The Easter bunny came early to the Chemistry World offices this week. I arrived yesterday to find a Cadbury’s creme egg perched on my computer keyboard (so that was breakfast sorted) but munching away got me thinking about my tasty seasonal confectionery.

creme egg

Present from the CW Easter bunny

Last year, our friends at the University of Nottingham posted up a video all about the fun they had with creme eggs. Rewatching the video while licking out the centre of my egg, I started thinking about how they got that yummy goo into the middle.

I suspected that invertase was involved to make a solid sugar mixture, which over time becomes more liquid-like inside the chocolate shell, but it’s not on the ingredients list. Instead it seems that liquid fondant is used and the whole egg is made by taking advantage of the different densities of liquid chocolate and the sugary fondant goo. The denser fondant displaces the chocolate, pushing it into the mould – so liquid densities make my creme egg as well as layered cocktails.

You can see just how sugary the fondant is in the periodic table of videos creme egg experiments below:

Of course creme eggs should (if I don’t eat them all) last longer than fresh eggs. Over the years, eggs have been salted in brine and preserved in both acid and alkali. In China raw eggs are cured in alkali to give the (in)famous century eggs. I have to admit I’ve never quite managed to pluck up the courage to try one but others are braver than I.

Whatever type of eggs you eat, if you eat any at all, Happy Easter from the Chemistry World team, we’ll be back on Tuesday.

Laura Howes

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