The enticing smell of Easter chocolates always brings me back to my childhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. My mother delighted in making an Easter Basket for me each year that was just loaded with all kinds of goodies. What a treasure hunt it was to dig through the plastic grass to uncover the various treats!
There was one candy in particular which was quite dear to my heart and tasebuds – and it seems from what I have read on the internet, other transplanted Cincinnatians also recall Papas cream-filled Easter eggs with great fondness. The Papas confectioner is still located just across the river from Cincy in Covington Kentucky, but unfortunately for those of us longing to re-experience a taste of home – they do not have a website on which to order the treats.
They were so familiar to me not only because they were a well-known local seasonal item, but I actually sold them for a fundraiser, too, through participation in Camp Fire Girls. I remember flavors like opera cream (unctuous vanilla and my favorite), french cream (swooningly smooth chocolate), maple nut, cherry nut, and others I cannot recall specifically. The chocolate coating varied with the cream fillings, either milk or dark chocolate.
SO – I set out this year, as I have intended to do for many years – to make some homemade cream eggs, just to see if I could. I’m pretty adventurous in the kitchen, there’s not much that intimidates me, especially in the area of making sweets of any kind. I’m no expert by any means, but I do have years of active home experimentation/experience.
I used a recipe from the internet, printed below, for the centers, choosing this one because it did not make a whopping big batch. Then I dipped the creams in my favorite dark chocolate, about a cup of chips, melted.
I did temper the chocolate for good measure, by microwaving it till it was melted thoroughly, then adding a small handful more of chips to cool it down, stirring them in till melted, then reheating the cup in the microwave for another 20 seconds to make it liquid again. The purpose of tempering, for those who don’t know, is to keep the finished candy’s coating nice and smooth and as glossy as possible.
I kneaded some chopped walnuts and a dash of maple flavoring into about 1/3 of the finished opera cream centers since my husband is a maple lover, and kept the rest vanilla flavor. I “marked” the maple creams by drizzling some extra chocolate over the tops in “stripes.”
And voila! Homemade Easter cream eggs!
OPERA CREAM EGGS
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 c. whipping cream
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract