Don’t let warming chocolate keep you for this next idea! Dipping chocolate is easy to if you take care not to overheat it. Learn all of Dian’s tips and tricks to successfully create a chocolate dipped Easter egg basket.
Creating The Chocolate Basket
What you will need:
- 1 pound, of melted chocolate (dipping chocolate, summer coating, or chocolate chips)
- Waxed paper
- 1 large, good-quality balloon
- Grass (optional) Easter candies (optional)
Cover a large cookie sheet with waxed paper. Blow up the balloon until it’s the size and shape you want for your basket. Don’t fill the balloon to its full capacity or it may pop when it’s dipped in warm chocolate. Tie it closed or use a “bulldog” clip that can hold the balloon closed without tearing it.
Dip the balloon in the melted chocolate (see below for detailed instructions) until enough of the balloon is covered to form the basket shape desired. Lift out and allow the excess to drip off, then place the dipped balloon on the waxed paper-covered cookie sheet and cool until hardened.
To remove the balloon from the basket, poke a small pinhole near the top or hold the twisted end closed and remove the clip. Slowly release the air from the balloon. The balloon should pull away from the basket as it deflates. You may have to jiggle the balloon gently away from the bottom.
Decorate the edge of the chocolate basket with Royal Icing using a broad tip on a pastry bag. Bend a large pipe cleaner into a handle shape, place it into the frosting, and allow it to dry. Fill the basket with Coconut Grass and Easter candy.
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 pound confectioners sugar
- Flavoring and food color (a little goes a long way)
Beat all the ingredients at high speed for 8 to 10 minutes. This is a hard-drying icing and must be kept tightly covered at all times. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap while you are working with it.
How to Melt Chocolate
Cut up the chocolate or coating with a knife or food processor and melt in the top of a double boiler. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with hot water, leaving a 1″ space below the top pan. Stir occasionally.
Chocolate should never be heated to more than 120°F, which is much less than the hand can stand. Never allow water to get into the chocolate.
Just a little water in chocolate will thicken it so that it can not be used.
For dipping, it must feel cold to the lips, not just neutrial. A chocolate temperature of 88°F is about right, and the room should be 66°F to be ideal. If the temperature is too high, the chocolate will turn grey.
When chocolate is handled right, it may be melted more than once.