I made these simple Easter nest decorations for my Easter cake using only three ingredients. The ingredients I used are pretzel sticks, plain milk chocolate and candy coated Easter eggs.
The first step was to cut the pretzel sticks into quarters. I decided to use pretzel sticks because I like the combination of the sweet chocolate and the salty biscuits. I used approximately 1 cup (250ml) of cut pretzel sticks.
The second step was to melt and temper the chocolate. I took 1 cup (250ml) of milk chocolate discs and set 2/3rds of the chocolate discs to melt in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. Once the chocolate had melted completely, I removed the pot from the heat and added the remaining 1/3rd of the chocolate discs. These I allowed to melt slowly in the hot chocolate. I stirred the mixture every now and then while the discs where melting. This is a very simple method of tempering chocolate which does not involve the use of a thermometer. When the discs were completely melted, the chocolate looked lovely and shiny. This lovely shiny look indicated that the chocolate was at the right temperature to use for moulding. I added the cut pretzel sticks to the chocolate and mixed until the cut pretzel sticks were completely coated with chocolate.
I spooned the chocolate/pretzel stick mixture into prepared cupcake pans. Using a spoon, I formed the mixture into a nest shape. I then stuck two Easter eggs into each nest and placed the pans in the refrigerator to set completely.
Why you need to temper chocolate
You need to temper chocolate to prevent the cocoa fat separating out of the chocolate resulting in chocolate of a waxy texture and dull colour. When chocolate gets a whitish coating that looks like mould it is because it has not been properly tempered.
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series