Top 8 Chocolate Eggs to Impress This Easter
It’s a moment of spring celebration, a moment of pleasure, of sharing delicacies. And if we can share with everyone who needs a lift, so much the better, so buy an extra one and give it away. Last year we only looked at Irish manufacturing, so we’re spreading our wings a bit this year and including a few from further afield. Our 2021 survey included Lorge, Koko, Skelligs, Chez Emily, O’Conaill, Arcane, Grá and are still delicious and available, some only online.
Most notable this year is the lack of plastic packaging. Sustainability is a key selling point, and one brand has a transparent wood fiber window that can be recycled with paper – a step in the right direction.
Use leftover eggs to grate hot chocolate or stir into hot milk. Grate on cakes, in ice cream. A tablespoon of dark chocolate can be added to stews or stir-fries to add body.
Unopened eggs will keep for months – see best before dates, so you don’t have to binge. Crack a piece of egg and put the rest away so it won’t be tempting. It’s too easy to reach for more.
Our tasters gave three Easter eggs top marks for different reasons. All deserve to be in our Top 8 for 2022.
This milk chocolate egg, made from 40% Colombian chocolate, contains freeze-dried raspberries and pineapple speckles inside. A favorite, the chocolate was creamy but with the essential snap as it was broken. The flavors were vibrant and interesting, with outer splashes made of colored cocoa butter. The dark chocolate egg is also delicious. A treat, available online at braw.ie and to click and collect in Limerick.
This year’s favorite from a wide range was a half shell of 34% cocoa milk chocolate with a varied selection of luxurious chocolates. Despite the lack of fancy packaging, it had immediate appeal to children and adults alike. Top for the taste too, the creamy and melting texture of the shell won over all the tasters. At Cork’s English Market and online at chocolate.ie
The milk chocolate portion of the egg (88% of the total) contains 35% cocoa solids and is dipped in 72% cocoa solids dark chocolate with salted almond nibs. This deliciously well balanced, not too sweet egg was a winner. Tasters also liked the Egg Duo 290g €7.99 decorated with pieces of caramel and salt as a chocolate gift. Good value for money. The packaging includes a wood fiber window.
This milk chocolate egg with 31.8% cocoa solids has an embossed shape of a bunny on the front and back, and inside is a surprise plastic toy (there was also plastic in the packaging). The chocolate is deliciously rich with hints of vanilla. All the tasters liked it but found it a bit expensive for this weight. From Italy we bought from Brown Thomas.
This fairly thick hollow egg contains plenty of mini eggs to share. Good quality chocolate from a wide range of different sizes with different fillings. A regular taster favorite over the years, tasters have loved the mini eggs even more than the chocolate shell and they can also be purchased in boxes.
The clever reusable tin paint box was our favorite packaging, ideal for storing markers and pencils, makeup and cookies. The milk chocolate egg is 30% cocoa solids and contains fruit, plant and vegetable concentrate drops of spirulina, sweet potato, turmeric, apple, radish and cherry. All delicious. An attractive family gift from a wide range. Made in Ireland.
The 30% cocoa solids combine with 53% sugars, which was a bit too sweet for some tasters. They liked the crispy caramel bits all over the egg. Five truffles were very sweet and lacked the more solid ganache texture expected of truffles – instead there were caramel chocolates. Good packaging, which is 99% plastic free. The white chocolate versions and the pretty Bailey’s Sundae version (with chocolate straw) were appreciated by very greedy tasters. Made in County Meath. Widely available.
We chose this to see what a dairy-free egg would look like. With 3% speckled honeycomb bits throughout, the milk solids are replaced with rice powder. The 45% cocoa solids with sea salt had an oily texture and little flavor, although pleasant enough for tasters to finish. A crispy honeycomb bar (like a Crunchie) with less sweet, contrasting chocolate redeemed it. Made in the UK. We bought from Quay Co-Op, Cork.