Pâques (Easter) is the ultimate occasion for pâtissiers to flex their chocolate-making skills. The French like to celebrate with a broad range of chocolate surprises: from cocoa fish and monkeys to tree trunks and milkmaid figurines. Traditional themes and simple egg shapes are for amateurs.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
- 6 eggs
- 9 oz (255 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- ½ cup (50 g) chopped Praline, or finely chopped pistachios, dehydrated strawberries, or raspberries
- ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use a needle or metal skewer to poke a hole in the bottom of one of the eggs (on the nonpointy side). Wiggle the needle until the hole is ⅜ inch wide. Poke a tiny hole in the opposite end. Blow through the tiny hole to push the egg out through the larger hole and into a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. Reserve the eggs for another use.
- Rinse out the egg shells. Place them on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes to sterilize them. Cool completely before using.
- Melt 2 oz/55 g of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally, until melted, then stir in the oil. Pour 1 tsp of the melted chocolate into one of the eggshells. Swirl it around and then turn it upside down and leave it to drain in an old egg carton. Repeat with the rest of the eggs.
- Make a second layer of chocolate inside each egg, but before leaving it to set, drop 1 tsp of the chopped praline inside each one and shake it around so it sticks to the chocolate. Repeat with the rest of the eggs and praline. Refrigerate to set for 30 minutes.
- Place the remaining 7 oz/200 g of chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream just to a boil in a saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes and then stir and add the butter. Pour the ganache into the piping bag and pipe into the eggs through the larger hole. Shake the egg to release any air bubbles, then place in an egg carton at room temperature for several hours, or refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. Wrap a ribbon around each egg to cover the hole at the bottom before serving.