Chocolate Surprise Eggs

I’ve been working overtime this week trying to punch out some faux-Kinder Eggs for my niece, Maddy, just in time for Easter Sunday.  A few weeks ago, I went to visit my sister (Maddy’s mom) and she started telling me that Maddy was obsessed with this YouTube video featuring Kinder Eggs.  I didn’t even know what a Kinder Egg was!  A few minutes later my sister pulled up the video and sure enough my niece sat mesmerized, content, and glued to the screen.

Kinder eggs are hollow chocolate eggs filled with a toy of some sort.  When you crack open the eggshell, the inner treasure is revealed.  They aren’t available here in the US, which one of the reasons why Maddy can’t get her hands on any.

My Chocolate Surprise Eggs are a slightly more elegant version of Maddy’s beloved Kinder Eggs, stuffed with edible (and drinkable!) treats instead of juvey plastic toys.  No Mickey Mouse or Peppa Pig figurines here,except if I am making them for my niece!

My mini Marzipan Veggies are ideal for stuffing into these Chocolate Surprise Eggs.  Perfect for a Springtime or Easter themed party, you can place the marzipan piece in the chocolate shell and seal the shells together to create a true Kinder-like egg that rattles inside. Another option is to serve them up like little petit fours, on a half eggshell.

Fill them with honeyed, toasted unsweetened coconut for a no fuss, tasty way to showcase the bright and delicate Marzipan Veggies.  Cover them with another half eggshell so that your guests can take part in revealing what’s inside!

An extra step you can take to make the chocolate eggs super fancy is by propping them up on cookies sifted with a bit of matcha powder to create a mossy-looking base.  You can “glue” the shell to the cookie base with a glob of almost set melted chocolate.  If the melted chocolate you are using is too warm, the eggshell won’t want to sit upright and may actually start to melt.  So, plant your half eggshell onto tacky, almost set chocolate.  The petit fours will sit up at a pretty viewing angle this way.

Tea balls make a beautiful trinket to place into the hollow chocolate eggs.  These tightly wound balls of tea actually become beautiful terrarium looking plants when they bloom in hot water. The tea leaves are hand strung with a cotton thread to form a blooming tea flower, also called a Petit Bouquet.  If you are having an afternoon tea with friends, make lots of these eggs and allow each guest one egg to crack open just in time for tea to start. One tea ball per pot of tea!

Chambre de Sucre makes the most gorgeous variety of molded sugars that would also make whimsical treats to place inside of the eggs.  I just love their Sucre Rond and Hana Flower Sugars.  They elevate any tea drinking experience to the next level of loveliness.

I’ve meant to experiment with edible gold leaf for the longest time.  Instead of dishing out the money for real edible gold leaf, I bought this $5 bottle of gold cake decorating spray to play around with.  I was quite happy with the results, as the spray gave off a light, even mist of gold coloring to my eggs.  Just the right touch of glamor to make the eggs stand out.

Make this Easter unforgettable with some homemade Chocolate Surprise Eggs this year! The best technique for making them is to have a bit of patience, a temperature controlled room, and some clever ideas for trinkets to stuff inside.  Tea, gourmet sugars, marzipan candies…with Surprise Eggs the possibilities are endless!

Chocolate Surprise Eggs

Ingredients:

chocolate candy melts

edible gold food spray (optional)

Equipment:

chocolate egg molds

small flat tip food safe decorating brush

knife and cup of hot water (to smooth edges of eggshell)

flat frying pan (if you want to seal the 2 halves of the egg together to make 1 whole egg)

For the Petit Fours:

chocolate candy melts

1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut, toasted

6 Tbsp honey

cocoa powder, for dusting inside of eggs (optional)

flat round cookies of your choice (I used Famous Chocolate Wafers)

matcha, for dusting atop cookie (optional)

Marzipan Veggies

Directions:

1.)  Melt the chocolate melts in the microwave or atop a double boiler according to the package directions.  Place about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate in each egg cavity.  Use a decorating brush to evenly distribute the chocolate in the egg molds.

2.)  Let this first layer of chocolate set.  For faster results, you can place them in the fridge to harden.

3.)  When the first layer has completely set, apply a second rounded tsp of the melted chocolate.  Use the brush to apply the 2nd layer of chocolate evenly in the mold.

*** Variation:  For Sealed Chocolate Eggs:   With 2 completely set half eggshells (best to have left them in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill completely), place both shells edge down on a flat pan placed on low, even heat.  Allow edges to melt for a few seconds.  Pick up one eggshell and swiftly place a Marzipan Veggie or other trinket inside this half eggshell.  Pick up the other shell and place both melted edges of each half shell together to seal.  For best results, work fast!

4.  Let the second layer completely harden, then slip the shells out of the molds.  I wanted to dust the inside of the shells with cocoa powder here for my Petit Fours, but this is totally optional.  Use a knife dipped in hot water, then wiped dry to smooth over the edges of the eggshell.

5.)  Mix the toasted coconut with the honey and stuff about 1 1/2 Tbsp of this sweetened coconut into each chocolate shell, then a Marzipan Veggie on top.

6.)  Sift some matcha powder atop each cookie.

7.)  Add a dollop of melted chocolate atop each matcha-dusted cookie and allow for it to almost fully set.

8.)  Place the filled and marzipan-topped half chocolate eggshell on top of the almost set dollop of chocolate.  Hold it in place with the back of a spoon for a few moments to allow for it to set.  Your Chocolate Eggshell Petit Four is complete!

Marzipan Veggies

Celebrate spring with intricate, vibrant Marzipan Veggies!  There really isn’t anything too difficult about making these.  All you need is a roll of marzipan, matcha tea powder, and some attention to detail.

As Easter is just a few days away, I wanted to share with you my 3 favorite Marzipan Vegetable variations:  radishes, carrots, and sweet peas!  My personal favorite are the adorable sweet peas, which are actually the simplest to make.
The key to earthy looking springtime veggie marzipan is to get the shade of green right.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used “leaf green” food coloring only to get an electric, unappealingly bright shade of cosmic green.  Matcha powder is the easiest way to get the most leaf-like shade of green to your marzipan confections.  Shortly after picking, the tea leaves used to make matcha are steamed and dried to preserve their brilliant green color, so it makes perfect sense to use matcha for coloring the stems and leaves of marzipan produce!

For my post today, I’ve put together a series of step-by-step photos to take the mystery out of marzipan veggie making.  No need to be heavy on the words, as I think that the pictures are much more explanatory.

While Marzipan Veggies do require a bit of focus and creativity, the results are really worth it. Often, it’s often simplest deliberate tweak that will take them to the next level of cuteness.

Colored Marzipan

Ingredients:

tube of marzipan

matcha powder

gel food colorings (red and orange)

Directions:

Mix 1/4 tsp of matcha or a dab of food coloring into a portion of marzipan and knead it in. Continue to add matcha or food coloring until you get your desired color.

Tip:  If marzipan is too stiff, zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften, then knead in the coloring.  The heat will also help the coloring to bloom/deepen in color.

Veggie #1:  Radish Marzipan

What you need:  marzipan, red food coloring, matcha powder, fingers

Start with red tinted marzipan.  Roll one end of the radish super thin/narrow to form a squiggly root tip.

Finish the radish top with matcha green tea tinted marzipan.

Veggie #2:  Carrot Marzipan

What you need:  marzipan, orange food coloring, fresh rosemary, toothpick, sharp paring knife, fingers

Start with orange tinted marzipan.  Use a toothpick to make a tiny hole on top of the carrot.  Insert a small sprig of fresh rosemary into the hole.  Cut lightly and horizontally with sharp knife for texture.

Veggie #3:  Pea Marzipan

What you need:  marzipan, matcha powder, sharp paring knife, large green pearl sprinkles, fingers

Start with matcha green tea tinted marzipan.  Use knife to slice a line in the pea, from tip-to-tip.  Attach 3 green sprinkles in center of pea using tiny dabs of corn syrup or honey (even a tiny drop of water will work!).

Marzipan Veggies make festive embellishments for cakes, cupcakes, and my Chocolate Surprise Eggs!  Hope you have a colorful and bountiful spring this year!