Tried & Tested: Cracking Eggs
From the child-friendly to the seriously grown-up, the Velvet team put a clutch of this year’s Easter eggs to the taste test
Louise Cummings tests the Waitrose Chocolate Coconut, £8, Waitrose stores
On the outside: In a fresh palate of cool aqua and zesty green, the packaging is delightfully modern, and promises ‘irresistible white chocolate coconut flesh encased in a rich dark chocolate shell’.
On the inside: Take a bow, Waitrose chocolatiers: this quirky little egg sent my taste buds to the Rio Carnival! I usually avoid pure white chocolate as it can get a tad sickly (in the quantities I like to devour in one sitting - oops), but the sweet, milky inner shell, dotted with desiccated coconut, was perfectly tempered by the crisp, rich, dark chocolate exterior. Truly, this is a marriage made in cocoa heaven.
Who should the Easter Bunny give it to? This one’s a real crowd pleaser, so has all-round appeal. Perhaps give it to the one you love, but insist they share!
Lisa Millard tests the Extra-Thick You Crack Me Up Easter Egg, £27, Hotel Chocolat, Lion Yard, Cambridge and Arc, Bury St Edmunds
On the outside: Majestic. A generously proportioned gold and black cylinder is tied with a black ribbon. It’s sophisticated, looks pretty posh and would more than pass muster for all genders. You Crack Me Up promises an extra thick milk and caramel chocolate egg with smiley face truffles and bunnies, which all sounds very happy-making. It also promises no alcohol, so I guess I will have to bring my own. Small print tells 100 per cent of the cocoa used is Engaged Ethics and the box is fully recyclable, apart from the ribbon. No mention of Easter anywhere either. Just saying.
On the inside: Wrapped in gold foil, the two chocolate egg halves fall apart to reveal a encouragingly large amount of bunny and smiley face truffles. And I can’t help but greedily notice the pleasing thickness of the chocolate.
Taste-wise this egg really delivers. One half is caramel-flavoured with a sheen of white chocolate that is melt-in-the-mouth delicious; the other half is full-on milk chocolate and just as flavoursome. Truffles are squidgy, sweet and moreish. My only tiny gripe is I would like even more caramel-filled treats inside the caramel-flavoured chocolate. Please.
Who should the Easter Bunny give it to? It has to be someone you love a lot – £27 worth of chocolate here. The lucky person will be a grown-up who appreciates the finer things, but doesn’t take life too seriously (smart egg contains smiley face truffles after all). Most definitely an adult. Wasted on children I say.
Barry Peters tries Bettys Milk Chocolate Egg with Hand-Crafted Chocolates, £36.50, bettys.co.uk
On the outside: I've stepped inside the Ilkley Bettys and this egg transported me back in time. The logo is evocative of an earlier, better time - and the design mimics old England in a nice way. The promise of rich, indulgent, handmade chocolates is a tease and really delivers. But more of that later. Who wouldn't be excited by rare Criollo cocoa beans from deepest Venezuela?
On the inside: Mmmmmmmmmmm... There's chocolate which smacks of sugar and then there's delicious chocolate which you savour and don't need much of to get a real *hit*. Bettys falls into the latter category - there's expertise and depth here which is well worth the price tag. And that's just the shell! The handmade chocolates inside were a delight - I could eat a whole egg filled with the vanilla caramel hearts (please).
Who should the Easter Bunny give it to? 2019 sees 100 years of Bettys and this anniversary egg would be deserving of anyone special in your life. It's not one to eat in one sitting though - this is an aficionado's creation and something of beauty, sure to make Easter taste just a little better for a special, grown-up palate.
Mike Scialom tries the Chococo Ruby Chocolate Easter Egg, £18.50, chococo.co.uk
On the outside: You know this faceted jewel of an egg - made from recently discovered and naturally pink ruby chocolate - is going to be amazing just by looking at it. The pink and grey packaging signals both virtue and exquisite abandon; containing no added flavours or colours, the egg is made from the finest beans, sourced from Brazil, Ecuador and Ivory Coast.
On the inside: One taste and your buds are bursting for more. The top notes of this raspberry fruit-tinted chocolate are thoroughly operatic, and the after-burst of flavours leaves no doubt: this is simply one of the best and most distinctive chocolates you'll ever enjoy.
Who should the Easter bunny give it to? Nobody could fail to enjoy this egg. It’s just won Best Ruby Egg in Good Housekeeping’s 2019 Easter taste test – little wonder.
Ellie Banahan tries the Chocolate Alchemist Banoffee Easter Egg, £14.50, John Lewis & Partners, Grand Arcade, Cambridge
On the outside: At first glance, this handmade milk chocolate egg really is a showstopper. Presented in a transparent box, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful banana and fudge design on the front - shortly followed by the sheer size of the egg! The box promises to recreate all the fabulous flavours of banoffee pie by combining banana and fudge - I found this slightly strange seeing as banoffee usually combines banana and toffee.
On the inside: Upon cracking the egg, I noticed how thick the shell is - there certainly isn’t any skimping on the amount of chocolate used. I love milk chocolate and this egg does not disappoint. It is delicious. If I had one criticism it would have to be that the banoffee section didn’t really taste of banoffee. I would have preferred a slightly stronger flavour, but this didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment.
Who should the Easter Bunny give it to? This is the perfect egg for a chocoholic. I think it would make for a lovely Easter gift.
Alex Spencer tries the vegan-friendly Chococo Dark Chocolate Seaside Studded Egg, £12.50, chococo.co.uk
On the outside: Chococo's Seaside Studded Egg is absolutely beautiful. Hand painted with cocoa butter, it is a lovely marbled pale blue with lighter speckles. It looks as though it was discovered in the nest of a huge bird, or maybe a dinosaur. Completely dairy free and vegan, it is made from 67 per cent Madagascan dark chocolate.
On the inside: Break open the egg and you will discover chocolate seashell shapes moulded on the inside of the shell, made from the same dark chocolate. This is a nice touch as the egg has no other contents. The taste is dark and rich. Only two niggles: it’s perhaps a little too sweet for my taste, and I think it's a shame there wasn't a bag of chocs with a contrasting flavour inside.
Who should the Easter Bunny give it to? It’s very sophisticated, this egg. One for stylish grown-ups.
Gemma Gardner tries the M&S Hand Decorated Single Origin Dark Chocolate Feather Egg, £15, M&S stores
On the outside: Housed in a clear display case, sitting on a gold cardboard plinth, there’s an air of Faberge to this egg: made from darkest Ecuadorian chocolate, the shell is embossed with an intricate peacock feather design, picked out in shimmering edible lustre. It looks exquisite. Pull a ribbon tab in the base of the box and a dinky drawer, filled with foiled salted caramel truffle eggs, pulls out.
On the inside: The creamy truffles were incredible – I could have eaten twice the number! - but sadly the egg itself was far too bitter for my palate, with a burnt, and truthfully, rather unpleasant aftertaste.
Who should the Easter Bunny give it to? A serious dark chocolate fan.