Bunny Tail Truffles #Sponsored by Chocoley

I really enjoy making hand made treats for my son's Easter basket, so every year I try to come up with a different chocolate making project to tackle. It may be a time consuming endeavor, but I love the way his face lights up when he pulls out my latest creation. Last year I made Baby Bunny Pretzels and they left such an impression on him that he asks if I'm going to make them every time I receive a package from Chocoley. 

I'm a pushover, and they're easy to make, so I normally give in and whip up a batch with any leftover chocolate I have. 

This year it didn't take me long to figure out what project I wanted to cross off my list. While I was in Paris last June I had the opportunity to watch a short demonstration on tempering chocolate and making praline filled truffles at Le Musée Gourmand du Chocolat aka Choco-Story. If you're planning a trip to Paris, I thought this museum was a hidden gem. It was easily one of my favorite stops on our trip. 

After watching the demonstration I realized filled truffles weren't nearly as complicated as I thought. The steps to make them are very similar to the Valentine's Day Chocolates I made last year. So, armed with a few helpful hints to make things go smoother, I decided to make Bunny Tail truffles.

The truffles in this project are slightly less complicated than those I learned how to make during the demonstration. I haven't quite gotten up the courage to try to temper my own chocolate, that is still on my to-do list, so I rely on Bada Bing Bada Boom Candy and Molding Formula. It doesn't require any tempering, you just melt it down and go, which saves quite a bit of time. I've used it for the Baby Bunny Pretzels and Valentine's Day Chocolates with great results.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do for a my filling, but Chocoley contacted me earlier in the month, after seeing one of my previous projects, to let me know about their blogger program. I jumped at the chance to try out a selection of their cream centers and found they were just as easy to work with as the chocolate I had been using. If you're planning on making these truffles, I give the coconut dough two thumbs up. I kept pinching of pieces to nibble on while I worked on. The container should come with a warning, it's really addictive.

Chocolate making can seem daunting at first, there are a lot of steps, but it's a ton of fun once you get going. Don't let the detailed list of steps keep you from tackling chocolate making, it really is worth all of the effort.

EASTER SHIPPING INFO - If you want to make your own truffles and are wondering when to order your supplies so they arrive before Easter, here are the shipping deadlines using standard shipping:

March 27 - 5 day ship time to Northwest
March 30 - 4 day ship time to West Coast
March 31 - 3 day ship time to Midwest
April 1 - 2 day ship time East Coast
April 2 - 1 day ship time Georgia and Alabama

TUESDAY ONLY: 20% off your entire order from Chocoley. Use coupon code EASTERBUNNY expires 3pm CST

Bunny Tail Truffles

Bunny Tail Truffles
makes approximately 36 pieces per pound and a half of chocolate

Ingredients

2 lbs Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom Candy and Molding Formula
1 lb Chocoley cream center, any flavor (see notes)
chocolate mold - 1.125" bonbon
unsweetened coconut flakes

Supplies

crock-pot
1 - 2 pint size mason jars
Long Handled Iced Tea Spoons
Funnel
12oz squeeze bottle
Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper
Wire Cooling Rack
Multi-purpose bench scraper
Disposable Decorating Bags

optional

candy makers gloves
food safe paint brushes
pearlized jimmies or other sprinkles

Directions

Before you begin, make sure all of your tools are clean, dry, and free of dust.

  • Fill crock-pot with warm water and set to high. Place mason jars inside to check the water level, it needs to cover at least ½ of the jar.  

Do not cover the crock-pot, it will form condensation on the lid which will drip into your chocolate causing it to seize and turn lumpy.

  • Remove jars, dry them completely, and fill with  Bada Bing Bada Boom Candy and Molding Formula. Allow the chocolate to sit in the crock-pot water bath for at least 30 minutes, or until melted. Stir chocolate occasionally with a long handled spoon to help it melt faster.
  • While chocolate is melting set out your supplies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place a wire cooling rack on top. 
  • Once the chocolate has melted transfer a small amount into a squeeze bottle and return the mason jar to the water bath to keep warm.

If you're planning on a making a large batch of chocolates, I've had no problem leaving the chocolate in the water bath for several hours, refilling the jars with chocolate as necessary. Just keep an eye on the jar to make sure there is no condensation forming on the lips of the jars.

  • Place your mold on a level surface and fill it to the top with chocolate. Tap the mold on the counter several times to release any air bubbles, then turn it upside down over the wire cooling rack to allow the excess chocolate to drain out. 
  • Use a bench scraper to remove any excess chocolate from the back of the mold, then place it on a level surface in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set up.
  • Refill your squeeze bottle, place it in a ziploc bag and add it to the water bath to keep the chocolate warm.

Make sure not to leave your molds in the refrigerator for too long otherwise moisture will form on the chocolate. If there is moisture on the chocolate you can gently remove it using a paper towel.

  • Now you're ready to fill your chocolate shells. Take a portion of your cream center and place it in a microwave safe bowl.

Do not microwave your cream centers on high, you may burn them!

  • Using a medium power setting, I found that 30 seconds was adequate for coconut dough, but the other centers needed up to 60 seconds. Time will vary depending on your microwave, so keep a close eye on your cream centers and remove them when they reach a pudding-like consistency.
  • To fill the chocolates place the warmed cream centers in a disposable decorating bag, or a ziploc with the tip cut off, then slowly fill the chocolates.

Make sure to leave ⅛ inch of the mold empty for the last layer of chocolate.

  • If you are using coconut dough I found it was easiest to pinch off a small piece and place it in the chocolate shell. It isn't as sticky as the other flavors of cream center, so there isn't really a need for the decorating bag.
  • Remove your squeeze bottle from the water bath, wipe away any excess water, then fill the remaining space in your mold with chocolate.
  • Use a bench scraper to remove any excess chocolate from the back of the mold, then place it on a level surface in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set up.
  • While your chocolate is setting up, remove any excess chocolate from under the wire cooling rack. It can be broken up in to smaller pieces, put in the mason jar to melt, and used again.

You may want to consider wearing candy making gloves when handling the chocolate so you don't fingerprints behind.

  • When the chocolate is ready to be removed from the mold turn it upside down and tap it until the chocolates releases. 

Do not force your chocolate out of the mold, it should come out easily. If the chocolate does not easily release it has not set up all the way. Place the mold back in the refrigerator for a few minutes before trying again. 

  • Place your finished chocolates on top of your cooling rack, over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with melted chocolate until completely covered, then sprinkle shredded coconut over the top.
  • If you find an area that hasn't been covered with coconut, use a food safe paint brush to add additional chocolate, then press shredded coconut in place.
  • Let the chocolates sit on the counter for several minutes before transferring them to a plate. Refrigerate for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate time to set up, then enjoy!

Store finished chocolates in a cool, dry place in an air tight container. For best results the temperature should be 55°F - 70°F with a humidity level below 50%.

  • Before making a second batch of chocolates wash your mold with warm water to remove any excess chocolate, then allow it to air dry completely before use.
  • Once you've finished making your chocolate, remove the ball jars from the water bath. Set them on a kitchen towel to cool before putting a lid on the jar. Store your leftover chocolate at room temperature in a dark, cool place and use it for a future project. 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, don't forget to check out our other chocolate making projects: Easy Hand Made Chocolates For Your Sweetheart, No Tempering Required and Baby Bunny Pretzels for Easter.

Notes

Pictured above are white chocolate truffles filled with coconut dough and dark chocolate truffles filled with maraschino cherry

These chocolates can be made with your choice of white, milk, or dark chocolate and any cream cream center. I've had the chance to sample three of Chocoley's fillings, my favorite hands down was coconut dough, although maraschino cherry was a close second.

Once you have your technique down, go crazy and mix things up. I created batches with dark chocolate molded layers and white chocolate poured over the top. Then further experimented with methods of adhering toppings to the chocolates. Unfortunately, my coconut and jimmies attached with cocoa butter didn't work, so I'll save my bottles of cocoa butter for another project.

If you don't like coconut, then try covering these with pearlized jimmies instead.

While I thought the 1.125" bonbon mold was the perfect size for this project, you can also use the larger 1.625 bonbon mold (although I thought those turned out a little large)

Don't throw out your leftover coconut, chocolate, and sprinkles. Toss everything in a mason jar, melt it in the water bath, and use it for covering pretzels. This is how I let everyone have a taste of my chocolates before they're all finished. 

Photo Tutorial

Basic Supplies: I ended up not using the cocoa butter for the final chocolates.

Basic Supplies: I ended up not using the cocoa butter for the final chocolates.

Chocolate Water Bath - notice the water level is half way up the jar

Chocolate Water Bath - notice the water level is half way up the jar

Fill molds - be sure to tap out any air bubbles

Fill molds - be sure to tap out any air bubbles

Remove excess chocolate - drain the chocolate over parchment paper, it can be melted down again. Refrigerate the chocolate for 10 minutes, make sure it is on level surface.

Remove excess chocolate - drain the chocolate over parchment paper, it can be melted down again. Refrigerate the chocolate for 10 minutes, make sure it is on level surface.

Add cream center - make sure to leave ⅛ inch of the mold empty for the last layer of chocolate.

Add cream center - make sure to leave ⅛ inch of the mold empty for the last layer of chocolate.

Top with chocolate final layer of chocolate. Tap out any air bubbles and use a bench scraper to remove excess chocolate before refrigerating.

Top with chocolate final layer of chocolate. Tap out any air bubbles and use a bench scraper to remove excess chocolate before refrigerating.

Remove your chocolates from the mold, then top with a generous amount of melted chocolate

Remove your chocolates from the mold, then top with a generous amount of melted chocolate

Sprinkle with a thick layer of coconut, then refrigerate the finished truffles for an additional 5 - 10 minutes

Sprinkle with a thick layer of coconut, then refrigerate the finished truffles for an additional 5 - 10 minutes

Don't throw out your chocolate drippings and leftover coconut! Melt it back down in the crock pot and use it for dipping pretzels. It's a great way to keep people out of your finished chocolates, but still give them a taste of what you're working on.

Don't throw out your chocolate drippings and leftover coconut! Melt it back down in the crock pot and use it for dipping pretzels. It's a great way to keep people out of your finished chocolates, but still give them a taste of what you're working on.

Disclosure

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. The purchases made through these links help cover my expenses in running this blog so I can continue to provide you with quality content.

Chocoley provided chocolate, cream centers, molds, sprinkles, cocoa butter and a squeeze bottle to help facilitate this project. All other supplies were purchased on my own.


Natural Easter Egg Dye - Butterfly Pea Flowers

There are some days when I can barely drag my bottom in to the kitchen. I think we all have days like that, but as a food blogger it means I'm starting to burn out. As soon as it happens I sit up and take notice. I examine my life closely— have I over committed myself? Is it personal stress? Illness? Lack of Sleep? Maybe a combination of all of the above? No matter what I find I take a step back and remind myself that I'm in charge of my schedule. If I'm not feeling into my current project, then it's time for a change, otherwise my lack of interest comes across in my writing. Since I've been feeling lackluster about several of my projects lately I've decided to shake things up a bit. Stand back everyone, because Not Starving Yet is going to preform science!

Before we begin, how about a fun story...

Have I ever told you about the time I caught the chemistry lab on fire? No? Well, it's not one of my proudest moments. This story takes place way back in 2002. It involves two lovely ladies, one a Computer Engineering major, the other, of all things went on to be a Chemical Engineer. One of these two, and I won't say which (it certainly wasn't me) may have set a hot watch glass down on a stack of lab papers before running off to do who knows what (probably flirt with a cute boy, both girls were prone to doing such things at that age.) This may have resulted in the lab papers going up in flames.

After the smoke had cleared my professor may or may not have struck a deal with me. A C+ in exchange for me never showing up to his classroom again. I never went back and decided on going to school for something less likely to get me in to trouble. True story, except I managed to get in to more trouble as an art major, but those are stories for another time.

So now you know why it's important to stand back when science and I cross paths. Fortunately for you, there is very little fire involved with our project today.

We'll have more Easter projects for you later in the week, next up: Chocolate Bunny Tails. Don't forget to check out our last chocolate project, these adorable Baby Bunny Pretzels for Easter are a huge hit with kids of all ages.

Butterfly Pea Blossom Natural Dyed Eggs

Natural Dyed Easter Eggs
makes 1 dozen eggs

Ingredients and Supplies

1 dozen eggs
saucepan with lid
cold tap water

vinegar
lemon juice
vodka
Butterfly Pea Flowers (they can be purchased from Blue Chai or Amazon)
12 pint sized mason jars and lids

Where to Purchase 

Blue Chai ships their flowers from Thailand, so if you'd like to try this project immediately you may want to order your flowers on Amazon. I don't know how long it takes packages to arrive from Thailand, they may not arrive in time for Easter.

The flowers I used came from Blue Chai and I can not vouch to the quality of the flowers on Amazon. They should work for this project, but they are not organic like those from Blue Chai.

Directions

  • Place six eggs in a small saucepan filled with cold water. Make sure not to crowd the pan, otherwise your eggs may crack. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the sauce pan with a lid, and turn off the heat.
  • Allow eggs to stand in the hot water for 10 - 12 minutes, then transfer them to a bowl filled with cold water. This will stop the cooking process and keep your eggs from over cooking.
  • Once the eggs are cool to the touch gently place one egg in each mason jar, fill with water, and add butterfly pea flowers. You may also add lemon juice, vinegar, or vodka to aide in the color change (see notes below.)
  • Allow eggs to soak for 24 - 48 hours in the refrigerator for best results. The eggs will be edible, but using lemon juice, vinegar, or vodka may affect the flavor. 

Combinations We Tried

8 flowers, 8 oz cold water = pale blue/grey
8 flowers, 8 oz warm water = marbled blue/green
8 flowers, 8 oz warm water, 1 tablespoon vinegar = dark green (best result)
8 flowers, 8 oz warm water, juice from 1/2 large lemon = dark blue
12 flowers boiled with eggs = pale grey
leftover water w/ boiled flowers + 50ml Vodka (added after 24hrs) = 
removed the color from the eggs

Notes

I wasn't sure what to expect going in to this project. I had hoped for some brilliant blue colored eggs, but the results were surprising. I ended up with colors that ranged from pale blue/grey to brilliant green. At one point I even had purple eggs.

Small changes, especially to water temperature, created a drastic difference in color. Adding acids, such as vinegar or lemon juice, produced a much more brilliant color than the eggs left to soak with only flowers. Boiling the flowers with the eggs did nothing to improve the color, in fact, these eggs had the least amount of color when all was said and done.

There were drawbacks to using acids to change the color. The eggs soaking in vinegar began to pit badly, although they did produce the best color. The eggs soaking in lemon juice formed a blue skin which could be completely rubbed off if the eggs were touched before they dried. 

Halfway in to the experiment one of my more science-minded friends suggested that adding vodka might produce a more yellow color. I added 50ml of UV brand vodka after the eggs had soaked for 24hours, by the 48 hour mark most of the color had been removed from the eggs. This could have been due to the use of cheap vodka.

All of the eggs soaked for 48 hours before they were removed from the fridge (there are photos of the best looking colors at the 24 hour mark posted on instagram)

While I didn't achieve the colors I thought I would, this did turn out to be a great way to dye eggs naturally. You can produce a wide range of colors without needing a lot of ingredients, just keep in mind that the colors may not turn out how you expected. 

It has been suggested that removing the green portion of the flowers may produce a more brilliant blue color. I didn't have enough flowers left to try this theory out, so it will be my starting off point the next time I try this project.

If you are interested in learning more about Blue Chai (Butterfly Pea Flowers) check out our previous review featured on Tuesday Tea.

Disclosure:

I'd like to be open with my readers and let you know up front when I have been provided something for free to review as it does happen from time to time. In this case, Blue Chai provided this tea at a discount and I paid for shipping. As always, all opinions are my own. 

This post contains my Blue Chai and Amazon affiliate links.  I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible.