This year for Easter I am making cupcakes for all the kids, young and old. Now I have talked about cupcakes, and making pull-apart cakes out of cupcakes before; I am not going to say anything different about cupcakes as such. I did fill my cupcakes with some left-over butter cream frosting that I had, and I frosted them in green with the twisting rose-like pattern. On the frosted cupcakes I placed a chocolate rabbit, and a couple jelly bean eggs.
So today, I want to talk about the making of the chocolate rabbits. First, I bought a sheet of molds from the Decorette shop– my favorite cooking store. There were three whole bunnies on the sheet, and I cut them apart so I could more easily handle them. Half the molds are the left side of the rabbit and half the molds are the right side. With the bumps and holes in the molds, you can put the two halves together aligned.
With this mold set, you can make either hollow rabbits, or solid rabbits. I tried both, but had enough trouble with the hollow rabbits that I ended up making all mine solid. The trick is to get the chocolate the correct temperature so that it flows nicely. And this is a trick. I first tried to use a bain marie to melt the chocolate, but then the problem was to transfer the melted chocolate into the mold. I used a small spoon, but still the chocolate got outside the cavity of the mold and I had work cleaning up after the chocolate set.
So next I tried the use of the disposable piping bag. In this case, you put the chocolate pieces in the bag, tie it shut, and microwave it for 15 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted. Then you snip the tip of the bag off with a scissors and pipe the chocolate into the mold.
This works real well for the first one or two rabbits, but then the chocolate cools too much and you have more trouble. I didn’t do this, but I think you need to use the equivalent of a warming tray to hold the bag after each use so the chocolate stays at a temperature of about 105 degrees, and easily flows.
To make hollow rabbits, you fill one side of the mold, put the second side on the filed side and shake the mold so that the warm chocolate flies around the mold and sticks to all of the cavity. Then you let it rest for a few minutes and open the mold. If the chocolate has set, one side of the mold will come off easily, and then you turn the other side so that the rabbit can drop out onto a dish towel. As I said, I had trouble with hollow bunnies and I think it was that my chocolate was not warm enough to fly around the mold when I shook it.
To make the solid rabbits, you mold the two halves separately. First you fill one side of the mold and set it. (I placed it in the freezer for a couple minutes). Then when it has set, it falls out of the mold. Now you fill the opposite side of the rabbit and set the already molded side on top and let that set up. Voila, you have a solid rabbit ready to fall out of the mold.
The Decorette shop had other Easter theme molds for chocolate, too. Most of them were larger, and would need to be made with the hollow technique. There were some egg molds that were about 5-6 inches long, and there was a rabbit that was more like 8-9 inches tall. Maybe next year I will try some of those for Easter goodies. It would be fun to decorate a large chocolate egg with Royal Icing.