Making an easter hen

Making an easter hen

A la Mere de Famille
1 hen
180 mins
Jean Cazals


Quantity Ingredient
200g good-quality dark, milk or white chocolate
50g Almond paste
or or ready-made marzipan
red and yellow liquid food colouring


Quantity Ingredient
acetate sheet
easter egg mould
2 hemisphere moulds, or a 12 cm diameter bowl
sugar thermometer


  1. Making the hen

    On thick cardboard, draw and cut out the hen’s comb, tail, wings and wattle. Temper the chocolate. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Once the chocolate reaches its correct melting temperature, take the bowl off the saucepan, add the remaining chocolate and combine with a spatula. The chocolate will melt and lower the temperature of the mixture to the cooling temperature.
  2. Finally, reheat the chocolate to its using temperature. To check the temper of the chocolate, dip the point of a knife into it — the chocolate should set quickly and evenly at room temperature. When working with chocolate, make sure you keep it at using temperature or you run the risk of losing the chocolate’s temper.
  3. Clean the moulds with a piece of cotton wool to remove any marks. Mould a half-egg for the stand and two hemispheres for the body of the hen, making each part with two layers of chocolate. Spread a 5 mm thick layer of chocolate on an acetate sheet placed on a flat baking tray, and wait for the chocolate to start to set. Using the cardboard templates and a knife with a thin blade, cut the hen’s comb, tail, wings and wattle from the chocolate. To prevent the chocolate from warping as it cools, cover the chocolate shapes with a sheet of baking paper, then with another tray. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.
  4. Assembling the hen

    Unmould or peel off all of the components. Slightly melt the flat sides of the two hemispheres on the base of a pre-heated saucepan and press them together. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the join to set. Using a heated metal spatula, attach the sphere to the half-egg.
  5. Attach the comb and the wattle using a line of melted chocolate as ‘glue’. Heat the body where the wings and tail will be placed, then attach the parts with another dab of melted chocolate.
  6. Decorating the hen

    Colour one-third of the almond paste red and one-third yellow, leaving the remaining third white. Make the feet by pinching together three small pointed sausages of red almond paste and attach them to the base of the sphere. Make the beak by lengthening one side of a ball of yellow almond paste and attach it above the wattle. Make the eyes by flattening two small balls of white almond paste and attach them above the beak. To complete the hen, pipe or paint two dots of dark chocolate on the eyes.
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