Paleo Creme Eggs

March 30, 2012 in Categories: , by

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Cadbury Creme Eggs are my all-time favorite treat.  In the past (like when I was 120 pounds heavier than I am now), I would start buying them as soon as they were available in the stores before Easter and stock-pile them for the months afterward (I would literally eat 2-3 every day for months).  So to see them appear in the stores this year (full of crazy amounts of sugar and dozens of ingredients that my family and I just don’t eat anymore) filled me with a mixed sense of nostalgia, revulsion, and temptation.  It quickly became my obsession to create a version of these with something like one third the sugar content and without any gut-irritating ingredients.  Now, I feel like I can indulge that creme egg craving, without causing serious damage to my gut and without completely derailing my efforts to be healthy.

Yes, this recipe contains sugar.  If you’re wondering about the use of sugar in a paleo treat, you might want to check out Is Sugar Paleo? and maybe TPM Tidbit: How I Feel about Paleofied Baked Goods.  Also, this recipe makes at least 4 dozen creme eggs, so it works out to just less than 2.5 tsp of sugar per egg (compared to about 6 tsp of sugar in the Cadbury version).

The first step for making creme eggs is to make a fondant.  Two tools that you absolutely need for making fondant are a Oil & Candy Thermometer and a Standing Mixer with a metal bowl (okay, you could actually mix the fondant by hand in a slow figure eight motion with a spatula in a glass or metal bowl for thirty minutes after removing from the heat, if you really wanted to).  But other than having to watch the temperature as it simmers, it’s actually really easy to make.  As the fondant cools, I mix in a little extra water to thin it out and some vanilla for flavor.  At his point, this is the non-corn syrup version of what the creme egg center is made of (and if you really, really wanted to OD on sugar, you could use it straight).  I then “dilute” the fondant with Palm Shortening, resulting in a much lower sugar creme filling and adding some healthy fats too!  Note:  Extra Virgin Coconut Oil does not work.  It separates from the fondant and creates a disgusting mucus-like texture.   I think that grass-fed butter may work, but I haven’t tried it.   As an aside, if you were interested in making fondant for other purposes (decorating a cake, for example), don’t thin it out with water as it cools and then knead the dough by hand after it’s done mixing to room temperature.

This fondant recipe makes enough fondant for about 4 dozen creme eggs (depending on the size of your Candy Mold).  It would keep a very long time in your fridge (at least a few months), so if you don’t want that many eggs, you could just save the remaining fondant for the future.

A note on assembly:  the instructions are lengthy, but I assure you these are quite easy to make.  This was my first time making fondant and my first time working with Candy Molds.  You can see from my photos that my eggs aren’t perfect, but they still look pretty darned good if you ask me.  So, don’t worry if your eggs aren’t quite perfect.  By the time you are staring at a basket full of them, you really won’t care!

 

Ingredients (Honey Fondant):

1.    Combine sugar, honey and 1 cup of water into a pot with a Oil & Candy Thermometer attached to the side.
2.    Bring to a boil over low heat.  You might want to stir a couple of times at the beginning but once it starts to simmer, don’t stir it.
3.    The temperature will slowly increase.  Bring it up to 238F-240F and then immediately remove it from the heat.  It should take something like 15 minutes to get up to temperature.
4.    Pour into the metal bowl of your standing mixer and mix at low speed with flat beater or paddle blade.
5.    During the first five minutes of mixing, slowly add the extra ¼ cup water and then the vanilla (just a few drops at a time).
6.    Let the fondant slowly mix while it cools down to room temperature.  This will take roughly forever, depending on the temperature of your kitchen (well, maybe 30 minutes, but it will likely feel like forever).  Pour into an airtight container and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours, or overnight.

Ingredients (Creme Egg Center):

1.    Mix room temperature fondant with palm shortening.  Divide creme into two bowls, roughly 2/3 in one bowl (for the whites) and 1/3 in the second bowl (for the yolks).
2.    Add turmeric to the 1/3 bowl.  Mix well (makes a lovely yellow color but the dominant flavor is still the vanilla).
3.    If you are going to use molds for assembly, chill the yellow creme in the fridge for at least 1 hour but leave the white creme at room temperature.  If you are going to shape my hand, chill both in the fridge.

Ingredients (Creme Eggs):

Candy Mold Method (assuming you have 2 identical “half-egg” molds):

1.    Melt chocolate on low heat in a small saucepan, double boiler or in the microwave on medium power.  Let it cool until quite thick (the warmer it is, the thinner your chocolate shell will be)
2.    Using the back of a teaspoon, a small spatula, a pastry brush, or a clean paint brush, coat your mold.
3.    Place in the freezer for 1-2 minutes for the chocolate to harden.  Remove from the freezer.
4.    Spoon enough white creme into the mold to fill about ¾ of the way to the top (a little more than 1 tsp in my molds).
5.    Use a spoon or small scoop (a Melon Baller was perfect size for my eggs) to create a ball of yellow creme (this is much easier if the creme is cold).  Place on top of the white creme near the base of the egg, so create the “yolk”.  It’s okay with the yellow creme ball is above the top of the mold.  Place these “yolk halves” in the freezer to harden (about 20 minutes).
6.    Coast the second mold with chocolate.  Place in the freezer for 1-2 minutes to harden.
7.    Using a small paint brush or back of a spoon, add a little melted chocolate around the rim of each egg half (this is the glue that will hold the two halves together).
8.    Spoon white creme into the molds, filling about 1/2-3/4 of the way.  You might want to try one or two to get the amount right.  Too much will spill out when you assemble the two halves, too little won’t be the end of the world but you’ll have a bit of a hollow egg.
9.    Remove the yolk halves from the freezer.  Gently pop out of the molds and ease it onto the new halves you just made.
10.  If you have molds like mine with a stick hole for lollypops, use a little melted chocolate and a small brush to paint over the hole with chocolate.  Also paint over any part of the seam where you can see the two halves didn’t join well.
11.  Put the eggs back in the freezer and let harden 20 minutes before popping out of the molds.
12.  Repeat until you have used up all your creme (or have as many creme eggs as you want).  Store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to eat them (they taste best at room temperature but don’t take very long to thaw).

Free Form Method (for if you don’t want to buy molds):

1.    Make a small ball of yellow creme (a Melon Baller works well).
2.    Use about twice as much white as you have yellow and use your hands to press all around the yolk and form into an egg shape (remind you of playing with play d’oh?).
3.    Place on a baking sheet or plate gently insert a toothpick or kabab skewer into one end of your creme balls.
4.    Put in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to harden.
5.    Melt chocolate on low heat in a small saucepan, double boiler or in the microwave on medium power.  Let it cool until quite thick (the warmer it is, the thinner your chocolate shell will be)
6.    Remove creme balls from freezer and dip into melted chocolate.  Roll back and forth while the chocolate hardens.  Place back on the plate and put them back into the freezer for another 10-20 minutes.
7.    Remove from the freezer.  Remove the toothpick or skewer.  Paint over the hole with a little extra chocolate.
8.    Repeat until you have used up all your creme (or have as many creme eggs as you want).  Store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to eat them (they taste best at room temperature but don’t take very long to thaw).

 

Do you need help finding any ingredients?  Check out  Important Pantry Items for the Paleo Baker.

Comments

I love Cadbury Creme eggs and have been angry with all the store for bringing it out so early. I would love to try this recipe, but I’m a little intimidated by it. I will pin it for now and work on getting a candy thermometer. Thanks for the recipe.

I love that you did this! I have the same feelings towards Cadbury Creme Eggs. I remember visiting London just after grad school and being DELIGHTED to find Cadbury egg vending machines in the underground, in June! But knowing what I know now you probably couldn’t pay me enough to get me to eat one.

Good job, Tanist. No way is this paleo or part of our Paleo Protocol/GAPS Heal-the-gut Diet. It is for people trying to improve their diet, and can’t live without “traditional” Easter candy. I’m over it, I don’t want “traditional” candy anymore. But, I know a lot of people are not ready to go that step, yet. But let’s keep working on them. I don’t know why the recipe says Paleo. I am taking down the post and will be more careful. wow, am I a new-bee at all this.

Has anyone tried this using grass fed butter to “dilute” the cream? Organic palm shortening is EXPENSIVE! But I really want to try this recipe! :-)

I made these at easter and went by the instructions (except I used grassfed butter-it works well) and they were awesome. I did the filling for halloween today but used strong coffee instead of water. Great stuff.

Could you use lard instead if shortening. Number one palm oil is really bad for the environment(maybe there is done sustainable palm oil now but I REALLY doubt it) number 2 the idea of shortening disgusts me. That may just be mental. My mother raised me in such a way that whenever we passed the shortening in the grocery store she would wrinkle her nose, “never buy shortening Evelyn, it isn’t food, just buy lard, it’s good for you!”

I read the comments before I posted the first time but somehow missed the comment right above my own! I am glad to know butter works because after researching palm oil and palm oil shortening for the last hour I have come to some conclusions. One: palm shortening is made by mixing different types of palm together and, while technically a processed food item is not disgusting as I first assumed. Two: although attempts are being made at making palm oil more sustainable, it at this time(I am doubtful it could ever be made TRULY sustainable, even if you are using a previously deforested area, it still requires deforestation to be grown) is not sustainable. The certification methods are inadequate. They don’t have a stance against deforestation!
I would ask people to please consider these things at least. It is a difficult issue and we need to be informed about the choices we are making. Thanks!
http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php

Do you recommend another substitute in place for the sugar? Coconut crystals? I enjoy your recipes, but I am totally against using sugar.

Oh my god, what a disaster!! Is anyone else having trouble getting the chocolate eggs out of the mold?? I’m losing several every batch..

Just tried making the “fondant”, but it’s runny (not thick like I imagine fondant being). I’m guessing that’s wrong, but I wanted to check. Any idea what went wrong? I followed the instructions, except I alternating adding a little water and a little vanilla in the first 5 minutes. I tried mixing a bit with the palm oil and at least it’s workable/useable, but I’m curious if this is a known failure. Thanks!

The fondant should be thick. I’m not sure what might have gone wrong, as it’s a very delicate process. Sarah does recommend making her recipes exactly as written for the best results, but even variables like kitchen temperature can affect touchier recipes. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I reheated it (to ~150F) and then beat it at a higher speed with the paddle, and it got creamier (but still tacky/sticky). I think it turned out OK, but I didn’t continue beating it until it cooled off completely so this morning it was a bit solid. I warmed up some of it and beat it again and then added the palm oil and refrigerated it. Hard to work it into egg shapes with my hands since it warms up quickly and gets melty, but I think it turned out pretty good (I first rolled the “yolks” and froze those before covering them with the “whites”). Thanks!

I just made these, in my low tech kitchen I had neither a candy thermometer nor a stand mixer, so I boiled the fondant to the soft ball stage, then stirred by hand while co

I don’t know why half my comment cut off :( I stirred the fondant by hand while cooling in a water bath to make it quicker. I also used grass fed butter rather than palm shortening, which worked perfectly, and skipped the 12 hour resting period as I am impatient! The overwhelming flavour of my resulting fondant was honey rather than vanilla, which was fine as it went deliciously with the bitter dark chocolate exterior, but that may be because the honey I used was from our own bees, which is much richer than the store ought version. Thanks for a great recipe!

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