Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Making Simple Edible Chocolate Easter Baskets

 
You can make anything with chocolate at home, without the need for expensive chocolate molds or equipment. For this fun DIY Easter idea, all you need are a variety of mixing bowls, a pot, a stovetop, a spatula and a plastic zipper-style kitchen bag (or a pastry bag). And if you don't have mixing bowls, you can use a cupcake pan to make mini Easter baskets instead.

I started with about 28 ounces of dark organic chocolate couverture. You can use whatever amount works best for you. You can also use large bars of Lindt or President's Choice chocolate from the grocery store, or bulk baking chocolate (Callebaut would be best) from a store like Bulk Barn. For the sake of your health, please do not use molding or 'candy-melts' chocolate - that is not chocolate and is full of hydrogenated oil!

If you have any questions, feel free to use the Comments below and I will try to guide you through.

Here is the 'how-to'...



Instructions:

1. Pull out a variety of bowls - preferably stainless steel, or non-stick bakeware, over glass. Ensure they are relatively cool (chill in fridge if needed), cooler than your tempered chocolate. Also, be sure they are very dry - dry and shine with a paper towel just before using.

2. Melt and temper your dark chocolate. You can use milk or white chocolate, but see instructions here for specific tempering of each category. Be sure to smudge a little on some wax paper and wait until it is fully set before making your baskets.  If your chocolate is still streaky, you may need to let it cool further before using.

3. Once your chocolate is in temper, let it cool a little to the lower end of the working temperature range (i.e. about 84 degrees F for dark chocolate) to thicken a little.

4. Pour it into a plastic freezer bag or a pastry decorator bag. Cut a small hole off the end. Using swirling motions, make large loops all around the bowl. Do not let them touch the top of the bowl, keep your chocolate at least a 1/2" down from the sides to be sure your baskets will release later. If the loops are too small, the chocolate will run and you will lose the holes that you are creating. Place each bowl in the fridge after you make the first layer for just 30 seconds or so, while you work on the next bowl.  Then remove and make an additional layer for strength, again using swirling motions in whatever creative way you like.


5. Let the completed chocolate bowls set in the fridge for about 2 hours.

6. Remove from the fridge and place a dry tea towel or plastic wrap over the bowl.  Holding the plastic wrap, or towel, tight over the bowl, flip over onto the counter.  The towel/plastic will soften the surface area and ensure your delicate basket will not fall out and break all over the counter when it falls out of the bowl. Tap the bowl a few times on the counter to get the chocolate to release.

7. Gently (and preferably with dry kitchen gloves on) flip your bowl over and place on a plate or cardboard cake tray.

8. Fill your bowl with mini eggs, or all kinds of Easter Treats!  I even made some white chocolate shavings to fill it, as a sort-of edible basket filler to put my treats on.  Wrap it up with food-safe cellophane or shrink-wrap bags. You can shrink-wrap these, but only on the bottom (under the plate) and not near the top edges or your basket edges will melt.
 
Play around with your design and have fun.  You can even add some flare with white or milk chocolate specks or swirls in the bottom of the bowl first (like in this chocolate egg recipe), and let set before filling with dark chocolate.


Happy Easter!

1 comment:

  1. Use this fun little Lego Molds for all of your crafting and baking needs. You can Buy Lego Molds for a variety of project and make cakes, brownies, chocolate, etc.

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