Another break from sewing…
As I’ve said before, I love making cute lunches for my little girl, and when it comes to ideas and supplies it doesn’t get any better than Japanese bento websites. When I saw these egg molds for hard-cooked eggs, I knew I had to get one. (You can also get them on Amazon)
I admit, I like using the bunny mold much better than the bear mold– it always seems to come out better and bunnies are cuter anyway.
The basic steps are simple: cook the egg, peel it, place it in the mold while warm, dunk in ice water to set. However, my experience with these has helped me develop some tips that will help you get the perfect (and convenient) molded egg.
First (and I don’t know how I survived without this before), do not boil your eggs. Steam them. It’s faster and easier, since you don’t have to bring a whole pot of water to a boil– just an inch. Place as many or as few eggs as you like into a steamer basket (or something you can use to keep the egg out of the water) over the boiling water, cover, and steam for 12 minutes. Then remove the eggs and put into a cold water bath (straight from the tap is fine) for 2 minutes. Remove and store them in the refrigerator. Steamed eggs are so much easier to peel than boiled eggs. In all the time I’ve been doing them this way, I’ve never once had trouble peeling my eggs. Ever.
You may be wondering, doesn’t the egg have to be warm for the mold to work? Yes, it does. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be freshly cooked. Let’s face it, peeling a warm egg is hard to do (even with the steaming trick) and you risk making little holes in your nice smooth egg. Besides, cooking a new egg every time you want to make a molded one for lunch is a real pain. Instead, heat a 16-oz measuring cup (or smallish bowl) full of water in the microwave until extremely hot– it doesn’t need to be boiling, but it should hurt your finger if you were to dip it in. In my microwave it takes about 2 1/2 minutes. Peel your cold egg and put it into the bowl of hot water for 3-5 minutes. Your egg will then be warm enough to mold.
Put your warmed egg into the mold and carefully close it. Place the mold into an ice bath (you can use the measuring cup from the heating step), weighing it down with a can or something to keep it underwater (otherwise it’ll just float). Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then unmold your egg.
I like to cut these in half so I can put two bunnies face-up into my lunches.
1. I’m using large eggs here, though you could probably go with extra-large and still be all right. For the teddy bear mold I would even recommend extra-large, since the large eggs never expand enough to fill in the ears. But jumbo eggs have always been too big for me to mold properly, so keep that in mind.
2. Even with the steaming, it’s best to peel your egg under a thin stream of running water to avoid tiny bits of shell sticking to the egg even after it’s been peeled.
3. While you can mold the eggs the night before and have them be fine in the morning, I’ve noticed that they start to lose the edges of their shapes after more than two days. Sadly, this means you can’t just mold them all at once and use them for lunches all week.
4. For extra cuteness, add a few drops of food coloring to the ice bath when you cool down your molded egg. If the color doesn’t seep through the cracks in the mold well enough, put the egg by itself into the colored water and leave it for a few minutes until it picks up the color.