Chocolate eggs, as Theresa May helpfully pointed out earlier this week, are a vital part of the Easter festival – a sentiment I think we can all get behind, regardless of faith or political affiliation. After all, Easter is about celebration, and the annual ritual of smashing an enormous chocolate egg is perhaps the closest one comes as an adult to pure, silly joy.
Like the weather in April, however, they can disappoint. Even if you’ve been eschewing cocoa for the past six weeks, chewing your way through a rubbish egg may take the shine off the happy reunion. Having tasted nearly 70 of the things so you don’t have to, here is my top 10 for 2017. From the ridiculously decadent to the classic Easter bunny, there’s something for everyone. Even you, Theresa.
Selfridges Selection Easter egg, 239g, £29.99
I’ll be honest: this hand-painted egg is so splodgily beautiful, bringing to mind Monet’s Water Lilies and the later work of the late Howard Hodgkin, that it almost breaks my heart to crack it open. Ever the professional, however, I can report it tastes almost as good as it looks: thick and creamily sweet, with hints of caramel, it’s truly a work of edible art.
M&S single-origin milk chocolate shimmered teardrop with shimmered truffles, £20, 360g
Despite the startling resemblance to an expensive sex toy, this is one classy Easter treat. The shimmery milk chocolate has a very adult level of sweetness, while the selection of metallic truffles boast boozy, glittery centres for your gustatory pleasure. Probably not the best one to buy your mother-in-law, though.
An egg of two halves. Both are satisfyingly chunky: one flavoured with pecan praline, the other tangy salted-caramel cheesecake. There’s also a generous helping of patisserie-themed chocolates (rhubarb and custard, Eton mess, carrot cake and the like), all prettily packaged in a fancy hatbox that makes it look as if you’ve spent more than you have.
Presumptuous as it is for something to brand itself “eggstraordinary”, this is impressive – a large, dark chocolate egg sprayed to look like the real thing and filled with mini speckled milk chocolate and salted caramel versions, plus a shower of edible cacao nib and passion fruit “soil” to dip them into. If you don’t tip it all over the carpet when you smash the egg, that is. Which only a sugar-crazed idiot would do, obviously.
Fortnum & Mason the colossal egg, 1.4kg, £90
Yes, it costs almost as much as a last-minute Easter minibreak, but, while vast eggs are usually a box of chocolates rattling about in a wafer-thin shell, this one is all about the egg – or, rather, eggs. It boasts five of the things, all in different flavours, nested Russian-doll style. This colossus has a good claim to the title of ultimate Easter egg: consider the gauntlet thrown down for next year, chocolatiers of Britain.
Prestat sea salt caramel truffle Easter egg, 170g, £17.50
After tasting countless salted caramel eggs made with sugary milk chocolate (like skinny jeans, salted caramel is the craze that refuses to die), this properly saline, bitter dark chocolate version comes as a welcome surprise. Nice liquid truffles inside, too. It might be time to buy some bigger jeans.
Chococo Madagascar mega milk Easter egg, 175g, £16.95
Chocolate snobs may turn their noses up at milk chocolate, but more fool them: this 65% cocoa single-origin Madagascan egg is utterly glorious. It’s creamy, buttery-smooth, subtly fruity and, crucially, not too sweet. Best of all, you probably won’t have to share it.
M&S Bendy Bob, 450g, £15
Any egg chilled-out enough to lounge casually on the side of the desk while I chew off its limbs has the right kind of holiday vibe for me. Made from milk chocolate, with strawberry-lace arms and legs, Bob is unabashedly sugary, but I’m not sure that’s going to put the kids off the idea of tearing him apart. Sorry, Bob.
It’s big, it’s chunky and it boasts enormous ears, perfect for biting off in a sugar-fuelled frenzy – what more could you want from an Easter bunny? Sweet and creamy, this isn’t going to win any prizes for sophistication, but then rabbits are simple animals. Classic.
Aldi Moser Roth luxury Peruvian Easter egg, 185g, £4.99
The striking graphic prints of Aldi’s German-produced range makes them some of the most stylish eggs on the market this Easter. Made from Fairtrade single-origin cocoa, they’re a bit of a steal at under a fiver and the bittersweet chocolate itself isn’t bad.
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