The Great Egg Eggstravaganza and the Little Chocolate Makers
By Lillian Stewart, Fort Anne National Historic Site, NS
Parka loves coming to Fort Anne every spring to meet the Easter Bunny and the Town Crier - and to help children of all ages search the grounds of Fort Anne National Historic Site for hidden eggs and chocolates in the Annual Community Easter Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt which is led and run by a multitude of community volunteers!
Not able to make this “eggsiting” event that lets kids explore this French fort that dates back to the 1690s?
Don’t worry, because you and your little ones can make your own chocolate rabbits and eggs at home, and then hold your own Eggstravaganza at your house - or even in your community. Don’t forget to invite friends!
The great chocolate makers of the world use all kinds of interesting techniques to make their delicious chocolates, but today, I am going to show you an easy way to create extraordinary Easter chocolates with your very own little master chocolatiers!
Your children will have lots of fun creating their own chocolates - and decorating them however they want, just like Easter Eggs!
You will need:
- Chocolate pastilles (dark, milk, white, and/or coloured one)
- Silicone and/or plastic candy molds
- Brand new paint brushes or pastry paint brushes
- Put a little of each colour of chocolate pastilles into their own little microwave friendly bowl. Keep a little bit of each colour set aside for decorating the chocolates later.
- One colour at a time, melt the chocolate for around 10 to 20 seconds (depending upon the amount in each bowl.) Stir regularly while melting.
- Help your child carefully pour the molten chocolate into the molds. Let imagination be your guide as you do this! Watch out though! The chocolate cools rapidly. Better finish one colour before moving to the next.
- Refrigerate for a couple hours. (If you are using silicone molds, they transport more easily if you put a cutting board or cookie tray underneath them.)
- Once the chocolates have hardened, unmold them, and lay on a plate, cutting board or parchment paper.
- Using the remaining chocolate pastilles, heat up one colour at time. With a brand new brush or a pastry brush decorate the chocolates.
- Wrap them up individually to offer as gifts or to decorate your Easter table, or eat them right away!
Fort Anne NHS is not the only place in Parks Canada where chocolate is in the air! Chocolate has played a role in Canadian history, not only because of its delicious taste; it was also used as medicine by the early military. It was used in the fur trade too.
If you go to Cape Breton in the summer keep your eyes open for workshops to learn how to make 18th century chocolates the way they did in the old Fortress of Louisbourg! Mmmmm. Check out their website to find dates of upcoming chocolate workshops and other traditional activities that were done there in the early 1700s.
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