Creme eggs with shortbread soldiers
Creme egg and shortbread soldiers is the ultimate Easter breakfast- start the Easter morning right with a milk chocolate shell, filled with white chocolate mousse and dulce de leche for that ”runny” yolk. I love eggs, but I think I love them even more in chocolate form.
I wanted to recreate a sweet version of eggs and soldiers for a very long time and as Easter is just around the corner I thought the timing was perfect. These are a more refined version of creme eggs and they will have the little one and grown-ups coming back for more. The mousse itself is super easy and can be enjoyed straight away. The process is very simple and I have included some step to step pictures to help you along the process.
Tips for tempering chocolate
Use the ice bath method: Tempering chocolate it’s the best way to ensure that your chocolate stays shiny and not develop a white bloom with time or in the fridge. The ice bath method of tempering chocolate is particularly convenient if you live in a warm climate.
Make sure all your utensils are dry: Before you start make sure none of your utensils or the work surface have any signs of water. Water should never touch the chocolate as it changes its consistency. Dry your bowls and rubber spatula or plastic spoon well at the start.
Follow the temperature curve: If at any point the temperature of the chocolate goes too high or too low start the entire process again.
Use a thermometer: I know a lot of people don’t like using thermometers for baking but it is vital for chocolate tempering. It can be any thermometer but a probe is best. Thermapen is the one I use and a personal favourite.
For the creme eggs (makes 8 creme eggs)
- 150g milk chocolate (for the eggshells)
- 70ml whipping cream
- 60g white chocolate
- 60g cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g dulce de leche or condensed milk caramel (found in most supermarkets)
How to make the chocolate shells
- In a heatproof bowl microwave the chocolate (broken into small pieces) very gently then take the bowl out and stir it. Place the bowl back in the microwave and repeat the process of cooking for 30 seconds, stopping, stirring and returning to the microwave until the chocolate has melted, until the chocolate reaches anything between 45°C and 50°C. Use a thermometer to make sure the chocolate doesn’t get too hot. Remember that your chocolate will keep melting as you stir.
- Next, we need to bring the temperature down to 25°C-26°C.
- If you do have time in your hands you can simply let the chocolate cool down at room temperature naturally.
- If you need to cool the chocolate faster then fill a second bigger bowl with ice(not too much you don’t want to make it too cold) and water. Place your bowl of chocolate in the bowl of ice and water for 15 seconds (no water must touch the chocolate). Take it out and stir the chocolate vigorously. Check the temperature with your thermometer. If it needs to cool more place it back briefly on the ice bath. When it’s almost at the right temperature let it cool naturally or place only 3-4 seconds on the ice bath.
- To bring the temperature back up at 28°C-29°C again, place the bowl back in the microwave for 10 seconds. Take the bowl out and stir vigorously. Check the temperature then place it back in the microwave for 5 seconds. When getting near to your temperature just microwave for 1-2 seconds until you achieve the right temperature.
- When the temperature has reached 28°C-29°C we are ready to brush the chocolate into the moulds. Dip the brush into the tempered chocolate and brush the inside of the mould vigorously, making sure you cover the inside of the moulds and especially the sides.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan.
- Leave the chocolate to set in a cold room, or the fridge for at least 1 hour. Carefully remove the now set chocolate shells from the moulds.
- Place a clean metal tray in the oven and heat for about 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove the tray and place it on a cooling rack. Carefully place the shells on the warm tray, until the sides are neat and stick them to create a whole egg. Place on an egg carton to set. Repeat with the rest of the eggshells.
- Once they are all assembled, heat a small sharp knife with a blowtorch. Cut a small part from the top of the egg. This is so we can fill the eggs with the mousse.
- Place them back into the egg carton and set aside.
How to make the gluten-free shortbread
- Prepare a 9×9 inch cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Beat together your softened butter and sugar until smooth. This shouldn’t take very long – an electric hand mixer would be ideal.
- Add in your flour and mix again. Mix until there is no white flour showing but it still looks like its all more crumbly bits.
- Bring the dough together in your hands, ensuring you don’t overmix it.
- Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the tin and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until pale golden on top!
- Let the shortbread cool and cut into fingers.
- You can use a blowtorch and burn the shortbread slightly to resemble ”toast”.
How to make the mousse and assemble the creme eggs
- In a medium bowl using a handheld mixer whip whipping cream until soft peaks, set aside. Melt chocolate, using a bain-marie or microwave(*see Notes).
- In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese, melted white chocolate, icing sugar and vanilla. I used a handheld mixer for both.
- Now, using a spatula, carefully fold together the cream cheese mixture with the whipped cream. Divide between the eggs.
- You can either use a small spoon or a piping bag for this. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour to slightly firm up, but may also be eaten straight away.
- Pipe a small amount of dulce de leche on the top. You can also use condensed milk caramel that can be found in most supermarkets.
- Store leftover creme eggs covered in the fridge for two-three days.
- I personally prefer to use a microwave to avoid any water content in the chocolate. You can of course use a double boiler, just be careful of any water going inside your chocolate.