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Experiments: Creme Egg Ravioli
Since the theme for this month was announced, I’ve been wracking my brain for what I could experiment with. Then all of a sudden it hit me like a bolt out of the blue: chocolate pasta with creme egg filling!
Perhaps the idea came from a combination of thinking about notoriously difficult to make egg yolk ravioli, the impending end of Creme Egg season, and the fact that I ate a LOT of cheese the night before I dreamed this up.
Obviously not the most high brow of experiments, but once the idea lodged itself in my brain it was hard to get it out.
I can’t take credit for this one: Hotel Chocolat sell this ingenious product in penne form. James bought some for his mother at Christmas (it’s delicious with a salmon and cream cheese). As soon as I tasted it I knew I’d have to try making it myself, as I love making pasta.
I decided to jump right in with my favourite pasta recipe and a few teaspoons of good quality dark chocolate powder. I find the rule of thumb with pasta is roughly 1 egg for every 100g of flour (use 00 grade if you can find it). I also added an egg yolk for texture.
The white went into the creme egg fondant.
Whilst putting the ingredients on the worktop like this may look nice and romantic, it can end up a sticky mess. I recommend mixing the egg and flour together in the mixing bowl first and then, once it’s a little more solid, turn it out on to a floured surface for kneading.
When your pasta is combined and feels nice and elastic (it should spring back at a gentle touch) wrap it in clingfilm and leave it to rest in the fridge for an hour or so. I took this time to whip up a creme egg style fondant.
Crème egg fondant
The first thing I struggled with was finding a fondant recipe that didn’t contain corn syrup. I ended up settling on a recipe for peppermint crèmes. Although this is harder than the usual creme egg filling, my hypothesis was that as the ravioli warms up, the fondant will become gooey but will be easier to work with when cold.
I frothed up the egg white then I stirred in the icing sugar with a wooden spatula (all the spoons were in the dishwasher and I’m impatient). Eventually I ended up with a nice ball of fondant. I tore a third off and added some colouring.
As I was wrapping the fondant to rest in the fridge, the inspiration genie struck again.
I rolled my orange fondant into a long cylinder.
I rolled my white fondant flat.
Can you see where this is going?
Swiss roll time! I ended up with a big long tube of egg that I can cut into slices, like an egg McMuffin. I let this rest in the fridge for a while.
Putting it all together
I cut my pasta dough into four so that the pieces were manageable. The balls look tiny at this point, but the machine stretches them quite far. To make sure my texture was perfect, I ran each ball through the widest setting four or five times, then worked it down to the second thinnest setting.
I laid my pasta sheets out on some greaseproof paper, and then sliced my ‘egg’ tube into nice slices.
I tried two different ways of making the ravioli: laying the eggs all along one pasta strip then placing another pasta strip on top, and placing the egg on one square and simply folding it over. The second method worked better for me.
The finished product
In the spirit of experimenting, I decided to cook the ravioli two ways. I boiled half, and fried the other (I am Scottish after all). Cutting into the finished product, I was happy to see that it had worked exactly how I wanted: the filling had gone all gooey and looked just like the inside of a Creme Egg.
Texture wise, the boiled one was pretty nasty: the fondant took a bad reaction to the water and crystallised.
The fried one was surprisingly nice and tasted like something you (I) might pick up at the fair for a hot snack.
All in all it was a fun day mucking about in the kitchen; I wouldn’t try it again, but I’m going to use the leftover fondant to make my own mini Creme Egg bites.
Disclaimer: All photos taken by Jemma Porter. This madcap experiment was in no way affiliated with Cadbury.
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