How did Easter become associated with chocolate?
Most of us have heard that Easter began as a Pagan festival which celibrated fertility...which is why eggs became a part of the Easter season but where did the association of chocolate with Easter come from?
It all began in the 16th Century when Queen Elizabeth I banned hot cross buns in Protestant England due to their connection with Catholicism. Only at Easter were people allowed to eat them. The eating of hot cross buns at Easter then became a tradition, which as we know still exists today.
Fast forward a few hundred years to the 19th cenury, when European chocolate makers were seeking new ways to market their products. At Easter, the hot cross buns were the biggest competition and so in Germany and France, so some astute manufacturer's decided to make solid chocolate eggs in order to make an inroad into the market.
The popularity of the eggs grew in Europe and in a short time the enthusiasm crossed over to England and America. After the industrial age the eggs became much easier to produce and were mass marketed in various shapes and sizes.
Eventually of course, it was not just chocolate eggs that were being manufactured, but also rabbits, chickens and all sorts of Easter novelties.
Make Your Own Easter Chocolates
It's fun and easy, as well as cheaper to make your own Easter chocolates using a mold tray.
You can use egg or rabbit molds or for something a bit different, make little mini chocolates with Esater references
Easy Chocolate Recipe for Molds
To make molds all you have to do is buy milk or dark chocolate and melt it, either in a double boiler or in the microwave. If desired, white chocolate can be used to decorate. You can also colour the white chocolate with ordinary food colour if you'd prefer coloured chocolates either for decorative details or for the whole chocolate.
Tip: Gourmet chocolate is good to use
How to Melt Chocolate
In your microwave: put 1 lb. of chocolate in a bowl. For every 1 lb of chocolate Microwave on half power for 1 minute, and then remove and stir it. Remember the heat will continue to melt the chocolate even after you remove it from the microwave. The trick is to melt chocolate in short bursts on halfpower.
Doubleboiler: Fill the bottom of double boiler with water and place on low heat. Place the chocolate (broken up) in the top of double boiler (don't cover) over hot, but not boiling water and allow it to melt.
- Fill each mold carefully, -you can use a squeeze bottle or a spoon or by pouring directly.
- The cholate has to be smooth and even in the molds so scrape off any excess with a spatula
- To eradicate any air bubbles tap the miold tray lightly on the benchtop any air bubbles.
- If you're making choclate on a stick, insert the sticks, twisting gently so that they're thoroughly coated with chocolate.
- Putting the chocolate in the freezer for a few minutes will make it harden more rapidly.
- When the chocolate is firm enough, turn the tray upside down onto a paper towel. Be sure to twist the tray so the chocolates will drop out easily.