By Jove, Easter is almost upon us already! It seems like only yesterday that I was preparing for Christmas, and yet Easter is only a week away! Tempus Fugit as my father-in-law would say! (That's 'time flies' to you and me).
I wanted to create something for Easter to share with you: something a little interesting; something fun; something vegetarian; something easy.
And then it struck us like a thunder bolt! Well not really, but I'm trying to build up the drama here!! ;)
I decided to make something with chocolate. A take on a homemade Easter egg.
Mr E & I stumbled, not literally, across this gorgeous silicone mould of 6 owls in Sainsbury's for £5. How Cute! Even though this was strictly meant for cake making, we felt this was perfect! The owls are a nice size, very goldilocks, being not too big or too small. They're very 'on trend' given the range of owl merchandise available at the moment. And of course they're really cute. Oh, I've mentioned that, but they are that cute it's worth saying again! Seriously cute!!
There's a huge choice of cake decorations I could have chosen to adorn our cute owls. I decided to use freeze dried raspberry pieces, also found in Sainsbury's. What swung it for me was the fact that the only ingredient listed was raspberries; so no added sugar, additives or preservatives.
The observant amongst you may have noticed that I tackled the owl's eyes in two ways. The first was placing some white chocolate into the mould for the eyes before adding the milk chocolate. The second, and we think the most effective way, was to create chocolate drops for the eyes and then stick them on once the owls were de-moulded (if that's a word!) The chocolate drop eyes seem to give far more character to the owls as the pupils can be placed anywhere. So, this is the method I have identified in the description below.
As for the use of these gorgeous creations, other than eating them, silly. You could perhaps melt some more chocolate for a flat base and then 'stick' the owl upper to the base with melted chocolate, hiding sweeties inside like a classic Easter egg. Perhaps even make a lemon or raspberry mousse and fill the inside of the owl with it whilst the chocolate is still inside the silicone mould, then serve the owl face side up to give to family and friends at your Easter meal. You could even fill the inside of the mould with crumbled cake mixed with butter cream. Or simply present it as it is. We think it's gorgeous enough.
This creation has been shared with:
- They have also been entered into the #GoldenMixerBadge weekend competition on twitter hosted by @Bakebehaviour#GoldenMixerBadge hosted by @BakeBehaviour every weekend.
Cost: £2.50, that's 62.5p each! (without the cost of any filling)
Volume: Makes 4 owls
Difficulty: Easy, but requires patience
Time: 30 minutes, plus setting time.
You Will Need
200g milk chocolate
30g white chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
freeze dried raspberries
3 tablespoons of icing sugar, sieved OR a further 2 squares of milk chocolate.
How to Make Them (I realise there are several points here - but I just wanted to be thorough with information)
1. Cut a small piece of greaseproof paper. Draw around a penny coin, these will be the guidelines for the eyes.
2. Turn the greaseproof paper over, and using a dab of margarine, stick the corners down onto your work surface. A tip; stick the paper onto a tray that way you can move the eyes out of the way.
3. Melt the white chocolate over a bain marries. As soon on as it has melted, remove the bowl from the heat. If you're a little unsure how to melt chocolate, have a read here
4. Using a teaspoon, dribble white chocolate into the pencil guidelines you drew. You could do similar for the beak. Leave to set.
5. Using a pastry brush (I use a silicone one now as I find it a bit softer than the traditional wooden ones), sparingly paint the inside of the owl moulds with oil. This will help to release the chocolate once it is set. Remember, this quantity of chocolate makes 4 owl hatchlings.
6. Break the milk chocolate into another bowl and melt over a bain marries. Read here for how to do this.
7. Once the chocolate has melted take the bowl off the pan of water.
8. Place a small drop of milk chocolate onto the white chocolate drops for its pupils.
9. Using a dessert spoon, place 2 spoons of chocolate into each of the 4 moulds
10. With a silicone pastry brush or similar, encourage the chocolate up the sides of the mould. It will feel as though the chocolate keeps running back down to the bottom of the mould, but do persevere and eventually (after about 5 minutes) the chocolate will start to cling to the sides and build up. Add more chocolate to the moulds, as necessary. (I added an extra spoonful to each of ours). Once the chocolate is too firm to move without marking it, put the moulds aside to set.
11. Once the chocolate has firmed up and set (I left ours an hour), consider filling your moulds with a posset or mousse, for instance. Once you're ready to decant your owls from the mould, turn the mould over and gently ease the silicone away from the chocolate shell.
12. To decorate, either mix the icing sugar with a small amount of water to create a thick but spreadable icing; OR melt the 2 spare chocolate squares. Using either of these as a 'glue', put a little on the back of the white chocolate eyes and position them on the hatchlings. Paint the 'glue' onto the owl shell where you'd like the decoration to be. You may find using clean tweezers helpful to positon your decorations.
Aint they cute!
What are you making to celebrate Easter?