oeufs en chocolat, Pâques, and petit déjeuner chez Patrick Roger
(chocolate eggs, Easter, and breakfast at Patrick Roger’s)
Audrey Hepburn made Tiffany & Co. known as a breakfast spot. It was not because the jewelry store serves breakfast but because in the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hepburn’s whimsical character ate her breakfast in front of the store famous for its diamonds as well as its blue bags. New York may have Tiffany’s but Paris has Patrick Roger.
Returning from my morning trip to the boulangerie, I recently passed in front of one of Monsieur Roger’s chocolate shops. I, with many others, lingered in front of the window displaying his chocolate creations for Pâques (Easter). I decided then and there to ask the Easter Bunny for some of Patrick Roger’s oeufs en chocolat (chocolate Easter eggs). I would take a Patrick Roger green bag over a Tiffany blue one any day.
There is no better time to visit the Paris chocolatiers than before Easter. The shops are filled with sculptured roosters, hens, ﬁsh, and bunnies (although bunnies are the minority) as well as chocolate eggs of every size, ﬂavor, color, and texture. The oeufs en chocolat aux pralines by Patrick Roger, recipient of the meilleur ouvrier de France in 2000, are my favorite. As my good fortune would have it, two days after standing in front of his shop I had the opportunity to meet the talented chocolatier himself on the set of Cuisine TV’s Carinne et Vous, where Monsieur Roger demonstrated how to make oeufs en chocolat aux pralines.
The technique of filling the egg shells with chocolate is not difficult. Once the emptied eggshell is clean you line it with melted chocolate and then ﬁll it with chocolate praline. However, Monsieur Roger takes this basic concept to an entirely new level creating, among other things, hedgehogs and hens with the eggs (the egg shape lends itself well to a variety of animals). In his stores there were chocolate roosters that stood at least two feet high with feathers made with dark chocolate and painted with white chocolate. The roosters were already sold out.
In honor of Monsieur Roger, this week’s simple pleasure is oeufs en chocolat. However, in keeping with the American tradition, we are going to dye the eggs ﬁrst before we empty them, line them with bittersweet chocolate, and then fill them with a milk chocolate/Rice Krispies interior. In addition to the crunch, there is an element of surprise because everyone will think that the dyed egg is just your usual hard-boiled Easter egg. This recipe is easier then making the praline center and more child-friendly than cooking sugar so your little Easter bunnies can fill the eggs as well as dye them.
Additionally, you can easily adapt the recipe by using a variety of fillings. For example you can use: (1) different types of chocolate (dark, milk or white); (2) chocolate with different embellishments (praline, nuts, or crushed Butterﬁnger candy bars); (3) caramel or salted caramel; or 3) marshmallow creme. It is the same process. If you would like to fill the eggs with praline see my January 13, 2011 chocolate praline post (only eliminate the olive oil and use almonds instead of hazelnuts). The eggs can be basket-ﬁllers, hostess gifts (which if you bought a six pack of chocolate eggs it would cost about 39 euros), or served as dessert. An American tradition with a little French twist. This is going to be fun and oh so yummy !
I want to thank Monsieur Roger as well as VICTORIMAGE and everyone on the set of Carinne et Vous for a memorable day. I wish all of you a good weekend filled with a fun new project.
Je vous souhaite un bon appétit !
oeufs en chocolat
yield: one dozen chocolate eggs
what you need:
12 large white eggs
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (Valrhona Feves 61% Chocolate)
30 ounces milk chocolate (Valrhona Feves 40% Jivara Lactee Chocolate)
1 cup Rice Krispies
1 Easter egg dying kit of your choice
white vinegar (as needed)
water (as needed)
- Dye. Follow the directions on your Easter egg dying kit to dye the eggs (remember that the eggs are not boiled so you must handle them carefully). Set dyed eggs aside until the dye is completely dry.
- Empty. Use manicure scissors to pierce the top of the egg shell and cut a small hole in the shell about the size of a penny. Empty the egg white and yolk into a bowl (save them for other things). Place the emptied-out shells in the egg carton for safe keeping.
- Wash. Rinse the interior of the eggs with water. Use a Q-tip or a paper towel to dry the interior of the eggs and to make sure that the egg sack has been removed. Place eggs in the carton with the hole side down. The shells must be completely dry.
- Melt Chocolate. Using a double boiler or bain marie, melt the dark chocolate. Once melted, pour the chocolate into a disposable pastry bag.
- Line Shell With Chocolate. Cut the tip off of the pastry bag. Squeeze a little of the chocolate from the pastry bag into the hollowed out egg. Swirl the chocolate around the inside of the shell, lining it completely (do it quickly before the chocolate cools and sets). Pour the excess chocolate out of the egg into a bowl (or the bain-marie you can reheat it and use it). Place the lined eggs into the egg carton (hole side up).
- Chill. Place the carton with the eggs in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set.
- Make Interior. Melt the milk chocolate and add the Rice Krispies. Fill a second pastry bag with the mixture.
- Fill. Cut the tip off of the second pastry bag and ﬁll each egg completely with the chocolate. Return the filled eggs to the carton, hole side up. If any chocolate spills on the outside of the shell, use a damp cloth to remove the excess chocolate before it sets.
- Chill. Return the carton of eggs to the refrigerator for about one hour to set.
- Serve. Serve the eggs at room temperature with the open side down. You can easily cover the hole by placing an Easter sticker over it or a label with the recipient’s name.