If you fancy really challenging yourself this Easter, why not try creating chocolatier William Curley's Maple Filled Easter Egg.
FOR THE MAPLE SALTED CARAMELS:
160g Whipping Cream
1 Vanilla Pod (split and scraped)
300g Sea Salted Butter (at room temperature)
150g Caster Sugar
225g Maple Sugar
100ml Dark Maple Syrup
500g Dark Chocolate
FOR THE EASTER EGG:
600g dark chocolate (minimum 65%), finely chopped (or use chocolate chips)
Optional gold lustre for decoration
Half egg-shaped chocolate mould x2 Optional gold lustre for decoration
Small square chocolate moulds
FIRST, MAKE THE CARAMEL FILLING:
Gently boil the cream and the vanilla pod together and leave on the side.
Mix together the caster sugar and maple sugar.
Place one third of the sugar mixture and the glucose in a pan and start to heat.
When it begins to melt, gradually add the remaining sugar mixture and heat until the caramel turns an amber colour.
Take the caramel off the heat and gradually add the cream, stirring continuously. Stir in the maple syrup.
Gradually add the butter and stir until fully combined then leave to cool.
MAKE THE TEMPERED CHOCOLATE CASING AND FILL WITH CARAMEL:
Finely chop the chocolate and set aside one third.
Slowly melt the remaining two thirds in a metal bowl over a saucepan of hot water, stirring regularly and ensuring the hot water doesn’t boil or touch the bottom of the bowl.
When the chocolate reaches 45-50C remove it from the heat.
Add the remaining third of the chopped chocolate to the mixture and stir continuously until it cools to 28C-29C. Gently warm back up to 31–32°C. Your chocolate should now be in temper.
Pour the tempered chocolate into the mould and tap vigorously to remove any bubbles.
Tip the mould upside down so the leftover chocolate falls into a bowl leaving a thin layer covering the mould casings.
Leave in a cool and dry place to set.
Pipe in the cooled caramel into each mould casing until almost full.
Cap the tops of the chocolates with the remaining tempered chocolate and allow the chocolates to completely set for a minimum of 30 minutes. When set, gently tap the chocolates out of the mould.
TO CAST THE EGG:
Temper the chocolate using the same method as for the caramels.
Fill the chocolate mould with the tempered chocolate.
Scrape off the excess chocolate with a knife and tap the sides of the mould to remove any air bubbles.
Allow the chocolate to sit inside the mould for 2-3 minutes so it starts to set.
Turn the mould upside down over a bowl and tap the outside so the majority of the chocolate falls out into the bowl to leave a shell of chocolate coating the inside of the mould.
Turn the right way up and scrape off the excess chocolate with a knife.
Place the mould upside down on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Repeat the process so you have two halves of the egg.
Leave them to set for 1-2 hours in a cool and dry area.
TO SEAL THE EGG:
Once completely set, pop the eggs from the moulds.
Place one half of the egg on a bowl or tart ring to hold it in place.
Place the chocolates inside this half of the egg.
Place a small amount of tempered chocolate inside a piping bag and pipe around the inside edge of the egg half. Place the other half on top and allow to set for 1-2 minutes.
Pipe along the seal of the egg and allow to set for a further 5 minutes.
To decorate, brush gold lustre onto the egg in the shape of a maple leaf.
ABOUT WILLIAM CURLEY
Growing up in Fife, Scotland, William discovered a passion for gastronomy at an early age and became an apprentice at Gleneagles Hotel. Working his way up through numerous Michelin-starred establishments, William became the youngest ever chef pâtissier at The Savoy and opened his first shop in 2004.
Fifteen years on, William has received the Master of Culinary Arts (MCA), the highest honour for chefs in the UK, and been named Best British Chocolatier a record four times. His chocolates and patisserie can now be found in Harrod’s and he is opening a new shop in Soho, London.