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What's our Easter bunny's secret? Crack open an egg ... it's chocolate inside.

What's our Easter bunny's secret? Crack open an egg . . . it's chocolate inside

Who's been teaching the Easter bunnynew tricks? Huguette Dumas, a master of chocolate from Le Belge Chocolatier in San Rafael, California, has. Here we share her delicious secrets.

Instead of a hen's egg inside a real eggshell,a chocolate one takes its place--not by magic, but in a series of simple, carefully executed steps; you have to wait minutes to hours between each. First you empty the eggshells, then sterilize them and, if you like, decorate with color. The shells need at least a day to dry.

Next, you swirl melted chocolate insidethe shell to create a thin wall, then chill. When the wall is firm, pipe in mousse or truffle filling and chill again for an hour or up to a week.

Chocolate Easter Eggs

6 large eggs

Easter egg dye (optional), preparedas package directs

6 ounces (about 1 cup) choppedbittersweet or semisweet chocolate

Gianduia mousse or chocolatetruffle filling (recipes follow)

Using an ice pick or a cooking fork tine,carefully pierce the shell through membrane at each end of 1 egg. On the wide end of the egg, carefully break shell away from hole to make an opening about 1/4 inch in diameter. Place your lips over the smaller hole and blow to force the raw egg out the large hole and into a bowl. Repeat to empty remaining shells. (Use eggs in recipes that call for whole eggs; 1 egg equals 3 tablespoons. Eggs spoil quickly: cover, refrigerate, and use right away.)

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, place eggshells andwater to cover; push shells beneath water until they fill and sink. Bring water to a gentle boil; to sterilize, simmer, uncovered, at least 15 minutes. Remove shells with a slotted spoon and drain.

When cool enough to handle, gently shakeshells to remove remaining water and

any loose bits of cooked egg white. Immerse in cool water to fill shells again; drain well. If desired, color shells. Set shells, large holes up, in egg carton and let stand at room temperature to dry overnight. Store dry shells, covered, up to 3 days.

When shells are thoroughly dry inside,place a piece of transparent tape over the small hole on each shell; return shells to carton, large holes up. If shells are not dry inside, chocolate lining (next step) will not stick to form a smooth interior shell.

In the top of a double boiler, occasionallystir chocolate over hot (not simmering) water until chocolate is smoothly melted. Remove pan from heat. At once, spoon chocolate into a plastic-lined pastry bag fitted with a plain tube (1/4-in. opening or slightly smaller), and pipe 1 to 2 tablespoons chocolate into a shell through large hole. Quickly shake and roll shell to coat interior evenly; peek inside to be sure no light patches remain. Turn large hole down over pan and shake excess chocolate into it. Set shell, large hole up, in the egg carton and at once refrigerate until chocolate is firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Repeat to coat remaining shells.

Squeeze any remaining chocolate in pastrybag back into pan. Pour extra chocolate onto a sheet of foil to cool; reserve for other uses. Rinse and dry the pastry bag.

Fit pastry bag with the same tip, andspoon in filling; pipe into shells, filling completely. To avoid creating air bubbles while filling shells, squeeze bag with steady pressure and shake shell gently to settle filling into it. Wipe surfaces clean with a damp cloth, then chill filled shells. Keep extra filling at room temperature. After 1 hour, filling in shells may settle; if so, pipe in more, bringing flush with rim. Wipe shells clean and chill until filling at openings is firm, about 1 hour (eggs keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator). To disguise big hole, wrap eggs with ribbon or push the stem of a small fabric flower into filling. Pull tape off small hole.

To serve chocolate mousse eggs, tapshells of cold eggs to crack around top. Peel off top part of shell and place in egg cups and let warm to room temperature before eating with a spoon.

To serve truffle eggs, tap shells of coldeggs to crack; peel off shell. Eat eggs out of hand or cut into bite-size pieces. Recipe makes 6 eggs.

Gianduia mousse filling. Fill base of adouble boiler with enough water to surround top unit of the pan. Heat water to 140|. In top pan, combine 7 ounces (1 1/4 cups) chopped bittersweet, semisweet, or milk chocolate, 1/4 cup hazelnut-flavored liqueur, and 1 tablespoon whipping cream; set into hot water and remove entire unit from heat. Stir just until chocolate is smoothly melted. Remove top of pan from water. Stir smoothly into chocolate 1/4 cup room temperature butter or margarine (cut up), then 1 egg yolk.

With an electric mixer, whip 2 large eggwhites on high speed until frothy. Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and beat until whites hold soft peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whites into chocolate mixture; fold in the remaining whites. Use at once; hold extra filling up to 1 hour at room temperature.

Chocolate truffle filling. Fill base of adouble boiler with enough water to surround top unit of the pan. Heat water to 140|. In top pan, combine 9 ounces (1 1/2 cups) chopped bittersweet, semisweet, or milk chocolate, 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur, and 3 tablespoons whipping cream; set into the hot water and remove entire unit from heat. Stir just until chocolate is smoothly melted. Remove top of pan from water. Stir smoothly into chocolate 3 tablespoons room-temperature butter or margarine (cut up) and 2 tablespoons superfine or powdered sugar (powdered sugar doesn't dissolve as well). Use at once; hold extra filling up to 1 hour at room temperature.

Photo: Pastel-tinted eggshells filled with hidden sweet chocolate make a charming spring holiday dessert. Tuck them into a grass- and posy-filled basket and top each with ribbon or tiny fabric flower blossoms

Photo: Defying nature, eggshell peels awayto reveal a chocolate Easter egg

Photo: Taking first taste, he savors combination ofhard chocolate shell, smooth chocolate truffle

Photo: To empty eggshell so you can use it as arealistic mold for chocolate eggs, blow raw egg through punctured end of shell.

Photo: Pipe chocolate mousse or truffle filling intosterilized shells that have already been lined with a hard layer of chocolate
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1987
Words:1079
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