or wafers just leave them as is. Now place 1/3 of the total amount of chocolate to the side and that will be your "seeding" chocolate, the other 2/3 you can place into the glass bowl. Once the water is simmering then turn off the heat and place the glass bowl filled with chocolate on top of the pot and begin stirring. Not too much will happen at first and this is a slower process but good chocolate deserves the best treatment (like good food cooked low and slow). We are going to keep stirring until our chocolate melts completely and reaches 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit but NEVER over 120 degrees Fahrenheit according to the thermometer you are using.
Next we will take the glass bowl off the pot and bring it over to the counter onto a clean dish towel (this just helps the bowl stay put while stirring as well as keeping the counter from getting wet). Keep stirring until the thermometer reads 96 or 97 degrees, then take the 1/3 reserved chocolate from before and add it to your melted chocolate then keep stirring until that melts and everything reaches a temperature of 85-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Now we are ready to paint and mold our Easter Eggs!
Step 2: Making Colored Chocolate and Painting
Next we will take our tempered chocolate and divide small amounts into warm bowls (not cold, so the chocolate stays to temp) for however many colors you are wanting to use. Add your powdered food coloring and mix to your desired coloration. If they do lose the temp, as long as they didn't drop below 80 degrees simply place in microwave for short 10 second bursts until back to the 85 or 86 degree mark (if it has dropped then it needs re-tempered so go back and use microwave method from before). Now just paint whatever you would like to be on the exterior of your egg straight onto your egg molds. Here's where you can be super creative as well, you could do so many different things:
- Spring flowers and butterflies
- Paint to look like a classic hard-boiled dyed Easter egg
- Religious symbols or verses
- Abstract paint strokes and splatters
- Superhero or cartoon character themes
- Paint question marks to be found as a clue in a scavenger hunt (with smaller egg molds)
- Anything you can imagine or create! Fun for kids, even toddlers with gloves can finger paint!
One thing to keep in mind while painting is that each color has to cool before the next color if they are going to be layered on top of one another (an example would be a bunny with black eyes and nose that has white fur, paint the black features first, let cool completely, then apply the white on top to prevent them mixing from together). Once you have your design all painted up allow the design to cool while you go back and re-temper your uncolored chocolate from before.
Step 3: Pouring Chocolate Into Molds
Prepare your molding area by placing some sheets of parchment paper on your counter and once you have re-tempered the remaining uncolored chocolate, pour it into one mold about one third of the way and start swirling it around to coat the egg mold cavity, keep swirling until the chocolate starts to cool and form a thick shell (try to keep your hands off the cavity so it stays cool). Dump the remaining chocolate out one side and scrape with your pastry scraper so that there is no excess chocolate on the outside of the mold itself. Now place the mold upside down onto the parchment paper so as the chocolate cools it will pool slightly giving you a nice lip or edge to join your other half with when the time comes (if the shell still seems thin or see through repeat the swirl step one more time to assure its thick and stable). Now do the same with your other mold half and allow both to cool completely (you can even speed up the process by placing in the fridge for a couple minutes).
Step 4: Release Chocolate From Molds
After 5 or 10 minutes, to tell if the chocolate has completely cooled, tap the mold lightly upside down onto a dish towel and you will be able to see that the design and chocolate look blurred meaning it has pulled away from the mold and will release easily. Tap again, lift the mold and the molded chocolate should pop right out onto the dish towel. Its okay if you want to take a moment to just admire your design and the way it turned out of the mold. You're amazing!! Repeat with the other mold and now we have two halves that we can join together to make one 3D hollow egg...
Step 5: Filling Molds W/ Treats and Combining
Now that our molded halves are ready to go we simply put a baking sheet into a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for just 2 minutes or until fairly warm but not too crazy hot. Take it out, place upside down and put a sheet of parchment paper on top (if your baking sheet is very clean or you don't mind melted chocolate touching it then you can skip this step, I find it's just easier clean up afterwards). While that is warming up in the oven, gather all your fillings and prepare them for putting into your molds, because the next step goes sort of quickly. We start by grabbing one of the halves and placing it edge side down onto the heated baking sheet and count 1, 2, 3, then remove and prop with ramekins in an upward position. Now you can fill this half with whatever you would like your surprise to be inside and fill it so that nothing is touching the edge but it can be as full as you want. Next we will take the other molded half and place it edge side down on the baking sheet and count 1, 2, 3, then quickly place it edge to edge with the other half of the mold and hold until sealed and cooled shut (smooth the edges with clean hands or a paper towel). Leave the completed egg propped up with the ramekins until it completely cools and looks like one 3D egg.
Step 6: Make a Standing Base and Done!
But we don't just want a 3D egg that rolls and topples around, we want it to stand like the fancy ones in the chocolate stores! All we have to do is take some tempered chocolate, place it inside a piping bag (you could even use a ziplock bag with a small hole cut into the corner) and create small little round mounds of chocolate onto parchment paper, allow to cool completely, then place your 3D egg bottom on that warm baking sheet until slightly melted and standing on its own. Next transfer to your hardened chocolate mound until it cools enough to attach to it and stand on its own. Voila, guys! Now we have a painted, free-standing, surprise-filled, hollow chocolate Easter egg!! I also wrapped them up with some cellophane and tied Easter grass as the bow, super duper simple. Now you can repeat this process as many times as you want with whatever size and shape mold you would like! Options are literally unlimited and so easy to customize! I hope you enjoyed this Instructable AND your delicious, super fun, surprise filled, 3D hollow Easter egg!
Second Prize in the
Sweet Treats Challenge