2014 has been a good year for Easter eggs. We’ve been seriously impressed by the selection available in supermarkets, independent shops and online. This year has seen artistic ovals festooned with decorative friezes, floral-flavoured chocolate and lots of animal-shaped treats pass through the BBC Good Food office. We’ve picked our ten favourite versions, from thrifty mini eggs to decadent, splurge-friendly treats.
Our top 10 Easter eggs for 2014
The clever people at Hotel Chocolat have surpassed themselves with their egg offering this Easter. On top of their brilliant child-friendly range of bunnies, egglets and novelty shapes is a selection of adult eggs with ‘extra thick’ chocolate (something we hope to see more of in the Easter egg world). The rocky road to caramel egg has the edge thanks to the craggy band of rocky road filling across the egg and excellent chocolates within.
£28, Hotel Chocolat
We’re big fans of Yorkshire confectioners Bettys. The family-run business specialises in handcrafted, decorative eggs, adorned with edible woodland creatures and colourful foliage. You need to be a lover of floral flavours such as rose or violet to enjoy their geranium egg, but its finish is stunning – beautifully tempered chocolate with a mirror-like glossy sheen isn’t something you see every day. Their chocolate otter got us all talking too.
There’s a good selection of nutty eggs on the market this year, perfect for those who like their chocolate with a bit of bite. We devoured this Lindt egg in a shameful amount of time – the roasted Piedmont hazelnuts encased in the shell proved too hard to resist.
2014 also saw a lot of chocolate eggs masquerading as the real thing, with a prevalence of cardboard egg boxes and delicate shells. In ode to the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, royal chocolatier Prestat created these beautiful painted eggs filled with buttery truffle. The effort of peeling off the real egg shell makes the treat within all the more rewarding.
Those following a dairy- or gluten-free diet needn’t miss out on the chocolate fest. Holland & Barrett stock a good selection of special diet eggs, although it should be noted that as we’re still talking about confectionery, it’s sadly not a ‘healthy’ choice. Our favourite is this hazelnut crunch egg from Booja Booja, partly for taste but also the hand-painted reusable shell.
£7.99, Holland & Barrett
Caramel was a popular flavour this year, but this egg manages to cram in pistachio and orange too. The egg has a bold hit of citrus thanks to the orange pieces and oil, and there’s a crunchy texture from the nutty decoration. The quality of the chocolate makes this great value for money.
£12, Marks & Spencer
Clichés aside, Demarquette chocolates really do look too good to eat. Their glossy rainbow-coloured eggs come in harlequin print in pastel cardboard egg boxes, but our favourites are these mini quails eggs filled with banoffee, key lime and sea salt caramels. At close to £20, they’re a luxury choice, but well worth the expense for the wow-factor alone.
At the other end of the price scale is Aldi. Their seasonal products often win taste-test awards, and their Easter offering is characteristically impressive. Their signature egg, with flavoured chocolates, clocks in at under £3, and we recommend their wider range of seriously thrifty chocolate eggs and bunnies if you’re planning an Easter egg hunt.
Turn the concept of an Easter egg on its head and serve up these fried egg-shaped chocolates. The chocolate is the perfect thickness and good for those who prefer a sweeter chocolate over more bitter, dark varieties. Ocado have a smorgasbord of shaped Easter sweets, including ducks, owls and, rather radically, carrots.
Charbonnel & Walker’s floral fondant chocolates are bestsellers for a reason. If you’re after an egg for a special gift, you can’t go wrong with their thoroughly English version, filled with violet & rose chocolates with candied topping. It’s wrapped in a haberdashers shop-worth of ribbon to save you the hassle, too.
185g £20, 380g £35, Charbonnel & Walker
Find everything you need for Easter in our hub. We’d love to hear your egg suggestions too…