I’ve been an artisan chocolatier for six years,’ says Saffire Chocolates’ Angela Ruthven. ‘An artisan is someone who makes things with their heart, head and hands. The thing that makes handmade chocolate so special is that no chemicals or machines are used. You can use very high quality Fairtrade chocolate and it just tastes different to mass-produced products. Making Easter eggs isn’t rocket science. The chocolate won’t necessarily get a good temper [sheen], but I think people would much rather a hand-made Easter egg. There is something very satisfying about hand-made chocolate.’
First, you need around 400 to 500g of quality Fairtrade chocolate. Marks & Spencer, the Co-op and Sainsbury’s all have a good Fairtrade selection including Divine, Grenada and Rococo Chocolate. Using a mixture of dark, milk and white chocolate will give a nice marbled effect. Break the chocolate into small even pieces and place it in a bowl over a pan of hot water – this eliminates the chance of it burning in the pan. Make sure you properly temper the chocolate: warm it to 47º and then allow it to cool to body temperature by taking it off the heat and continuing to stir it thoroughly. Next, you need to buy an Easter egg mould. Some home stores will sell them otherwise you can purchase them online at De Cuisine, £4.95, or the Cake Craft Shop, £1.79.