Making Fancy Easter Eggs
Posted by Astrid
Many years ago I saw the coolest Easter Eggs … and ever since I’ve wanted to try and attempt to make them. And since this weekend I can indulge in all the arts & craftsy stuff that I want without a husband getting cranky … I am doing just that!
I’ve also been a good little blogger and have taken pictures to document the whole process. So here are the directions in case you want to get a little crazy next month.
Step 1. Get some eggs. Now this doesn’t sound very hard, but over here in the UK all the eggs are brown. And I don’t really see brown eggs making very pretty pastel colors. So last night I went on a hunt for white eggs. I visited three different grocery stores before I finally found these: duck eggs. I was hesitant at first, but figured that ducks and chickens are practically cousins, so why not? And it worked out quite well. When I got home I found out that duck egg shells are naturally slightly thicker than chicken eggs, which is all to the good for this little project. (You can see in the picture that I broke one egg on the bus on the way home. Oops.)
Step 2. I will admit, this is the trickiest part of the whole process. Some directions on the internet say to use a thin and long needle, but I found a pin to be better because it gave me a larger point on the end on which to apply pressure. At first I used a small hammer to gently tap the pin in, but after a few eggs I figured out how to just push it in with my fingers. I did break the very first egg that I tried, but the other 10 went without a problem. (Are you keeping track? I started off with 12!). You need to make the first tiny hole on the bottom side of the egg (the fatter side).
Step 3. This is similar to step 2, except you flip the egg over and make the pinhole in the top side of the egg. Then you make a bunch more, because you want the hole on this side of the egg significantly larger.
Step 4. I found that it worked well to punch in 5 or 6 little holes in a circle, and then basically punch out the larger hole. Ultimately you want to end up with a hole that is about the size of your pinky nail. You might lose a few pieces of the eggshell into the interior of the egg, but don’t worry too much about that. A little eggshell never killed anyone.
Step 5. This is the fun part. Now you get to blow the egg. It sounds dirty, but I promise that it’s not. As soon as you’ve punched through to create the bigger hole, turn the egg upside down over a bowl. Then put your mouth over the tiny hole on the bottom, and blow. (Oh yeah, wash the egg before you do anything!) Be careful not to suck, although the hole is so tiny that it would be hard to accidently inhale any egg anyway. But I should probably include the disclaimer that eating raw egg is dangerous and can give you salmonella poisoning… etc.etc.etc. But really folks, you won’t inhale any egg, you won’t get salmonella and it’s not even that dirty of a process. You will probably have to stick something long and pointy into the egg to break up the yolk in order to get it to come out — I used a slender screwdriver. I didn’t manage to get a picture of myself actually blowing … but I’m sure you get the idea. Be sure to save the scrambled eggs for breakfast, or make a cake.
Step 6. After you are done blowing, pour a little dish soap into the egg and swish it around. Then rinse the egg out. This is a picture of what the egg and hole will look like after you’ve blown and cleaned it. Wow. This post sounds really dirty.
Step 7. Choose your food coloring.
Step 8. Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar for every cup of water, and then add your food coloring. I found that the color needs to be quite a bit darker than the shade you ultimately want. The eggs didn’t really pick up the color that well.
Step 9. Put the egg in the cup. This is more difficult than it sounds, because the egg is hollow and will float. You have to force it under water until it fills up and sinks to the bottom. In truth, if I did this again I might consider dying the eggs before blowing them just to make this process easier.The bubbles in the glass were caused by the air escaping from inside the egg.
Step 10. Repeat, with other colors.
Note: You can use any kind of cup, glass, jar, or bowl that you want. I ran out of little glasses, but I found that wine glasses work particularly well. I left my eggs submerged for a good hour, and even then the yellow and pink were hardly noticeable. So I put them back in. The pink turned out well after about 2 hours, but I let the yellow sit for about 5 hours and it was hardly colored at all. Maybe this is a weakness of the specific brand I used, I’m not sure.
Step 11. I don’t have a picture for this one, sorry. You have to take the eggs out of the water, without touching them. I touched the first two and got giant finger prints all over them. The coloring doesn’t set right away — I’m not sure why. In order to let them dry, I took the cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels and cut it into 8 equal segments. Then I carefully balanced each egg on a tube-let. The trickiest part is getting the egg out of the water. I poured the water into the sink, and then tried to pick the egg up by sticking my finger in the hole. That didn’t work the first time because the egg was still full of water and somewhat heavy — and it broke. So be sure to empty the egg before you pick it up. This is why I think it might be better to dye the egg before you hollow it out. Let the eggs dry for a few hours until they are not wet AT ALL. I put mine in the oven on a very low setting for about 30 minutes to make totally sure.
Step 12. Apply the glue for the feet. I just used regular cake decorating icing… it came from the store with three different tips for making cool patterns. I used the tip with the smallest hole and put three goops on the bottom of the egg. If you’re really into it, you can place your original hole off-center a bit, and then cover up the hole with some icing. But I don’t think the hole is big enough to notice, so I didn’t bother. My original thought was that once the icing dried, the egg would be able to balance on the the triangle of icing. Unfortunately it doesn’t work very well because the icing isn’t smooth.
Step 13. Find some little ball thingys made out of sugar. I got these in the cake decorating aisle at the grocery store. They come in white and pink, and look like little meteorites.
Step 14. Apply the little meteorite balls to the icing/glue. Make sure the balls are well stuck! I tried to make sure mine were balanced/spaced appropriately, but I remember something from geometry class about triangles being the strongest shape, so I was pretty sure it would work out regardless.
Step 15. Flip the eggs over once the feet are dry. Now comes the sneaky part. Remember the big hole that you made in the top of the egg? Drop 6 or 7 M&Ms or Smarties inside. This will make the egg rattle, and will drive people nuts wondering what is inside. I like to use it as a little test — are they the kind of person who will break a beautiful egg just to see what’s inside? Or will they live with the mystery?
Step 16. Decorate the eggs! I bought a bunch of sugar flowers from a local cake decorating store, and I just stuck them on to the egg with the icing. I used a fairly large flower to cover the hole at the top, and then added little doodads and flowers and butterflies and stuff to make it look pretty. You can really go wild with this stuff — I saw sugar Cinderellas and Winnie the Poohs and sports stuff … really, your imagination is your limit here. You need to let the eggs sit for a good long while to make sure the icing sets up nice and hard. Mine have been sitting for 4-5 hours and are only now starting to get crusty.
Step 17. Enjoy!
Posted on 12/03/2011, in Foodie adventures and tagged blowing eggs, decorating easter eggs, duck eggs, Easter, Easter eggs, eggshell, fancy easter eggs, food coloring, hollow easter eggs, hollow eggs. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.