Easter chocolate rated by Tamal Ray and Liam Charles: ‘It’s a bougie Creme Egg!’




Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Easter chocolate rated by Tamal Ray and Liam Charles: ‘It’s a bougie Creme Egg!'” was written by Liam CharlesTamal Ray As told to Tim Lusher, for The Guardian on Friday 29th March 2019 14.16 UTC

Liam Charles is lying on the floor, whimpering. “I feel drunk,” he says. No wonder – the Guardian cook and Cheeky Treats author has just spent 90 minutes eating Easter eggs with fellow baking columnist Tamal Ray, who’s also “chocolated out”, although he’s pushing through the sugar high.

Britons spent £213m on chocolate eggs in the run-up to Easter 2018, according to the consumer analyst Kantar (that’s 88.5m eggs, calculates Nielsen), and half of Brits bought it as a gift, says Mintel. So who better to taste and rate the seasonal goodies than the two stars of Feast magazine’s Sweet Spot?

Liam Charles and Tamal Ray.
Liam Charles and Tamal Ray push through the chocolate pain barrier. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Before them is a mountain of supermarket buys and luxury treats. There are novelty themes: “quail’s eggs” filled with praline, “Scotch eggs” with fondant yolks, slabs of chocolate styled like takeaway sandwiches, a Game of Thrones-inspired dragon’s egg. There are low-sugar, non-dairy and gluten-free eggs. There are “ruby” eggs – the “fourth” type of chocolate, which appeared on KitKats in 2018. And, of course, lots of bunnies, from the classic foiled Lindt bunny to high-street hoppers.

Which kind of chocolate do our sweet-toothed tasters like best? Liam (favourite: Twix – bite the ends off and use it as a straw) and Tamal (Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut to snack, Dairy Milk to cook) both generally prefer milk. Neither are big fans of bitter dark or white, which makes the winner a surprise, although “I flirt with 50-60% dark,” says Liam.

“I’m a pleb with chocolate,” says Tamal, a doctor. “I want to taste that vegetable fat. Some of the chocolate I eat, I would say, is homeopathic at best.”

Brits spent £2.97bn on chocolate in 2018 but what do the Guardian duo go for, come Easter?

“The egg is essential,” says Tamal. “Filled is the ideal – you want stuff inside it. They should do a Russian doll thing where it’s a series of eggs.” He spots Chococo eggs containing unicorns and dinosaurs: “I would have loved that as a child. That would have been all my favourite things in one.”

Liam loves an egg with a bar. He’s made his own in the past as presents. “The dark one had chocolate brownies in it. The white one had sesame and cranberry cookies in it. The milk one I just put sweets in.”

Enough chat – it’s time to crack on with the test. Ready, steady, chomp …

Lindt gold bunny milk chocolate, £2.99, 100g

Lindt Gold Bunny.
Classic: Lindt Gold Bunny.

Tamal: I love these things, especially the little bell, although I always feel a bit guilty about breaking something so cute. The chocolate is smooth and familiar and not too sweet. I could munch this all afternoon. 4/5

Liam: They are so cool to look at, and the different colour ties for different flavours is such a nice touch. Ooh the dark is sooo nice. Rich, proper tasty. 3.5/5. The milk chocolate is serious and the hazelnut brings texture. This might be one of my favourites. 4/5

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Swiss milk chocolate bunny, £5, 440g

Tamal: It’s really sweet and easy to eat. When people who like dark chocolate complain about milk chocolate, they mean this. I like it. 3.5/5
Liam: Smooth, sweet. That is banging. I feel like I’m in the Swiss Alps. I would sit comfortably on my sofa and eat that. 3.5/5

Hotel Chocolat quail eggs, £10 (box of dozen), 145g

Hotel Chocolat dozen quails eggs.
Cute: Hotel Chocolat dozen quails eggs. Photograph: Peter/PR

Tamal: Really delicious and cute. The chocolate is nice and the pink one is quite fruity. 4/5
Liam: Tasty. It’s like a bougie Creme Egg. 3.5/5

Dairy Milk egg and spoon double choc mousse £3.99, 136g

Tamal: A kid would love the presentation. It’s really cute and colourful. But the buttercream mousse is sickly. I love everything about it apart from the taste of the filling. 3/5
: That is clever. It’s such a good idea, but the filling is claggy. 2.5/5

Reese’s chocolate egg, £6, 232g (exclusive to Tesco)

Tamal: I like Reese’s Pieces and I love the filling (4/5)
The chocolate is not great on its own (1.5/5). Overall, 3/5
: It’s all right. 3/5


Maltesers Buttons egg, £6, 271g (exclusive to Tesco)

Maltesers Buttons easter egg.
High-street winner: Maltesers Buttons Easter egg.

: It’s sweet and familiar, and you could sit there watching a film on Easter Sunday, munching on this chocolate. I love those buttons. 4/5
: That is my favourite high-street egg. 3.5/5

Chococo 65% Madagascar mega milk egg, £18.50, 175g [8% sugar]

Tamal: Not bad. There’s a slight toffeeishness to it. It’s quite nice. 3.5/5
: Beautiful. Hollow [disapproving face]. This is milk? It tastes like dark. It’s all right. 3/5

Morrisons The Best ruby chocolate half egg, £10, 310g

Morrisons ruby half egg.
Disappointing: Morrisons ruby half egg. Photograph: PR

Tamal: The filling tastes like cheapo dark chocolate, which is fine for brownies but not nice on its own. The ruby inside the shell is a bit like one of those breakfast bars spread across some chocolate. It’s fine. The crunchy bit doesn’t work. Disappointing. 3/5
: They’ve created theatre in an Easter egg – it’s like a shrine. Ruby chocolate is as if milk and dark chocolate decided to go out on a date, but white chocolate was the third wheel. The little filled egg isn’t nice, though. The big shell redeemed it, otherwise it would have got a P45. Gutted. 2.5/5

Harvey Nichols chocolate Scotch egg with mango yolk, £7.95, 80g

Tamal: That does not taste like any mango I’ve ever had. Gross. I’m picturing a scientist in a lab, mixing chemicals to make it. The milk chocolate is fine, but it’s impractical – are you supposed to shove that whole thing in your mouth? 1/5
: The middle is rank. The chocolate is nice, though. 1.5/5


Fortnum & Mason praline Scotch egg, £15.95, 150g

Fortnum & Mason praline Scotch egg.
Luxury winner: Fortnum & Mason praline Scotch egg.

: It’s really heavy, it feels expensive and it smells amazing. Mmm, the chocolate’s quite rich, sweet and nice. The orange filling is quite subtle. I could happily have a little pot of that. No one would be disappointed to have this. 4.5/5
: It’s like an actual egg yolk! That’s really cool. There’s cinnamon in the chocolate. Would I buy it? Yeeeeah. That is a strong egg. 4/5

Hotel Chocolat chocolate spread sandwich, £10, 135g

Hotel Chocolat chocolate spread sandwich.
Strange: Hotel Chocolat chocolate spread sandwich.

Tamal: The chocolate of the “egg” is really nice, but the “bread” is strange. 2.5/5
: It’s a bit claggy. It smells better than it tastes. 2.5/5

Bettys hand-painted ganache eggs, £9.95, box of 8, 80g

Tamal: These are really pretty, but a bit disappointing. It’s not particularly nice and you expect different flavours. 3/5
: It’s style over substance. Bogus. 2/5

Godiva hollow milk chocolate bunny, £4, 100g

Tamal: It’s nice, inoffensive, but not special. If you left the room and someone ate it, you wouldn’t be annoyed when you came back. I want my milk chocolate to taste of vegetable fat, but something artisanal has gone into this. 3/5
Liam: It’s borderline dark. It’s from the richer side of the milk chocolate family. 3/5

Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From strawberry and white chocolate egg, £3.50, 100g

Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From strawberry & white chocolate egg.
Fleshy: Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From strawberry and white chocolate egg.

Tamal: It’s flesh-coloured, like a giant thumbprint. It’s not bad. It’s familiarly artificial, like strawberry sweets. If not being mean to cows is an important part of your life and you had to eat this, you would live with it. I would happily eat it. 3/5
: Ugh! It’s like a cereal. The ingredients are cool, but I’m not into it. I respect the craft, but I don’t like the taste. 2.5/5


Waitrose 1 caramel chocolate golden egg, £10, 235g

Waitrose 1 caramel chocolate golden Easter egg.
Overall winner: Waitrose 1 caramel chocolate golden Easter egg.

: Mmm. It’s like a Werther’s Original and an egg had a baby. It’s really delicious and different. It looks good. 4.5/5
: Banging! White chocolate, caramel, Aaah. I like the little chocolates too – sometimes the Easter packages skimp on them. I can taste hazelnut. My favourite. If I was going to buy an egg, it would be that, in terms of flavour. 4.5/5

Morrisons milk chocolate pineapple egg, £5, 300g

Morrisons milk chocolate pineapple Easter egg.
Weird: Morrisons milk chocolate pineapple Easter egg.

Tamal: That’s not pleasant. Weird, peppery aftertaste. 1.5/5
Liam: It’s like … battery. That gets a P45. Sacked from chocolate. 1/5

Vanilla Reindeer egg box, £10.99, 180g

Tamal: It’s like golden-coin chocolate. 2.5/5
: Oh it’s empty. Thin. Just meh. 2.5/5

Lindt Lindor milk chocolate egg, £8, 215g

Tamal: Lindor is my go-to posh brand. This is nice, but I’m used to the regular Lindor truffles and the ratio of shell to filling. These feel like I’m getting shortchanged. 4/5
Liam: That is good-tasting chocolate. It’s smoother than the Maltesers or the Reeses. 4/5

Deliveroo Game of Thrones chocolate dragon egg, 80p, 1kg (available 14 April from Deliveroo)

Deliveroo Game of Thrones chocolate dragon egg.
Cool: Deliveroo Game of Thrones chocolate dragon egg.

Tamal: Texturally, it’s quite crumbly, which is odd, but the flavour for a white chocolate is fine. If someone’s mad about Game of Thrones, they’d love it. If someone gave it to me, I’d want to role-play as a character in the show for the day. The chocolate’s not the best or worst, but overall the presentation is pretty cool. 2.5/5
: So cool. The egg is sick and I’m not even a fan. If I was given a Harry Potter egg, I would scream. 3/5

Daylesford dairy-free lemon and sea salt chocolate egg, £25, 240g

Daylesford dairy-free lemon and sea salt chocolate egg.
Dairy-free: Daylesford dairy-free lemon and sea salt chocolate egg.

Tamal: It’s very pretty. You wouldn’t realise it’s dairy-free. It’s more of a dark chocolate. I quite like it. It’s salty. 3/5

Waitrose chocolate coconut, £8, 250g

Tamal: That’s more impressive inside. I find white chocolate a bit gross on its own, but with the coconut that’s quite nice. 3.5/5
: It’s pretty cool. It tastes good. It’s got different textures to it. I like it! 4/5

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