Last week I had my first taste of rhubarb and asparagus. For me those two tastes symbolize Spring more than the presence of Tulips or the gentle warmth of sun (still waiting for that).
The tangy tart bite of rhubarb combined with a buttery shortbread crust and cool whipped cream. The bitter taste of a subtle char from a hot roast in the oven set against the mild sweetness in a freshly plucked spear of Asparagus. These are the songs of Spring and I sing them at the top of my lungs after what seems to have been years of cold and dreary days.
But there is another taste that has become a Spring tradition – as sacred as congealed cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, that even though it is laden with ingredients I can’t pronounce I eat it. One overly sweet bite at a time. I’m talking homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs.
Apparently this is the year of taking our favorite guilty pleasures (remember our Rainbow Chip Cake?) and converting them to homemade versions that completely leave the store-bought variety sulking in shame.
In my version the interior is created using a generous amount of butter, Lyle’s Golden Syrup as a replacement for the corn syrup, vanilla bean, salt, and a couple of subtle drops of Orange Blossom Water which is completely optional but gives this homemade version a soft perfume that intoxicates with every bite.
In an effort to counteract the incredibly sweet center I coated my eggs in a bittersweet chocolate. And while I can still only take one bite in a sitting I consider this version more balanced and pleasantly sweet rather than painfully sweet.
Imagine the unrelenting joy if someone were to find these in their Easter baskets?
Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs
makes about 15 eggs depending on the size you make them. My eggs were just a little smaller than non-homemade creme eggs.
inspired by this version seen on instructables.com
½ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
3 drops orange blossom water (optional)
1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cup powdered sugar
¼- ½ teaspoon yellow food color
12 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or 1 bag Ghirardelli 60% chips)
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment (this can easily be done by hand or with a hand mixer). Add the Golden Syrup, salt, orange blossom water (if using), vanilla seeds and vanilla. Mix on medium-low to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is mixed well.
Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Place ⅓ of the mixture into a small bowl and add enough food color to obtain desired color.
Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for at least 15 minutes. It is necessary that this mixture be very cold while working with it.
When the sugar mixture has completely chilled remove from the freezer. Working quickly take about ½ teaspoon of the “yolk” mixture and roll it into a ball. Continue forming your yolks.
Once the yolks are complete place them on a plate or a sheet tray covered with parchment and then put that back into the freezer.
Now working with your “whites” use a tablespoon measure to scoop out the sugar mixture then roll that into a ball. Continue until all the white portion of the sugar mixture is gone.
If the “whites” are too soft place back into the freezer for a few minutes.
Remove the “yolks” from the freezer. Place a “white” in the palm of your hand and gently flatten a bit. Create a indent in the center to rest the “yolk” in. Place the “yolk” in the center of the “white” then cover it up. Roll the “white” into an egg shape. If at any point the sugar mixture gets too soft quickly put it back into the freezer.
Continue this process until all your eggs are complete. Return to the freezer.
While your eggs are chilling temper your chocolate (David Lebovitz has a great post on tempering chocolate).
Or melt the chocolate in a microwave at 30 second intervals stirring very well in between. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to the chocolate and stir well. This gives you a little more flexibility with the chocolate eliminating some of the need for precise tempering. You will not, however get as nice of a crack as you bite into the egg.
Working with one egg at a time, remove the egg from the freezer and stick a toothpick in it. Dip the egg into the chocolate and carefully let the excess chocolate drip off. Place the toothpick into something – like a yam perhaps – while the chocolate sets.
Place the chocolate covered egg into the fridge for 10 minutes while the chocolate sets.
Carefully remove the toothpick from the egg and cover up the small hole with a little bit of tempered chocolate.