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 Add some colourful fun to Easter breakfast


March 2018

Add an individual look to your eggs

Yes, we all know that too much chocolate is really bad for us. Also for many, religion has taken a back seat.

But Easter is still a very special time for most people in the northern hemisphere because it heralds the start and joy of better weather and glorious summer days to come.

Creating special colourful Easter eggs has been out of fashion for a while as commercial products took over. However, trends change and once again it is becoming popular to create colour hard boiled, or even soft boiled eggs, for the breakfast table on Easter Sunday.  This certainly adds a fun way to start the day, and if grandchildren are around, they will love to add their unique creative ideas too.

If you want to dye your egg to create something really special, there are a few good tips that can help.

Decorating boiled eggs to be served hot is the most difficult. The best way to decorate a hot boiled egg before serving is to buy some small bottles of different food dye. Cook the boiled egg for just under the normal time and then let the egg cool just a little so you can handle it. You can run it very quickly under cold water but don’t overdo that or the egg will be cold. Then simply dip a small paint brush into the food die and paint it some decoration as your serve. The warmth of the egg will still come through, so the colours will begin to run, but you can make some lovely colourful designs.  Another alternative for soft boiled eggs is to add food colouring to the water during cooking. This will give the eggs a softer coloured shell.

But for colder hard boiled eggs, there is real scope for exciting colour and patterns. First how you cook the eggs are key. Pop them gently in a saucepan so they are all side by side (non in a second layer) and cover with cold water that comes up around an inch or so above them. Try not to overcrowd a saucepan because then they can jiggle against each other and crack the shells. Turn the heat on the hob and bring to the boil quickly. Once the bubbles start coming up, remove the pan from the heat, cover with a tightly fitting lid and simply let them stand for 15 minutes.

A great tip that can help achieve a sharp white in the egg rather than that greyish white so many hard boiled eggs have. When the 15 minutes are up, gently remove the eggs from the pan and put them immediately into a bowl of water chilled with ice cubes. Leave them here for another 15 minutes, then dry carefully with kitchen paper taking care not to crack the shell.

This should give you a perfect hard-boiled egg.

For a single coloured egg, you can simply drop some food colouring into the water during the cooking of the boiled eggs. Adding a little white vinegar will help. This will work and is a simple way to colour eggs but will give a fairly muted shade on the shell.

But what about creating marbled eggs? They can look really pretty on the breakfast table. To do this, hard boil the egg as usual. When cool, you need to put some cracks in the shells. Simply roll the egg on a hard surface quite firmly until the surface beings to crack. If this doesn’t work, then you can use a metal spool to gently tap the outer shell until you have a few lovely cracks across the surface. You only need a few cracks. Overdo it and the shell will start breaking off but you need to make sure the cracks are deep and go through to the egg white.

Then put some food colouring in a bowl or saucer and let the eggs sit in the colour for around 10 minutes. You might need to keep rolling them to distribute the colour evenly and you may need to leave them longer to get the depth of colour you want.

Remove the eggs and let them dry, and then peel off the shells. Underneath you should find a lovely glossy marble coloured hard-boiled egg.

You can of course also create more intricate patterns by letting the egg totally cool and then using a thin paint brush to create a picture.  Shells are too slippery for a masterpiece, but you can create various designs in great colours to add a new look.

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