Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter tips: Europa and the Chocolate Eggs

How to make the Europa Egg
1. Boil eight eggs, including one that insists on floating pointy-side down, indicating that it's bad (it has a gas bubble that is making it float), even though it's brand new from the store.
2. After one egg explodes while boiling, discard it and allow the others to cool.
3. Notice that one has a crack in the side, and set it aside for "experimental" colors.
4. Being cheap, make your own egg dyes out of water, vinegar, and a few drops of food coloring.
5. Start with primary colors - yellow, red, and blue.
6. After successfully dyeing these colors, combine dips to make orange, green, and purple.
7. Become disappointed by the paleness of the purple and orange and add a drop of red to each while the eggs are in the dye.
8. Stir the purple, but become distracted and don't stir the orange for a minute or so. This produces the "blush" effect.
9. Hours later, have someone else gently drop the egg while admiring it. This (apparently) is what produced the network of cracks - though why the dye pulled away from these cracks, someone else will have to say.
10. Take a photo before someone else eats the egg the day before Easter.

Tips for Chocolate-Covered Easter Eggs:
1. Refrigerate the rolled eggs before dipping. Do not remove from refrigerator until immediately before dipping.
2. When rolling "soft" egg batter, like the cherry ones, dust your hands with powdered sugar and work quickly so the heat of your body does not soften the batter so it can't be shaped.
3. Melt the chocolate at LOW temperature in a double boiler. You can even shut the heat off while you are dipping - the water will retain the heat for a while and keep the chocolate melted. If the chocolate is too hot, the eggs will begin to dissolve while dipping them.
4. Use a cream cheese icing as the flower color code, not buttercream. The overly sweet nature of buttercream clashes with the slightly sour cream cheese-based egg filling.

Happy Easter!

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