Birds singing, beautifully arranged flowerbeds all but exploding with colors, bees buzzing around, nosy bunnies zipping around every patch of green in town whenever they think nobody’s watching, temperatures rising… finally it’s that time of the year again~! I know “Easter” doesn’t necessarily mean “Spring” around the globe, but our corner of the world serves that pretty fairytale-painted cliché perfectly.
As you guys know, I always use this Holiday as an excuse to let my inner, chocolate-covered child loose in the kitchen, whipping up a summery collection of chocolatey treats for everyone I know, whether they actually celebrate the Holiday as a religious thing, as a set date to celebrate the beginning of the warm season or just as a welcomed series of days off work. Here’s this year’s Summer Box of Chocolates~!
Peach & Passionfruit Chocolate Eggs
Very Berry Muesli Bites
Lemon Explosion Truffles
Raspberry Crisp & Yoghurt Chocolates
While I was preparing these boxes, I noticed that I’ve never actually shared one of my fruit-based chocolate fillings with you guys, so here’s a first~! From my point of view on all things chocolate, these – and those of their kind – are the next step up from chocolate-glazed fruit, just the fancy dot on the fruity I for those who skirt around chocolate overdoses rather than run into them at full tilt.
The Peach & Passionfruit Chocolate Eggs
1 Tin/400g Once Drained of Peaches, roughly chopped – preserved in Light Syrup or Pear Juice, do not use sugared ones, it’s for your own good…
100g Unsweetened Dried Peaches or Apricots, very finely chopped – again: dried, not candied. The reason for the merry dance around the extra sugar is coming right up~
100g Icing Sugar
50g Brown Sugar
50g Passionfruit Syrup or Concentrate for more punch – use concentrate of the made-for-pâtisserie or -cooking variety rather than the barkeep’s finest made-to-cut-corners-for-drinks kind, which is extremely sweet and very artificial in flavor in most cases
1 Unwaxed Lemon, Zest only
1 Sheet of 60 70%+ Cocoa Solids Chocolate Shells – since these are the front-treats for this year’s Easter-Eggstravaganza, I went with Egg-shaped casings
300g Dark Chocolate
Unrefined Cocoa Powder
Fleur de Sel
1) Place the peach chunks, dried peaches, icing sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest and syrup in a small pot and set it onto medium heat.
2) Stir the lot occasionally to distribute the sugar throughout the fruity mix.
3) Allow the mixture to work up a gentle simmer – once it’s there, give it 5 mins to bubble away and thicken up, marmelade-style.
4) Transfer the contents of your pot into a blender jug or stick-blender-friendly container and put your gizmo to work until the peach chunks have dissolved into a smooth and thick purée.
5) Pour the mixture back into the pot and, while stirring constantly to keep the potentially painful side-effects of sugary explosions at bay, allow it to thicken up a bit more for about 5 mins.
6) Take the pot off the heat, pop a candy thermometer into the mixture and allow it to cool off for a while.
7) As soon as the purée has cooled down to a temperature below 28°C, transfer it into a piping bag and turn on your chocolate shells with it.
8) As usual, fill the shells up to ½ in a first round, then tap the tray onto your work surface to convince the occasional stubborn air bubble to rise to the top and pop.
9) Fill them up to just below the inner rims with a second round of piping-bag work and repeat the tap-tapping routine.
10) In case sugary bubbles rise up at this point, you might have to pop them with a metal skewer – the round opening of the shells works like the ring of a soap bubble doohickey, keeping them in place rather than giving them room to pop all by their lonesomes.
11) Place the tray in your fridge for 2+ hours until the filling has set enough to hold the incoming chocolate lid in place.
12) Once the filling has set, melt 100g of your stack of dark chocolate bars in a waterbath setup, let it cool down to room temperature and smooth it across the openings to seal the chocolates.
13) Pop them back into the fridge overnight to set.
14) After a good night’s rest, retrieve the chocolate tray from the fridge.
15) Place the remaining chocolate in yet another waterbath-setup, gently melt it and, as usual, allow it to cool back down to room temperature.
16) Line a wide airtight container with a sheet of baking parchment and sprinkle a couple of salt flakes across the surface.
17) Fill a small bowl with cocoa powder and get ready to make a mess~!
18) Snap on a pair of CSI gloves and, going one by one, first dip the chocolates into the melted dark chocolate and roll them around between your hands to gloss them over with an even coat of delicious stickyness.
19) Proceed down the assembly line by rolling them around in the cocoa powder until they’re completely covered, then gently set them onto the salt grains waiting in your container.
20) Lock the container, place it in the fridge and enjoy a long, hot bath to loose the chocolatey suit of armor you’ll probably feel like having developed~!
21) The now-coated chocolates will need at least 2 more hours in the fridge before you can safely sneak one for a test-bite without rousing any suspicion – or to decorate them some more.
22) Safely locked, they’ll keep for up to 4 weeks, huzzah for dairy-free fillings~! They’re actually safe to eat for a longer period of time, but they’ll loose a lot of their aroma very quickly after a while, so eating them would be rather pointless.
Enjoy the Holidays & Happy Hunting~!