Chick-chick-chick-chick-chicken

Last Monday night I found myself in Sainsbury’s lending a hand with the food shopping. Whilst queuing behind five of the most ridiculous locals in the bakery line, I happened to spot a something in the display case. Now, I don’t know whether I was more amused or horrified to see these little things. There was no way to describe them, so I bought some to show you. See below.

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Now, I wouldn’t blame you for wondering what on earth they are. That, my dear friends is one of the ways Sainsbury’s is ringing in the Easter season this year. They’re chicks! I know right? Wow.

So in my slightly obsessive way I hit the chocolate aisle with plans to improve on Sainsbury’s rather bizarre little contribution to Spring.

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You will need

A half batch of the fudge from last week’s post. See step one for more info.

(You may prefer to use a favourite truffle or cake pop recipe instead, I just really like fudge)

300g White chocolate

White chocolate buttons

200-300g Candy coating

(optional – substitute with more white chocolate if you prefer/don’t want to buy)

A tub of chocolate beans

(mine were from Dr Oetker)

A couple of squares of dark chocolate

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Step one

Make up the fudge as seen in last week’s post. You don’t want to heat it to quite the same temperature though, or you won’t be able to roll it. Go with around 112 degrees C. The white stuff you can see on the board is icing sugar – the fudge was a touch sticky.

Apologies both for skipping the ‘making of’ in this post, and for using the same recipe twice in two weeks. This is just a suggestion, you can use any kind of filling as long as you can roll it into balls.

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Step two

Cut buttons into halves for the little wings, and sort your beans out so you’ve just got the yellow and orange ones for their little beaks.

Step three

Now, this stage was all a bit too much to try and document all on my own, even with the help of self timer, so excuse the jump in photos.

You want to melt the candy coating and white chocolate in the microwave in heat-proof bowls (do one colour in full first then the other).

After my first and bad experience with candy coating I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of take two, but I really wanted yellow chicks and had plenty left over. So I did a little google, only to discover that Wilton’s Candy Coating (the one I have) is pretty much universally hated by all home bakers. Wish I’d known before I forked out £3…still, never mind.

The forum mums and bloggers informed me that this cement mix can be thinned out with some melted shortening (Trex is the best UK substitute), or oil. I didn’t want a whole tub of Trex with no other plans for it on the horizon, so I just used veg oil. It worked fairly well, and at least made the candy dipp-able. I will probably try to source an alternative next time though.

Anyway, you should check out my dipping technique, documented in this post if you’re not sure where to start. You need to dip your fudge, place on greaseproof paper, and straight away stick on the little beak and wings. Feel free to experiment with different positions for the wings and beak so that all your tiny chickens are unique.

Leave to dry.

NB: I also added little swirls and lines for hair with a cocktail stick to give my chicks a bit of extra character, not that they needed any…they’re a little bit bumpy and odd as it is but it all adds to the charm eh?!

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Step four

Use a small sharp knife to trim off any chocolate that has pooled to form a base on the greaseproof around the bottom of your chicks. I wish I’d been a little more careful about this, so take your time. If you do it while the chocolate is still a little soft you will get a cleaner cut.

Step five

Melt a couple of squares of dark chocolate and use a cocktail stick to dot on eyes. I made a number of mine sleep with little semi circles and the wonkiest looking one was given glasses…mainly for my sister’s benefit as I knew she would find him endearing.

Step six

Put them on a plate and serve them up to your Easter guests!

They are a bit too cute to eat though. Even if they aren’t quite the polished product I had in mind when I turned my nose up at the Sainsbury’s ones, I hope they bring a little smile to your face.

Happy making!

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