How chocolatier David Chow makes his incredible, edible, over-the-top Easter eggs
For engineer-turned-pastry-chef David Chow, chocolate-making is the best of both worlds. “Chocolate is a very technical ingredient—if it’s one or two degrees off, you can ruin the batch,” says Chow. “I appreciate that kind of precision.” At first, his family thought he was crazy to give up a potentially lucrative career just to work in a kitchen. “But you gotta do what you love, I think. At the end of the day, I’m making a tangible thing, and I’m making someone happy.” His insanely attractive Easter eggs, which he makes out of his workshop at The Eatery on University Avenue, are equal parts art and dessert: who needs Fabergé when you can have these? Here’s how he makes them.
Chow cleans and polishes the polycarbonate “egg” and “yolk” moulds. Then, he heats small containers of coloured cacao butter over an induction burner, stirring each with a paintbrush to ensure that the butter is liquified without being too runny.
Next, Chow goes all Jackson Pollock, holding a coated paintbrush over each mould and tapping the brush lightly with his fingertips. After that dries, he paints the interiors to make the splatters pop. “I just pick colours that look nice, that are complementary,” he says.
After heating dark Valrhona chocolate discs over the induction burner, Chow tempers the chocolate on a cool marble countertop so it can crystallize. “There are six types of crystals, and you want the beta five ones to form,” he explains—they’re the kinds that harden into the firm, glossy chocolate that cooks want. “Tempering gives it that snap, and that shine,” says Chow. Using an offset spatula and a bench scraper, he smoothes the chocolate around and checks the viscosity before scraping it back into the bowl.
Next, he fills the decorated egg moulds with the tempered chocolate, then turns them upside down, whacking the back of the moulds to drain any of the excess chocolate back into the bowl, before scraping off any residue. “You want a thin layer inside the mould,” says Chow.
He places shells in the fridge for five minutes, then slips them out of the moulds.
He heats the edges of the shells on a metal pan and presses them together, fusing the eggs shut.
Then, Chow drops a dollop of tempered chocolate on parchment paper to provide the base. He holds the egg in the blob for a minute or so, until it can stand on its own.
Using a blow torch, Chow warms the marble countertop, then wipes it down, preparing it for the chocolate “egg white” step.
He repeats the tempering for the white chocolate, and uses smaller spherical moulds to prepare the yolks the same way he made the shells.
Chow fills a piping bag with white chocolate and pipes it evenly into each yolk mould cavity. Then, he bangs the tray to release any air pockets.
On goes the egg white.
And for the final step—before it’s all ova—Chow crowns each egg with its own golden yolk. Each sells for $25 to $35 and can be found at these locations.