This Easy Chocolate nest for Easter can be one of the highlights of your Easter table! Can function as a decoration filled with chocolate eggs, can be the perfect hand made edible gift or can be used to decorate the Easter cake. My step by step tutorial will take your through on all the necessary details you need to know about how to make this Chocolate nest for Easter! It is actually much easier than it might look, all you need is a bowl, good quality chocolate and some patience!
Some important notes regarding the ingredients of this home made Chocolate nest for Easter
- Chocolate: Obviously you will need some chocolate to make Easter Chocolate nest however not all chocolate are created equal. In general, worth to remember that in case of recipes that require chocolate decoration or chocolate work, the quality of the chocolate goes way beyond taste. You might have recognized that by simply melting chocolate then waiting to set, you won´t achieve shiny results. You need couverture chocolate if you want to replicate those beautifully shiny chocolate bonbons or decorations you see in pastry shops. In this recipe I am using Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets). This is a high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate. The additional cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering technique gives the chocolate a more shiny look, a firmer “snap” when broken, and a creamier, more smooth texture. It is easier to make a stable chocolate decoration if you start with high quality chocolate. Couverture type of chocolate is used by professionals and by home bakers who want to take their chocolate work to the next level. It is usually sold online in a bigger pack eg. 1 kg and perfect to make recipes that requires high quality chocolate. I order mine from Amazon and surprisingly the price / kg it is not even so much more expensive than a low quality supermarket chocolate. Try this Easter Chocolate nest recipe with the best quality chocolate you can access, and remember that the quality of this Easter chocolate decoration will be simply in line with the quality of the chocolate you use
- Cocoa butter powder (optional) : There are a few ways to temper chocolate and since in my Hot chocolate Bomb post earlier I shared the seeding method, I thought it is useful if I share another method this time that is called cocoa butter powder method . If you can´t access cocoa butter powder, no problem, please read my earlier post about the seeding method in which case no cocoa butter is needed. If want to purchase cocoa butter, I am using Callebaut Mycryo
4 tips on how to make this Chocolate nest for Easter
1. What equipment is needed to make home made Easter Chocolate nest
For making Bonbons and molded chocolate you usually need a mould, good news is that today for making Chocolate nest for Easter you will only need a bowl! When chasing a bowl pay attention to the design and size of the bowl as your Easter nest will turn out exactly just like your bowl!
For consistent happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is an indicative figure only and not appropriate for tempering chocolate! As you will need to temper the chocolate, but do not worry it is easy following my step by step tempering instructions!
For chocolate tempering you will need a thermometer. I purchased an Infrared thermometer gun last year and absolutely love it, it is the most accurate and convenient way to check the temperate whether I am making curd, cream or tempering chocolate! My husband loves it too, he measures everything with this since we bought it ! You can also measure the choc temp with other kinds of cheaper thermometers, choose according to your preference. One important thing is that for tempering you have to measure the temp so “guessing” is not an option and will lead to best in class kitchen disaster.
And last but not least you will need some Piping bags, as the nest will be made "piping" tempered chocolate in very very thin stream.
2. What is the difference between melting and tempering chocolate
Both involves melting chocolate…but they are very different, indeed. Please note that each chocolate has a certain melting temp and if you go way above that, the chocolate either will burn or separate. I managed to burn a whole bowl of white chocolate once in the microwave, be smarter!
In short, when chocolate is melted, the molecules separate. When you temper the chocolate, you bond those molecules back together so your chocolate will harden with a glossy shine and fine “snap”. With simply melting chocolate, without tempering, the chocolate will somewhat harden but will lose its initial shine, will be matt with an unpleasant texture. There is no need to temper chocolate when you use chocolate IN a recipe like when you make brownie, however when chocolate IS the recipe, for example chocolate bonbon or this Chocolate nest for Easter you need to apply a proper pre-crystallising / tempering. Without appropriate chocolate tempering it is likely that you simply won´t be able to unmould Chocolate nest from the bowl because they stay will crystallize uneven and stay somewhat too soft and unpleasant.
Good news is that as fancy as it sounds, chocolate tempering is actually rather easy and quick, really nothing to be worry about while making this Chocolate nest for Easter! There is one easy step between melted and tempered chocolate… Continue reading!
3. How to temper chocolate
From the Callebaut website I think you might find this piece of learning material below useful:
Each variety or type of chocolate should be tempered before you use it to mould chocolates and hollow figures, or to enrobe cakes and chocolates. In short, whenever chocolate needs to have a beautiful satin gloss and a hard snap, tempering is absolutely crucial.
When you add chocolate to dishes as a flavour component (e.g. chocolate mousses), it suffices to simply melt it without tempering.
What is tempering / pre-crystallising?
The purpose of tempering chocolate is to pre-crystallise the cocoa butter in it, which is important to make your chocolate ready for processing. During tempering, the cocoa butter in the chocolate takes on a stable crystalline form. This guarantees a perfect finished product with a satin gloss and a hard snap. It also makes the chocolate contract during cooling, which makes it easier to unmould. If chocolate is simply melted and then left to cool down, the finished product will not be glossy. If you make the small effort of bringing your chocolate to the right working temperature properly, you are guaranteed to get the desired end result. And that’s what we mean by tempering: bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature while making sure that the crystalline structure of the cocoa butter in it is stable.
There are various methods to temper chocolate, earlier I made a blog post about seeding method, please read in here. With seeding method you basically temper the chocolate using the chocolate itself, no need for cocoa butter powder, so if you can´t access cocoa butter please temper your chocolate with seeding method.
For this Chocolate nest for Easter I used a different method, I tempered the chocolate with cocoa butter powder. Compared to the seeding method I find the cocoa butter method even easier and more stable, less opportunity for mistakes. There are 4 super simple steps to follow (for the exact melting, working, and set temp of your chocolate follow the instructions on the bag of chocolate you are working with, as per below:
Please note, that I am tempering 50g chocolate with ¼ teaspoon of cocoa butter powder at once and repeat this process 3 times overall to create 3 different layers on our Chocolate nest
Melt your chocolate to 45-50°C (in case of dark chocolate). I recommend to use a microwave, in that case check and stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. Or you can use a double boiler, in this case do the process over low heat so you don´t burn the chocolate and make sure chocolate won´t get wet from the steam
Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature to 34-35°C (for dark chocolate) by stirring with a spoon
Add 1% cocoa butter powder to your melted chocolate, i.e. ¼ teaspoon for 50g of chocolate. I am using a product from Callebaut called Mycryo and it is perfect. Buy any cocoa butter powder if Mycryo is not available for you
Mix well cocoa butter powder with chocolate
Use chocolate filled in a piping bag bearing in mind the chocolate “working temp” and “set temp”. Once cocoa butter powder is well mixed into the chocolate, let it cool to around 30C then start applying the chocolate streams. The basic rule is that the warmer the chocolate temp the runnier the chocolate is. Chocolate will harden at "set temp" (27C in our case) and you won't be able to work with it. Meaning, you have to work with a chocolate that is approx. between 27-30C.
That´s it, easy peasy! What happens if you don´t want to temper chocolate? The chocolate won´t set, will stay matt, somewhat soft and most probably won´t come off the bowl.
4. How to make this Chocolate nest for Easter
Please note, that I am tempering 50g chocolate with ¼ teaspoon of cocoa butter powder at once and repeat this process 3 times to create overall 3 different layers on the chocolate nest
After tempering the chocolate, making the Chocolate nest is super easy!
1. Make sure first that you properly clean the outside of your bowl (I am using vinegar and paper towel) as any residue will be seen on the chocolate. Place the bowl into the freezer (so chocolate will set easier)
2. Place a clean parchment paper on the table or use Silicone baking mat . In this way any chocolate that will end up on the table can be re-used
3. Temper the first batch chocolate (50g) then fill piping bag with chocolate and make a very very small hole on the piping bag. Take the bowl out of the freezer and start applying the chocolate on the bowl in a very skinny stream paying attention to all sides. Make sure you use the chocolate on the "working temp" that is between 27-30C - see notes above at the chocolate tempering section.
4. Once chocolate finished, place the bowl (with chocolate side up) back to the freezer and start tempering the 2nd batch of chocolate (50g). Assuming tempering will take 2-4 minutes the chocolate will set in the freezer in this time however you must check that it is "dry" as you touch and matt. Do not apply the next layer of chocolate unless the previous layer is fully set!
5. After tempering, apply the second layer of chocolate on the bowl, then again put the bowl back to the freezer (with chocolate side up) and start tempering the 3rd batch chocolate (50g)
6. Apply the last layer of chocolate on the bowl, make sure at this point that the bowl is well covered all around. Tip: place the bowl on a glass and turn the bowl on the side slightly - if you can - in this way the edge of the bowl is more accessible
7. Pop the bowl back to the freezer (with chocolate side up) for 15 min for the chocolate to set
8. Take the bowl out of freezer and either with a hair dryer or with a blow torch very carefully heat the inside of the bowl for 2-3 seconds. If chocolate is tempered correctly, this Chocolate nest for Easter should be easily removed from the bowl
9. The Chocolate nest for Easter can be stored on room temp (20c / 68F) or if your home is warmer, store in fridge
Tip.: Use gloves while unmold the Easter Chocolate nest. Chocolate should be already set when you unmold still gloves can prevent leaving finger prints on the surface of it and also ensures that you do not melt the chocolate with your warm fingers
Looking for some more Easter baking ideas?
Looking for the BEST Easter baking recipes ideas? Check out my Top Easter recipes from super quick and easy cookies to the most stunning showstopper Easter cakes and chocolate decorations. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Baker, you will certainly find a delicious Easter baking recipe to make from this festive list! Click here!
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Chocolate nest for Easter
- 150 g Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets)
- ¾ teaspoon Cocoa butter powder for tempering, optional
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
How to temper chocolate
- Use a thermometer, eg. Infrared thermometer gun to measure the chocolate temp while tempering. Do not guess temp
- Check my detailed instructions above regarding different tempering methods. For the cocoa butter powder method: Melt chocolate to 45-50°C then allow to cool at room temperature to 34-35°C by stirring. When chocolate reached 34-35C add 1% cocoa butter powder to your melted chocolate, i.e. ¼ teaspoon to 50 g chocolate. I am using a product from Callebaut called Mycryo, use any cocoa butter powder you can access. Mix well cocoa butter powder with chocolate. Let the chocolate cool to 30C then use it.
- Please note, that I am tempering 50g chocolate with ¼ teaspoon of cocoa butter powder at once and repeat this process 3 times overall to create 3 different layers on our Chocolate nest
How to make chocolate nest
- Clean the outside of the bowl get rid of any potential residue and place the bowl into the freezer
- Temper the first batch of chocolate (50g) and apply the first layer of chocolate in a very very thin stream using a piping bag. Place the bowl back to the freezer while tempering the second batch of chocolate (50g)
- Apply the second layer of chocolate on the bowl. Place the bowl back to the freezer while tempering the third batch of chocolate (50g)
- Apply the last, third layer of chocolate on the bowl. Place the bowl back to the freezer for another 10-15 minutes
- Take the bowl out of freezer and either with a hair dryer or with a blow torch very carefully heat the inside of the bowl for 2-3 seconds. If chocolate is tempered correctly, the chocolate nest should be easily removed from the bowl