Master chocolatier Julien Merceron shares the secret to moulding the perfect Easter egg
• 200g good-quality dark, milk or white chocolate
• Sugar thermometer
• Easter egg mould
To prepare the half-shells:
1 Temper the chocolate. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
2 Once the chocolate reaches its correct melting temperature, take the bowl off the saucepan, add the remaining chocolate and combine with a spatula.
3 The chocolate will melt and lower the temperature of the mixture to the cooling temperature.
4 Finally, reheat the chocolate to its using temperature. To check the temper of the chocolate, dip the point of a knife into it — the chocolate should set quickly and evenly at room temperature.
5 When working with chocolate, make sure you keep it at using temperature or you run the risk of losing the chocolate’s temper.
6 Clean the egg mould with a piece of cotton wool to remove any marks. Pour the chocolate into the mould, tap to bring any air bubbles to the surface, then turn the mould upside-down and tap again to remove excess chocolate.
7 Place the mould upside-down on a sheet of baking paper. Wait for the chocolate to set — about 15 minutes at 18°C.
8 Detach the mould from the baking paper and trim off any excess chocolate with a palette knife or a small spatula. Repeat the process to make a second layer.
To refrigerate and assemble
1 Place the mould in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before unmoulding.
2 To assemble the egg, slightly melt the flat side of each half-shell on the base of a pre-heated saucepan, then press together.
3 The half-shells will adhere to each other perfectly to form an Easter egg.
Recipe courtesy of Julien Merceron, extracted from A la Mere de Famille