The Vintage Chef Olivia Potts

How to find the perfect Easter egg

How to find the perfect Easter egg
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I unironically love Easter eggs. I love the posh, fancy ones, the high street ones, the budget ones. From the sublime to the ridiculous, I have time and space in my heart for all of them. My husband is sick of hearing my grand theory that Easter egg chocolate is, in fact, the best of all chocolate, probably because the theory really only extends to the fact that Easter egg chocolate is thinner and snappier than that of chocolate bars.

When it comes to trends this year, we’re seeing more Russian doll-style eggs (which rose in popularity last year), which as well as being visually impressive mean a variety of flavours of chocolate within one egg. We’re also seeing more vegan and free-from eggs than ever before, even from brands and in ranges which aren’t necessarily directed at those with dietary requirements. It’s great to see that many producers seem to be seeking out fairly farmed chocolate, and making an effort towards more sustainable packaging, using compostable or recyclable packaging, and the amount of plastic egg casings and wrappings is dramatically reduced. Here are some of my favourites from this year’s offering:

For the magpie

All that glitters might not be gold: sometimes it’s better, it’s chocolate. At the centre of Morrison’s Russian-doll style Easter egg, as if laid by a mythical goose, sits a shimmering, golden egg. It is surrounded by a dark and white chocolate marbled half-egg and, on the outside, a milk chocolate egg covered with chocolate vermicelli.

The Best Milk Chocolate Gold Lustre Egg, Morrisons, £8

For someone with a sweet tooth

Cadburys have gone all in on white chocolate oreo this year: as well as full-size egg offerings, they have foil-wrapped chocolate figurines of Peter Rabbit available in the same style. You could say they’ve put all their Easter eggs in one Easter basket, but that might be torturous. Peppered with tiny cookie crumbs of the black oreo biscuit this white chocolate egg is a really sweet one, obviously, but a fun one too – it’s great for kids, and big kids, and I have my eye on it for my husband and my brother-in-law.

Cadbury White Chocolate Oreo Egg, £6.00

For the chocoholic who wants to give back

Divine chocolate is the only Fairtrade certified chocolate company which is 20% owned by the cocoa farmers themselves. I was sure I would fall for their tangy Valencian orange oil milk chocolate Easter egg (I’m a sucker for orange chocolate), but actually it was their luxury 70% dark chocolate egg that won me over to the dark side: really creamy for a vegan dark chocolate, and sitting alongside a clutch of pistachio-foiled dark chocolate mini Easter eggs.

Divine Luxury 70% Dark Chocolate Vegan Easter Egg with Dark Mini Easter Eggs. £10

For something a little different

After the avocado ‘egg’ of two years ago, and last year’s lemon ‘egg’, this year, Waitrose have turned their attention to the pomegranate, using caramelised white chocolate as the base, flavoured with real pomegranate juice. This is really unusual (I’ve never tasted anything like it): sweet and sour and very fragrant. It’s not the chocolate I’d want every day, but do you know what, it’s kind of cool.

Chocolate pomegranate, Waitrose, £3

For the person who orders three puddings

Lidl have returned with their extra thick eggs this year, but a raft of new flavours. Their deluxe fruit and nut egg has far more going on than the title may suggest, with the flavour of each of the three half-eggs inspired by a classic pudding. There is a large tiramisu flavoured half-egg on the outside, lined with chopped hazelnuts, which encases a dark chocolate half-egg studded with dried cherries to give a black forest gateau vibe and, finally, a panna cotta flavoured white chocolate egg in the centre, covered in chopped pistachio and dried raspberry. It’s a really fun egg, unusual and impressive, and an absolute steal at that price point – even if I’m not entirely sure that panna cotta is a flavour beyond the creamy vanilla you’d expect to find in white chocolate.

Deluxe Ultimate Fruit and Nut Easter Egg, Lidl, £9.99

For yourself

Sometimes, you just need an Easter egg the size of your head. Lindt certainly have you covered in this respect: this is a monster of an egg, made with distinctive creamy Lindt chocolate, and surrounded by lots of Lindor truffles: milk chocolate, white chocolate, salted caramel, and coconut-filled. You can introduce me to every single-origin, fancy chocolate going, but I’ll always have a soft spot for a Lindor truffle.

Lindt Milk Chocolate Egg with Lindor Assorted Chocolate Truffles, exclusive to Tescos, £15

For the intrepid (Easter egg) hunter

All being well, we’re going to be able to see our loved ones in our gardens any day now: there has never been a better time for an egg hunt. Tescos have created a host of milk and white chocolate easter eggs and shapes, covered in bright foil, perfect for little hands to seek out – there are several sizes of egg hunt available, so you can choose according to your brood of egg hunters.

Milk & White Egg Hunt, Tesco, from £5

For someone you want to spoil

Covered in gold foil and tied with a ribbon, this is a truly beautiful egg. Made of thick, creamy Swiss milk chocolate, it’s a delightful egg in and of itself, but hidden inside, there is a veritable host of handmade truffles, rose and violet creams, blackcurrant ganache truffles, hazelnut pralines and vanilla caramel hearts, each sitting in a little old fashioned paper case.

Milk chocolate egg with hand-crafted chocolates, Bettys, £42

For the discerning chocolate lover

As well as being a bakery in Orford, Suffolk, Pump Street are known and loved for their craft chocolate. Their packaging is charming, and they have some beautiful items which make perfect gifts, and this year they are making chocolate chickens and chocolate eggs (just don’t ask which came first). Their chocolate chicken is small but perfectly formed, but I particularly love their chocolate eggs – a dozen pale blue and pink foil-wrapped milk chocolate eggs. The colours indicate their origin: the pink from Madagascar and the blue from Equador, allowing you to compare and contrast. The difference is remarkable (and delicious).

Chocolate Chicken (available in milk or dark), Pump Street, £5.95

Chocolate Easter eggs (available in milk or dark), Pump Street, £8.25

For the eco-warrior

This is an impressive egg: Fortnum & Mason have teamed up with the Grenada Chocolate Company, Northern Irish solar powered chocolate producers, NearyNógs, and chocolatier Chantel Coady OBE to produce a truly sustainable egg. Fairly farmed, vegan, and 85% dark chocolate, the cocoa beans have been transported from Grenada to the UK via wind-powered sailboat, hence the name. It also comes with bonus ‘cocoa tea’, a byproduct of the chocolate making process. And it’s contained within striking hexiflex sleeving, meaning that it is 100% plastic free. If all of that wasn’t enough, it’s also absolutely delicious.

Sailboat Easter Egg, Fortnum & Mason, £30

For the millennial

Independent chocolate makers Doisy and Dam pride themselves on being socially and ecologically conscious in the chocolate they produce, but the products they make are quirky and interesting. Their dark chocolate Easter egg comes with two packets of their (delicious) Nuttercup almond butter cups, and is made with 70% Columbian cocoa, entirely vegan, and palm oil free. This is an egg with excellent ethical credentials, without being poe faced.

Dark chocolate Easter eggs with almond Nuttercups, Doisy and Dam, £8

For the person who likes a choice

The Dutch chocolate company has quickly garnered a strong following in the UK, not only for its mission to ensure 100 per cent slave free chocolate extending beyond their own production, but also for their genuinely excellent chocolate and interesting flavours. Their Easter egg box contains 12 little, solid eggs in 7 of their most popular flavours – almond honey nougat, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel sea salt, almond sea salt, hazelnut and pretzel toffee – and every one of them is a delight.

Tony's Chocolonely egg-stra special chocolate eggs, £3.75

Written byThe Vintage Chef Olivia Potts

Olivia Potts writes Spectator Life's The Vintage Chef column. A chef and food writer, she was winner of the Fortnum and Mason's debut food book award in 2020 for her memoir A Half Baked Idea.

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