Ways to use up your leftover Easter eggs, plus the best way to store chocolate
The Easter Bunny has come and gone and you might end up with a cupboard full of chocolate.
Whether you like dark, milk or white chocolate, there are plenty of ways to get creative and tantalize your taste buds with something new to savour.
We asked Melbourne chocolate shop and shop co-founder Jason Stockton for his advice on the best way to use up leftover Easter eggs – and how to store them properly so they’ll last.
Cooking with Easter chocolate
When Jason started his business, he spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking and experimenting with chocolates as a substitute for cocoa.
“Dark chocolate generally works best [in place of cocoa] because milk chocolate has a very subtle flavor when cooked. Cocoa is basically pure dark chocolate,” he says.
If you’re craving a chocolate cake but don’t have dark chocolate, Jason says, “You can use milk chocolate and chocolate chips, but you’ll need to add cocoa.” This is how the chocolate flavor can come out.
If you have milk solid or white chocolate Easter eggs, make muffins or cookies – cut them into pieces and use them to replace the chocolate chips.
“[A solid egg] tends to retain its shape better, so you can definitely break it [into chunks] and stir it in when making muffins, cookies or cakes,” says Jason.
But the real secret is trial and error, and that’s because each type of chocolate reacts differently, Jason says. The reactions depend on where they come from, how much cocoa they contain, how strong the flavor is, and how well it mixes with the other ingredients you combine them with.
Even the brand of chocolate plays a role.
“I’ve baked with chocolates that melt into flour when baked. While others hold their shape, so it’s really about experimenting with what you have,” says Jason.
What else can I use Easter eggs for?
Another simple yet tasty way to use up leftover Easter eggs is to make homemade hot chocolate.
“If you have a mix of dark and milk chocolate eggs, just melt them and add milk to create hot chocolate – it’s amazing,” says Jason.
This also works for white chocolate eggs – which is a popular item in Jason’s chocolate shop – but it’s sweeter than milk or dark chocolate so if you have a sweet tooth this is the hot chocolate for you .
Easter eggs also make great toppings for your granola or sprinkled as a topping on your cakes or desserts, just crush and add.
Where is the best place to store chocolate?
The debate has finally found its answer.
And it’s not the cupboard or the fridge – well, it’s a fridge but not your usual kitchen fridge.
“The general rule for most chocolates is to store between 16 and 20 degrees [Celsius] in low humidity. If you have a wine fridge, this is the best place to store it,” says Jason.
Not everyone has a wine fridge, so the next best place is the back of your pantry – don’t keep switching places because that’s when it starts to change (but it’s is usually always good to eat).
“If the temperature fluctuates all the time, that’s when you get a sugar or fat bloom, where you see the white stuff appear on your chocolate and [it] can also change the texture,” says Jason.
If the pantry starts to warm up, as it does in the summer, you can put your chocolate in the fridge.
“If you need to keep it in the fridge, wrap it with something airtight [like a tightly sealed plastic container] to prevent sugar overgrowth,” says Jason.
When you’re ready to enjoy your chocolates, it’s best to let them come to room temperature before unsealing them.
“When stored properly, they can last a very long time,” says Jason.
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