Maichaeferli - Chocolate Almond Cicadas
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
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
30 almonds, halved
1 teaspoon egg white
2-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 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.
- Whisk the cooled cream mixture into the chocolate and then whisk in the butter. Cool until the mixture holds its shape.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Store in a cool place and serve within a week.