- beetroot juice (i.e. the liquid from canned beetroot)
- blue food colouring
- red food colouring
- large container
Boil some eggs. Crack the shells decoratively; do not peel. In a container large enough to hold all the eggs, put the eggs, beetroot juice, water, and blue food colouring so that the eggs are covered. The liquid should look very dark purple. Soak overnight.
The next day, drain off the liquid, peel the eggs and wash your hands immediately or they may stain. Cut the eggs in half. Carefully take out the yolks, making sure the whites (which should actually now be pink and blue on the outside) remain intact.
Blend the yolks with mayonnaise, mustard (the paste, not the powder), paprika and red food colouring until it looks and tastes right (some precise cook I am!).
Spoon the yolk mixture back into the eggs, and sprinkle carefully with paprika. Join some of the halves of eggs back together so that people can see the patterns on the eggs. If there is enough yolk-mixture left over, you can use it as a dip. The hotness of the mixture will depend on the kind of mustard and paprika you use. My version wasn't hot at all, since I used Hungarian Paprika and Whole Grain mustard (my favourite).
The variegated colouring is due to the different rates of absorption of the blue food colouring and the beetroot juice. It wasn't an effect I'd expected when I did this, but it looks beautiful.