Damian Jeffries makes Easter eggs, the perfect present for loved ones.
Whilst watching the string of Top Gear specials today, I suddenly remembered that tomorrow is Easter Sunday.
Now I know that most of you will no doubt have been contemplating the religious significance of this special day, busy preparing your Sunday best for tomorrow's morning mass. Others will have been cultivating their Japanese Zen gardens or conducting Buddhist meditation in preparation for the inevitable confrontation with family members tomorrow.
We all know however that what really matters is the glorious gluttony of consuming as many Easter eggs as possible – and I had none.
Although as a patriot I appreciate Cadburys chocolate and its synonymity with Britain, there is a good reason why no other country in the world eats it, so that option was out of the window. Without further ado I set off into town to fine a classier egg, before stumbling upon Hotel Chocolat.
I was horrified to find that Consumerism had not only abused this special day with exorbitantly priced eggs but that my good friend Richard had succumbed, spending a re-mortgage-worthy £42 on some sort of ostrich egg to impress a special lady.
A gallant gesture, but The Jeffries has decided on a slightly different route: Making my own eggs.
A note to all Men: Although making ones own Easter eggs does have financial benefits, said special lady will appreciate far more the effort, ingenuity and hard work put into making such an egg. This should therefore translate into rewards further down the line.
To make your own egg, you need a mould which I purchased from Lakeland for £2.49 or alternatively you can use the plastic moulds on ready-bought Easter eggs.
Then, I bought cooking chocolate from Hotel Chocolat – cooking chocolate prices had not been hiked up and therefore the price-weight ratio was, though not as good as Cadburys, was comparable to that of Milka, Lindt or even the Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference' range. A 400g (£7.50) of cooking chocolate from Hotel Chocolat will make approximately 3 eggs with my mould, depending on the thickness.
Firstly, warm your choice of chocolate up by placing in a sauce pan which has in turn been placed in turn in a bowl of boiled water. You will see that the chocolate will quickly melt. This method is the best because by heating on the hob, you run the risk of curdling or even burning the chocolate, rendering it useless.
Then, coat the inside of the mould with chocolate using the back of a tablespoon. Do not make the layer too thick as the chocolate will run, leaving you with a heavy centre. Place the mould in the fridge until the layer has hardened and then repeat the process 4 or 5 times.
I did this using both white and milk chocolate to create a marbled texture!
This is the tricky part. Once your two halves have been made, put some chocolate on the edges and bring the moulds together. Wait to cool, remove the mould, trim any excess chocolate and there you have it, your very own Easter egg.
You can even put more chocolates in the hollow of the egg if you so wish, Be inventive!