Linden Font

Monday, 25 March 2013

Chocolate custard in pink egg shells

Pink egg shells

Good morning my pretties. If you feel like making a labour intensive, cutesy, impractical Easter gift, have I got the dish for you. These took a little over two days to make. They took around six minutes to devour. But in terms of sheer cute-factor (it's real measure. Disney invented it), they're the gift that keeps on giving.

I've been seeing countless images on Pinterest recently of dyed eggs. I knew they were all hardboiled, but that seemed like such a waste. I remembered my second visit to Vue de Monde - I'd been served little flavoured custards in eggs shells, sitting inside a carton. It's just the thing you expect (but totally didn't see coming) from the restaurant.

So these are a riff on that gorgeous idea from Shannon Bennett. I decided to use creme patisserie (it's more stable than straight custard). I've flavoured them two ways: today you see chocolate, tomorrow is pistachio.

Word to the wise - dying egg shells takes, oh, about ten times longer than you'd think. I'd recommend buying about five bottles of dye. The $10 it might cost is a worthwhile investment to save the 12 hours you can't ever get back. At first I left them in the dye for around two minutes. A quick check saw the dye hadn't penetrated the shells at all and were the pale brown colour they started as pre-dip. I went the other extreme and left them in while my buddy Andrew and I visited a farmers market. It was around two hours before we rescued them from the pinky depths. They dried a gorgeous shade of pink - I was on a winner. An arduous winner, but a winner all the same.

Pink egg shells
Pink egg shells

The egg cutters were an online purchase on a whim. They're only around $5 but they will, I repeat WILL sit in your second drawer, useless and forlorn until Easter rolls around each year. In fact, the only purpose they will serve in the meantime is to trick you into thinking you've found the scissors you've been hunting down.

So the big bunny is bringing you some crazy easter goodness over the next week. By "big bunny" I mean me. It's not a name for the boudoir, but my pseudonym during this chocolate-ridden season. By the end of this week, your chocolate cravings will be sated. Even you, lady with the Lindt packet open at her desk. Put down the chocky bar and step away from the monitor. Save your cacao cravings for months after March 30. It will take you that long to recover.

Pink egg shells

Pink egg shells

5 eggs
5 bottles of pink food dye

Hold the egg cutter firmly on top of an egg over the sink. Cut the shell and pour the egg into a bowl. Rinse the shell thoroughly inside and out. Peel away any loose pieces of shell and as much membrane (the lining inside the shell) as possible. Repeat for each egg.

Pour the bottle of food dye into a small container, big enough to hold five egg shells without touching. Top up with water. Drop each egg shell into the dye. Leave for at least two hours for the dye to set.

To remove, use a spoon, tipping the shell carefully to remove all the dye from inside the shell. Leave to dry, cut side down, on paper towel. You will need around eight pieces of towel for the dye not to seep through to your benchtop. Lesson learned.

Pink egg shells

Chocolate custard ingredients

4 egg yolks
400ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cornflour
25g butter
20g chocolate, broken into small pieces
5 small strawberries

Pink egg shells

Heat the milk and vanilla over a low heat until simmering.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until slightly pale. Add the cornflour and whisk until smooth.

Add one third of the milk to the egg mixture and whisk to combine.

Pour the mixture into the remaining milk in a saucepan and return to the heat. Whisking continuously, return to the boil. Switch off the heat and pour into three separate bowls. You will use two of the bowls for other flavoured eggs treats this week - cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

While still hot, add the chocolate and stir to melt. Allow the mixture to cool and pour into a piping bag.

Pipe the mixture into the egg shells and top with a small strawberry.

Display on persian fairy floss, preferably pink.

Pink egg shells

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