Make Easter Decorations Easily

Make Easter Decorations Easily

Glenn Walden, CEC, CEC, senior instructor chef at Stratford University in Tysons, uses sugar and other foodstuffs to create Easter decorations.

Walden's approach is simplicity and ease of preparation. His basis is cookie dough for the baskets and white chocolate for the figurines and backdrops. Thinly rolled cookie dough, called "tuile," is one of the secrets. Draping the dough immediately after removing from the oven over inverted small or large pans, cupcake molds, or mugs is the second most important secret of being successful in producing artistic design.

The large or small baskets have thin, dark-chocolate line designs piped over them and are filled with raspberry or other types of sauces, referred to by chefs as "coulis." In making the backdrops, he spreads a thin, white-chocolate cover about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick onto a parchment sheet after having melted the desired amount in a double boiler. Beautiful Easter eggs and eggs shells can be made from the recipe called "Pastillage."

Pastillage, 2 servings

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 ounce gelatin

2 pounds powdered sugar

Bloom the gelatin in water for 10 minutes in a small stainless steel bowl. Melt over a bain marie (double boiler). Place the powdered sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the gelatin and mix until smooth. The consistency of the paste should be firm and pliable. Store in an air-tight package until ready to use.

Raspberry Coulis, 1 serving

1 pint fresh or frozen raspberries

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons water

Bring the berries, water, lemon juice, sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Cook until the berries burst. Strain to remove the seeds. Bring liquid back to a boil. Make a slurry with the 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add the slurry to the boiling liquid, stirring with wooden spoon. Bring back to a boil to thicken and clarify. Cool the sauce.

Chocolate Mousse, 1 serving

Bombe batter:

9 ounces water

7 ounces sugar

1 1/2 ounces light corn syrup

16 each egg yolk


16 each egg white

17 1/2 ounces sugar

5 ounces water

10 each gelatin sheets

28 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 1/4 quarts whipped cream

Bombe batter:

Prepare a syrup with the water, sugar and corn syrup, bring to a boil. Temper into the egg yolk. Whisk over a bain marie to thicken. DO NOT SCRAMBLE! Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water.


Boil the water and sugar till 242 degrees F. Pour in a steady stream into whipped egg whites. Squeeze out excess water from the gelatin sheets. Add to the meringue. Continue to whip until the mixture has cooled. Melt the chocolate and carefully fold in the meringue, bombe batter and the whipped cream.

Tuile Cookies

3 ounces bread flour

4 ounces confectioner's sugar

2 egg whites

1 1/2 ounces melted butter

Sift together flour and sugar. Beat egg whites lightly and stir in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in melted butter, then the water. (Note. Butter separates at 158 degrees so keep below this temperature when melting.) Invert half sheet pans and butter well. Drop dough by tablespoons onto pan. Spread out in a thin circle with the back of a spoon. Bake at 450 degree until brown around the edges, about three minutes. Immediately remove cookies with a spatula and either form over inverted cupcake mold or other mold to create tulips or roll into a thin tube shape or form over a rolling pin for a crescent shape.