Firstly, a lovely recipe from Martha, describing how to make these divine little chocolate eggs from home dyed and blown eggs (free-range, organic naturally)...
Blowing your eggs...
1. Using a pin, poke a hole in the bottom of a large raw egg. Insert the tip of a utility knife and turn to open the hole slightly. Using a rotary drill fitted with a 3/8-inch bit, carefully widen the hole to at least 1/2 inch in diameter.
2. Insert pin into the hole to pierce and “stir” the yolk. Hold the egg, hole down, over a bowl, and blow air into the hole with a rubber ear syringe (the air will displace and expel the egg). Rinse out egg. Repeat to make 12 blown eggs (you may want to make extras in case some break).
3. Sterilize eggs: Submerge them in a pot of cold water with 1 tablespoon white vinegar; bring to a boil, then simmer, skimming foam from surface, 10 minutes. Let drain on a pin board (see how-to below). If not dyeing eggs, let dry completely on pin board, 2 to 3 days (check insides for moisture).
Dying you eggs...
- Step 1
Pour 1 cup water into container.
- Step 2
Add 1 tsp. plain white vinegar to water. The ratio of 1 cup water to 1 tsp. vinegar is not exact. However, if you use substantially more water, you will need to use more vinegar.
- Step 3
Create purple dye by adding drops of red and blue food coloring to vinegar mixture. For best results, 3 drops red coloring should be added for every 1 drop blue coloring. Continue adding drops until the desired hue is reached.
- Step 4
Place hard-boiled egg into purple dye using spoon. If a section of the egg is exposed above water, rotate the egg periodically to ensure full coverage. Repeat this step for each egg you intend to dye purple.
- Step 5
Use the spoon to remove the egg after it is has reached the desired hue. Carefully pat down with paper towel and let dry.
2. Temper chocolate: Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, until a chocolate thermometer registers 131 degrees. (Note: Many brands of dark chocolate should not be heated to more than 118 degrees.)
Remove from heat. Stir in reserved cup chocolate until completely melted. Pour 2/3 of the melted chocolate onto a clean, smooth work surface (such as marble or stainless steel). Spread thinly with an offset spatula. Then gather together chocolate, and take temperature. Continue spreading and gathering chocolate until it cools to 82 degrees to 84 degrees.
3. Scrape chocolate back into bowl with remaining chocolate. Stir until it cools to 82 degrees to 84 degrees. Set bowl over a pan of warm water, and reheat to 88 degrees. To check consistency, dip a spoon in chocolate and remove. The chocolate should set in about 2 minutes, turning shiny and hard.
Note: This temperature must be maintained as you fill the eggs. Keep a thermometer in the chocolate, and check frequently. Rest the bowl on a heating pad wrapped in a towel, or set bowl over the pan of warm (not hot) water.
4. Place eggshells in an egg carton. Place a disposable pastry bag in a tall glass, and fold top down. Fill bag with chocolate. Cut tip to create a 1/4-inch opening.
5. Insert tip of bag into each egg, and fill with chocolate (about 1/4 cup per egg; fill a new bag with chocolate as needed). Let set completely, about 4 hours.
For table settings...
And for the front door...
Orta recens quam pura nites...