This is a simplified recipe for this typical springtime chocolate treat. In Switzerland it’s easy to buy the paper “legs” for under the cicadas; in other countries, they’ll have to be content with their almond wings.

Makes about 30 Maichaeferli


Center Mixture

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon corn syrup

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Finishing

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

30 almonds, halved

Icing "Eyes"

1 teaspoon egg white

2-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

  1. For the centers, heat the cream and corn syrup, whisking, in a small saucepan just until they start to simmer. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Whisk the cooled cream mixture into the chocolate and then whisk in the butter. Cool until the mixture holds its shape.
  3. Use a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tube to pipe the centers into ovals onto a paper-lined pan. Chill the centers until firm, at least an hour.
  4. To finish, coat one hand with the melted chocolate and use your clean hand to pick up a center and place it in the chocolate hand. Cover with chocolate and set on a clean pan; immediately add the half-almonds as wings. It’s best to have a second person to put on the wings.
  5. For the eyes, Stir the egg white and enough of the sugar together to make a stiff icing. Use a paper cone or a plastic bag (force the icing into a corner and snip the point) to pipe the eyes on the Maichaeferli. Add a little leftover chocolate to the remaining icing and pipe a pupil onto each eye.
  6. Store in a cool place and serve within a week.