I love Demarquette chocolates!

Run by talented (not to mention warm and cuddly) chocolatier Marc Demarquette and lovely partner Kim Sauer, this award-winning London chocolate company produces utterly delicious and beautiful hand-made chocolates. Not only do the chocolates taste fantastic and look stunning, they are made with carefully chosen high-quality ingredients, many of which are sourced from British producers. Even the chocolate is not off-the-shelf couverture but roasted, conched and blended to Demarquette recipes. A keen and critical eye is focused on ethical considerations too.

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This year, chocoholics craving the very best quality Easter treats can enjoy Marc’s new Caramel Filled Easter Eggs. The size of quails’ eggs, these come in three flavours – dark chocolate with sea salted caramel, milk chocolate with key lime caramel and milk chocolate with banoffee caramel. The eggs are blue, green and yellow and feature a simple hand-painted design – each one is unique!

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The salted caramels are a familiar Demarquette favourite, and just as good in egg form as the glossy domes I’m more familiar with. Both the key lime and banoffee caramel eggs are sweeter, because of the milk chocolate, with their core flavour coming through loud and clear; I like both but the banoffee is definitely my favourite!

Available by mail order, this box of 12 eggs is £19.95 plus delivery.

 

DISCOUNT CODE

I’m delighted to share a special discount code for readers of Kavey Eats.

Enter KAVEYEASTER to receive 15% off your online orders.

The code can be used to purchase any item from Demarquette’s range of chocolate treats.

Valid until 14th April 2014. Discount excludes postage. Minimum spend, excluding postage, is £15. Code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.

COMPETITION

Demarquette are kindly offering a box of 12 Caramel Filled Chocolate Easter Eggs to a reader of Kavey Eats. The prize includes delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

Please read the terms and conditions before entering.

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your idea for a new caramel filling flavour.
Please include your name and provide a valid email address.
If you are intending to tweet a bonus entry (see below), please include your twitter name in your blog comment.

Bonus Entry – Twitter
Once you have entered via the blog, give yourself an extra entry via twitter!
Follow
@Kavey and @DemarquetteChoc on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter!
Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win a box of @DemarquetteChoc caramel filled easter eggs from Kavey Eats! 
http://goo.gl/nKkfw1 #KaveyEatsDemarquette
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag.)

RULES, TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 11 April 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address.
  • By entering this competition, you give permission for your email address to be collected and provided to Demarquette Ltd, for marketing purposes. Kavey Eats will store the data until the end of April 2014 only.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey and @DemarquetteChoc at the time of notification.
  • Twitter entries without an associated blog comment are not valid. Please include your twitter name in your blog comment to make the association clear.
  • The winners will be notified by email. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a box of 12 Demarquette caramel filled easter eggs, as shown above. Delivery within the UK is included.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Demarquette Ltd.

 

Kavey Eats received a review sample from Demarquette.

 

It’s that time of the year again when the supermarkets line shelf after shelf with Easter eggs, bunnies and chicks. But although there are some decent quality items on the shelves, much of the chocolate is cheap, full of vegetable oil (rather than cocoa butter) and ultimately pretty unsatisfying. The chocolate eggs are often so thin that it feels like there’s more cardboard and plastic packaging than chocolate; the prices can seem cheap but I seldom find them good value.

If your budget allows, I’d suggest choosing something better.

When I attended Hotel Chocolat’s press preview of this year’s Easter range, I found lots that appealed.

your-eggsellency-extra-thick-easter-egg-2014 the-facet-luxury-dark-chocolate-easter-egg the-splat-caramel-chocolate-easter-egg
Your Eggsellency Extra Thick Easter Egg, The Facet Luxury Dark Chocolate Easter Egg and The Splat Caramel Chocolate Easter Egg

As always, I was struck by their new packaging design for 2014. The pattern is wonderfully curvaceous and the gold detailing is marvellously opulent. I was told that the Hotel Chocolat design took inspiration from 20th century British artist Paul Nash, though I’m not sure I see any similarities. For me, the organic nature of eggs and leaves or petals, has a retro feel that reminds me of Art Nouveau.

Also new this year is the Facet egg, available in dark and milk chocolate versions, with bold geometric designs in both the packaging and the chocolate.

Extra Thick eggs come with a variety of different chocolates inside, in beautiful arch-shaped boxes. There’s also a Rabot 1745 version in the same shape of box but with the signature black and gold branding. And if you’re really pushing the boat out, look at the Ostrich egg, an enormous arch-shaped box containing two thick shells and lots of chocolates.

Although the big eggs are always striking, there are lots of lower priced items in bags and small boxes: the egglets are still in force as are the fried egg slabs and egg and soldiers sets; adorable pastel bunnies in pink and yellow use only natural colourings and flavourings; chocolate chicks come in white, milk or dark; choc cross buns that bring the flavours of easter baking to chocolate; Danny the City Bunny (presumably because of his bowtie, but leaves me wondering if a country bunny would have a straw hat) and a number of sandwich eggs. Go up just a little more in price and choose from the new Splat eggs; a bird’s nest of egglets; goose eggs in pretty pastels or larger bags and boxes of the chocolates above.

As has become a tradition on Kavey Eats, instead of offering one big prize, I liaise with Hotel Chocolat to choose three of my favourite items so that not one but three readers can win an Easter treat.

 

COMPETITION

Hotel Chocolat are offering three wonderful Easter egg prizes to readers of Kavey Eats. Each prize includes delivery within the UK.

First Prize: Your Eggsellency Extra Thick Easter Egg
375 grams £28 – An extra thick egg with one 40% milk shell and one 70% dark shell, filled with real cream truffles with champagne, port, amaretto and other delights.

Second Prize: The Facet Luxury Dark Chocolate Easter Egg
200 grams £20 – A dark chocolate egg in a beautiful new geometric design, with matching packaging,

Third Prize: The Splat Caramel Chocolate Easter Egg
150 grams £12.50 – With a design based on the idea of an explosion in a chocolate factory, this caramel milk chocolate egg features a colourful white chocolate splat.

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing one of your favourite childhood memories about Easter chocolate.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow
@Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win one of three @HotelChocolat Easter Eggs from Kavey Eats!
http://goo.gl/hbFOyh #KaveyEatsHCEasterEggs
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 4 April 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The three winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • There are three prizes, which will be awarded to the winners in the order that the names are picked out. Each prize is a Hotel Chocolat Easter Egg, as described above and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Hotel Chocolat.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You may enter all three ways but do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kaveyat the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats attended the Hotel Chocolat Easter preview event and received a selection of sample products.

The winners of this competition, in order of prizes, were Yasmin Jafri, Lianne Walsh and Jan Beal.

Mar 252013
 

I collect eggcups. I’m quite discerning though. At least a 100 came off the shelves a couple of years ago (with the intention of selling them on ebay, though that remains one of the many many things on my To Do list). The ones that remain crowd the shelves such that there’s very little room for any new ones to join them.

beau-bunnys-breakfast

But at their Easter preview this year, Hotel Chocolat gave me Beau Bunny’s Breakfast – a milk chocolate egg in a rather lovely two-ended porcelain egg cup which definitely makes the collection. Both egg and egg cup are decorated with images of the dapper Beau Bunny, Hotel Chocolat’s Easter 2013 branding. It’s inspired by dandy “Beau” Brummell, credited with inventing the men’s suit, a style often referred to as dandyism.

This rather grown up character makes for some very elegant packaging; I much prefer it to the usual cute bunnies and chicks.

The range contains most of last year’s favourites (including Egg & Chips and Egg Soldiers, boxes of Egglets and Hotel Chocolat’s trademark extra thick eggs). I particularly liked some of the new Egglet flavours such as almond praline with honey, salt and pepper praline, pecan praline and a mandarin one I’ve forgotten the name of and indeed the whole box went down well in our house, with particular praise for the lemon egglet. The salted caramel egg sandwich was also demolished very quickly.

As is usually the case, there are Easter treats at a wide range of prices from £1.95 for little chocolate lollipops to £70 for their largest egg, the Ostrich, extra thick and filled with chocolates.

 

Kavey Eats received samples from the Hotel Chocolat Easter range.

 

I’ve been chatting with Harviestoun Brewery recently… as you do when you’re married to a beer, whisky and coffee blogger

Harviestoun celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. Pete’s already a fan of their beers and they’ve featured on Pete Drinks three times already. Their Wild Hop Gold was one of the Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt selections… and what beer and whisky lover wouldn’t appreciate their Ola Dubh beers, dark porters aged in whisky casks?

We’re both rather excited by their latest project – a collaboration with artisan chocolatiers The Chocolate Tree. After a recent beer and chocolate pairing session, in which the favourite match was Harviestoun’s Ola Dubh 18 and a 75% Madagascar, Harvieston commissioned The Chocolate Tree to create some limited edition beer chocolates using that same combination.

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Only 40 boxes were made, each one containing 6 foil-wrapped eggs weighing about 50 grams. Each egg is actually two chocolates, consisting of a Criollo and Trinitario cacao shell around a soft centre made from the Madagascar mixed with Ola Dubh 18 beer. The signature fruitiness of Madagascar chocolate comes through beautifully, and the subtle taste of beer adds another layer of flavour. Oh and the boxes are wrapped in a beautiful brown ribbon too – I confess I’m a sucker for ribbon!

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The eggs won’t be available to buy but you have lots of opportunities to win!

 

COMPETITION

Harviestoun have offered a box of their limited edition Ola Dubh 18 chocolate and beer Easter eggs to one lucky Kavey Eats reader. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me about your favourite food and beer pairings.

Entry 2 – Facebook

Like the Kavey Eats Facebook and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey and @HarviestounBrew on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter!
Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win Ola Dubh 18 Easter Eggs from Kavey Eats and @HarviestounBrew! http://goo.gl/UnQ9P #KaveyEatsOlaDubh
(Please do not add the @Kavey twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the hashtag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

 

RULES & DETAILS

  • You must be over 18 to enter this competition.
  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Saturday 23rd March 2013.
  • The winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • The prize is a box of Ola Dubh 18 Chocolate Easter Eggs and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Harviestoun Brewery.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey and @HarviestounBrew at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

OTHER WAYS TO WIN

If you’re not lucky in my competition, there are other ways to get your hands on one of these beautiful boxes:

  • Pete Drinks is also giving away a box on his blog.
  • Harviestoun are running a competition on their own website, here.
  • Harviestoun are also running a twitter competition. All tweets featuring the hashtag #OlaDubhEasterEggs between now and Monday 25th March will be automatically entered.

There’s no competition on their Facebook page, but why not go ahead and Like it anyway for news about their latest products and projects?

 

Kavey Eats received a sample product from Harvieston Brewery

 

Win a Chocolate Badger for Easter!

Not a bunny. Not a chick. Not an egg. But a badger!

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Isn’t he marvellously, madly, adorably gorgeous?

Bettys have a wide range of Easter treats including more conventionally-shaped chocolate products and a delicious range of cakes and bakes. But it’s their Milk Chocolate Badgers that caught my eye. Made from Swiss milk chocolate and hand decorated with milk, white and dark chocolate, they weigh 330 grams and cost £20 each.

You don’t have to be Brian May to send these cuties to your friends this Easter!

badger1

Bettys is a family business which began back in 1919. Frederick Belmont, a young orphan from Switzerland, spent his teens in apprenticeships working for and learning from bakers and confectioners across Europe. By the time he arrived here in England, he had dreams of opening his own business. Through fortune and luck, he made his way to Bradford, and found the beautiful countryside of the region reminded him of his Swiss homeland. He decided to stay, and opened the first Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms in Harrogate. His combination of European confectionery and a warm welcome was a huge success. In the following years, he opened a craft bakery with its own orchard and then more branches of Bettys in other Yorkshire towns.

In the 1960s, Bettys bought another well-established Yorkshire business, the tea and coffee merchants, Taylors of Harrogate. The combination remains a strong one. Today, the company runs six tea rooms, a cookery school, the tea and coffee business and a thriving online store.

I’ve tried some of their cakes and can vouch for how good they are.

COMPETITION

Bettys are offering one of their Milk Chocolate Badgers to one lucky Kavey Eats reader this Easter. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

badger3b

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me which woodland creature you’d like to see immortalised in chocolate and why.

Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter!
Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win a Chocolate Badger from Kavey Eats and @Bettys1919! http://goo.gl/hdP0L #KaveyEatsChocBadger
You don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet.

Entry 3 – Facebook

Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

 

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Saturday 16th March 2013.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize for is a Bettys of Harrogate Milk Chocolate Badger, with free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Bettys of Harrogate.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats received sample products from Bettys of Harrogate.

The winner of this competition was Joanne McGawley.

 

I had no intention to blog any further about Easter chocolate eggs, after the Great Easter Egg Review and the posh Crème Eggs, but I simply must share the delights of one more egg with you!

To my shame, I failed to invite Gorvett & Stone to participate in my review – I simply didn’t think of it, which is remiss of me given they are one of the first decent chocolatiers I discovered, a few years ago.

But, whilst I forgot them, they didn’t forget me and recently asked me to join a customer panel providing feedback on their products, a few of which they sent me recently. I have filled in my questionnaire on this product already, which is all they were looking for, but I absolutely have to blog too because I’ve just found another favourite!

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The Bang Egg (£16.95) is made from Valrhona Jivara 40% – a delicious top quality, creamy, fruity chocolate. Within the chocolate is a generous amount of popping candy, so beloved to those of us who grew up in the eighties, and currently enjoying a bit of a retro revival.

I broke the thick egg open which was harder than it looked – I heeded the instruction on the outside and banged it hard against the table. I popped a large piece into my mouth. At first, the popping candy effect seemed far too subtle and, whilst I loved the taste and texture of the chocolate, I was a little disappointed.

But then, just as I was sucking the last remnants of the chocolate, a crescendo of popping built and my mouth came to life!

It sounded like the calls of a million tiny reed frogs just before night fall in Africa.

And, in one of life’s funny little “freak you out” moments, I immediately went to their site to find out more, and that’s when I discovered that they make exploding chocolate frogs out of the same heady mix!

This one’s a winner, folks!

 

A pagan symbol of spring and rebirth adopted by early Christians to represent the resurrection of Jesus, Easter eggs haven’t always been chocolate. In many cultures hand-painted egg shells or hard-boiled eggs, carved wooden eggs and even elaborately crafted, bejewelled precious metal eggs are still commonly exchanged.

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Creative Commons images from Flickr by Boby Dimitrov, Tsheko and Else10

In the UK today, Easter eggs are more commonly of the chocolate variety and have become, for many of us, little more than a seasonal excuse to indulge in chocolate excess, whether or not we’ve given up chocolate for Lent!

I had such fun with my Great Christmas Pudding Taste Test last year that I was spurred on to hold a similar review of chocolate Easter eggs.

This time, I started organising much farther in advance, which gave me the time to approach a wide range of producers and suppliers to ask if they’d like to participate, and to send samples to be reviewed. With the exception of the Cadbury’s, Mars and Nestlé eggs, all the eggs were sent by producers and supermarkets.

To help me review the eggs, I invited several fellow chocolate-lovers, including some who really know their high-end chocolate. But I also took care to include reviewers who like middle-of-road chocolate and even one who thinks Galaxy is the epitome of tasty! I think, between us, we had a wide range of tastes.

On my review panel were myself and Pete, Becca, Chloe, Dom, Euwen, Jenn, Judith, Kate and Sarah (who also kindly hosted the review evening at her flat).

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Just some of the eggs laid out on the table at the start of the review evening

I created sheets asking my panel of reviewers to feedback on the Appearance and design of the eggs in their packaging.

Then we went on to judge them on Taste. This was done anonymously as far as possible, with Pete and myself taking the eggs into the kitchen, unpacking them, breaking them into pieces and serving them on numbered plates, 4 to 5 at a time. Of course, some eggs were very distinctive and impossible to disguise, but everyone did their best to give as objective a score as possible.

I asked my panellists to consider how the chocolate looked, how it felt to the touch, it’s smell, the snap, the mouthfeel and texture, the flavours they detected on tasting it including the aftertaste, how nice the additional flavours and fillings were, and how successful a combination they made.

Once we’d worked our way through all the eggs, starting with white chocolate, progressing through milk chocolate and ending with the dark chocolate eggs (and all taste scores were noted) I revealed the identities and prices of each egg (both the actual price and the price per 100 grams) and asked everyone to give a Value score that took into account their notes and scores for taste and added price into the equation.

Below, you can see the results for all three scores.

Hard-core chocolate lovers will probably be most interested in the Taste column, which ranks the eggs according to how much we liked them, irrespective of price. Canny shoppers may be more focused on the Value Score! Whilst Appearance is definitely important, especially when purchasing gifts, for me it’s the third score to consider when ranking the Easter eggs.

I’ve shared more detailed feedback on the top 12 eggs by Value and Taste, below.

Value (Taste + Price)

Taste

Appearance

1. Paul A Young Sea-Salted Caramel Egg

1. Paul A Young Sea-Salted Caramel Egg

1. Rococo Hand painted Japanese Bird Motif Egg With Chocolates

2. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg With Cornish Clotted Cream Fudge & Honeycomb

2. Rococo Hand painted Japanese Bird Motif Egg With Chocolates

2. Chococo Union Jack Egg (With Freeze Dried Fruit)

3. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Faberge Egg With Marc de Champagne Truffles

3. Chococo Honeycombe Egg

3. Chococo Deliciously Fruity Dark Egg

4. Divine Dark Chocolate Egg With Dark Chocolate Brazil Nuts

4. Divine Dark Chocolate Egg With Dark Chocolate Brazil Nuts

3. Chococo Honeycombe Egg

5. Rococo Hand painted Japanese Bird Motif Egg With Chocolates

5. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg With Cornish Clotted Cream Fudge & Honeycomb

5. Paul A Young Sea-Salted Caramel Egg

6. Chococo Honeycombe Egg

6. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Faberge Egg With Marc de Champagne Truffles

6. Artisan du Chocolat Wrapped Egg

7. Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate Egg

7. Hotel Chocolat The Nibblatron Easter Eggsposé

7. Hotel Chocolat Purist Extra Thick Egg

8. Tesco Finest Belgian White Chocolate Egg With Madagascan Vanilla

8. Green & Blacks Organic Maya Gold Egg

8. Rococo Child’s Egg With Milk Chocolate Animals

9. Green & Blacks Organic Butterscotch Egg

9. Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate Egg

9. Thorntons Chocolate Jubilee Egg

10. M & S White Chocolate & Raspberry Egg

10. Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70% Chocolate Egg

10. M & S The Collection Luxury Loaded Dark Chocolate Egg With Cranberry & Pecans

11. Green & Blacks Organic Maya Gold Egg

11. Chococo Union Jack Egg (With Freeze Dried Fruit)

11. M & S The Collection Milk Chocolate Half Egg With Milk, White & Dark Mini Eggs

12. Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70% Chocolate Egg

11. M & S White Chocolate & Raspberry Egg

12. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg With Cornish Clotted Cream Fudge & Honeycomb

13. Asda The Collection White Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova Egg

13. M & S The Collection Milk Chocolate Half Egg With Milk, White & Dark Mini Eggs

13. M & S White Chocolate & Raspberry Egg

14. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg With Honeycomb

14. Chococo Deliciously Fruity Dark Egg

14. Thorntons Continental Milk Egg

15. Tesco Finest Fairtrade Organic Round The World Milk Chocolate Egg

15. Hotel Chocolat Purist Extra Thick Egg

15. Artisan du Chocolat Bucket Egg

16. Thorntons Chocolate Jubilee Egg

16. M & S The Collection Luxury Loaded Dark Chocolate Egg With Cranberry & Pecans

16. Asda The Collection White Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova Egg

17. M & S The Collection Luxury Loaded Dark Chocolate Egg With Cranberry & Pecans

17. Green & Blacks Organic Butterscotch Egg

17. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Faberge Egg With Marc de Champagne Truffles

18. Chococo Union Jack Egg(With Freeze Dried Fruit)

18. Thorntons Continental Milk Egg

18. Artisan du Chocolat Mallow Bunny Egg

19. Chococo Deliciously Fruity Dark Egg

18. Thorntons Chocolate Jubilee Egg

18. Tesco Finest Belgian White Chocolate Egg With Madagascan Vanilla

20. Hotel Chocolat The Nibblatron Easter Eggsposé

20. Tesco Finest Belgian White Chocolate Egg With Madagascan Vanilla

20. Divine Dark Chocolate Egg With Dark Chocolate Brazil Nuts

21. M & S The Collection Milk Chocolate Half Egg With Milk, White & Dark Mini Eggs

21. Tesco Finest Fairtrade Organic Round The World Milk Chocolate Egg

21. Divine Milk Chocolate Egg with Praline Mini Eggs

21. Mars Maltesers Milk Chocolate Egg

22. Artisan du Chocolat Bucket Egg

22. Sainsbury’s Fairtrade Belgian Milk Chocolate Spotty Egg

23. Artisan du Chocolat Wrapped Egg

23. Rococo Child’s Egg With Milk Chocolate Animals

22. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg With Honeycomb

24. Hotel Chocolat Purist Extra Thick Egg

24. Artisan du Chocolat Wrapped Egg

22. Tesco Finest Fairtrade Organic Round The World Milk Chocolate Egg

25. Sainsbury’s Fairtrade Belgian Milk Chocolate Spotty Egg

25. Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg With Honeycomb

25. Asda The Collection Milk Chocolate Fudge Egg

26. Divine Milk Chocolate Egg with Praline Mini Eggs

26. Asda The Collection White Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova Egg

26. Green & Blacks Organic Butterscotch Egg

27. Nestlé Smarties Milk Chocolate Egg

27. Artisan du Chocolat Mallow Bunny Egg

26. Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70% Chocolate Egg

28. Artisan du Chocolat Bucket Egg

28. Sainsbury’s Fairtrade Belgian Milk Chocolate Spotty Egg

26. Green & Blacks Organic Maya Gold Egg

28. Cadbury’s Crème Egg Milk Chocolate Egg

29. Nestlé Smarties Milk Chocolate Egg

29. Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate Egg

30. Rococo Child’s Egg With Milk Chocolate Animals

30. Cadbury’s Crème Egg Milk Chocolate Egg

30. Hotel Chocolat The Nibblatron Easter Eggsposé

31. Asda The Collection Milk Chocolate Fudge Egg

31. Mars Maltesers Milk Chocolate Egg

31. Cadbury’s Crème Egg Milk Chocolate Egg

32. Artisan du Chocolat Mallow Bunny Egg

32. Divine Milk Chocolate Egg with Praline Mini Eggs

32. Nestlé Smarties Milk Chocolate Egg

* The Thorntons Continental Milk Egg has been excluded from this list, as we had the wrong price noted.

33. Asda The Collection Milk Chocolate Fudge Egg

33. Mars Maltesers Milk Chocolate Egg


Paul A Young Sea-Salted Caramel Egg

PaulAYoungEggcup
I messed up the photo of this egg so this is a stock image. This year’s egg is the same design, sold with the same eggcup and spoon, but the chocolate has been dusted in gold

Ranking Value: 1
Ranking Taste: 1
Ranking Appearance: 5
Price: £18.95
Weight: 90-100 grams
Price / 100 grams: £18.95

Most of the tasting sheet comments about this egg were single word utterances along the lines of “yum”, “wow”, “nom”, “perfect” and “oh, my God!” Comments also mentioned that the balance between sweet and salty was just right, along with the choice of chocolate that encased the salted caramel, which was fruity, neither too bitter nor too sweet.

Most of the panel agreed that, even given it’s price, the egg was so very, very good that they still felt it was the one they’d most want to spend money on, hence we gave it a great score for value as well.


Rococo Hand-painted Japanese Bird Motif Egg With Chocolates

Easter Eggs-5963 Easter Eggs-6101

Ranking Value: 5
Ranking Taste: 2
Ranking Appearance: 1
Price: £30
Weight: 220 grams
Price / 100 grams: £13.64

Even before opening the box, this got high marks for design, as the box and ribbon are elegant and colourful. We guessed that an open box would be displayed in the shops for buyers to see what they were buying.

Everyone thought the hand painted egg “beautiful” with “cool colours” painted on a double shell (white chocolate outside, milk inside). It was “gorgeous”.

The chocolate egg broke with a “hard snap” but it went down hill from there. The chocolate was described as “middle of the road”, “not very complex”, “not overly flavourful” and “a bit bland”. The comments “not amazing” and “inoffensive” were damning with faint praise. A couple commented that the “white [made] it a bit sweet” and there was an “odd”, “strange” taste that we speculated might be the food colouring used to paint the egg.

But, everything was turned around soon after. Inside the egg were a selection of “wonderful”, “lovely” chocolates that were “really nice”, “delicious”, “fab”. We “adored” them.

For most of us, we felt that the “chocolates were let down by the quality of the egg”, that it was “not a great egg but an amazing package” that was “awesometastic”.


Chococo Honeycombe Egg

Easter Eggs-6001 Easter Eggs-6002

Ranking Value: 6
Ranking Taste: 3
Ranking Appearance: 3
Price: £12.95 including UK P&P
Weight: 175 grams
Price / 100 grams: £7.40

As with the other Chococo eggs, we liked the appearance and design of the egg, including the “beautiful gold flecks” on the outside.

The inside of the egg was embedded with a generous volume of large chunks of cinder toffee, colloquially known as honeycomb. Most panellists commented positively about the honeycomb, describing it as “proper looking”, “light”, “crunchy”, tasting “very honeyish”. One said it was “faintly Crunchie-esque”.

The “smooth” chocolate was “sweet” and “creamy”, with a “richer” mouthfeel. It had a decent “cocoa” hit – closer to dark chocolate than most of the other milks, with a real “depth” of flavour. Most felt it was “good chocolate” and many liked the “balance of flavours”, although some of us found it “very sweet”.

One panellist found a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste; another described it as “funny”.


Divine Dark Chocolate Egg With Dark Chocolate Brazil Nuts (Fairtrade)

Easter Eggs-5976

Ranking Value: 4
Ranking Taste: 4
Ranking Appearance: 20
Price: £5
Weight: 140 grams
Price / 100 grams: £3.57

We were contradictory on the smell of this one with one finding the smell “rich”, another asking if it smelled “burnt” and one stating that it had “no aroma”. In the mouth a few of us found it “smooth” and several of us found it “greasy”. The “fatty” texture “coat[ed the] mouth”. The taste was described as “roasty”, “buttery” and “fruity” with “raisins” and “red fruits” specified. “Slightly acidic” but “not too sweet or too bitter”, it was “quite a nice, mellow dark chocolate”. Quite a few of us described it as “chocolaty” and “cocoa-y”.


Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg With Cornish Clotted Cream Fudge & Honeycomb

Easter Eggs-5993

Ranking Value: 2
Ranking Taste: 5
Ranking Appearance: 12
Price: £7 (2 for £10)
Weight: 300 grams
Price / 100 grams: £2.33 (£1.67 for 2)

This is the Easter egg that won the Good Housekeeping Institute’s review this year, though I didn’t reveal that to the panellists until the end, and most had not recognised it from the description.

First impressions were of a “solid” egg made of quite a “dark chocolate” and packed “full of stuff”. It had a “sharp” snap. In the mouth, some of us liked that there were both “crunchy and soft bits”, “lots going on but nice” with a pleasant “contrast of honeycomb and fudge bits”. The fudge and honeycomb chunks were interesting in both taste and texture. Several panellists commented that it was “nicely chocolaty” with “lots of fudgy bits but not horribly sweet”. The chocolate was found to be anything from “ok” to “good” to “actually really nice”. But there was a comment that the fudge was “not so good” and there was a “slightly plastic” aftertaste.

Overall, some liked the “variety – each mouthful is different” and loved that it came “with a whole sweet shop in it”. But a few disagreed, saying that “lumpy bumpy doesn’t make it fab” and asked to be given “something more interesting than sweets in sweet chocolate”. Said one, it “doesn’t come together for me”.


Tesco Finest Belgian Milk Chocolate Faberge Egg With Marc de Champagne Truffles

Easter Eggs-6754

Ranking Value: 3
Ranking Taste: 6
Ranking Appearance: 17
Price: £6
Weight: 220 grams
Price / 100 grams: £2.73

Although it ranked in the middle for appearance, the scores were all pretty decent – we liked the simple but elegant design of the packaging. The egg inside was “shiny”, “solid” and “smooth” in appearance. The “handmade look to frosted balls” was “tempting”.

The chocolate gave a “crisp”, “pleasant” snap and was “smooth” and “creamy” in the mouth though a single panellist said they found it “slightly gritty”. The chocolate itself was described as “nice and plain”, a “gentle, rounded” “decent chocolate” with a hint of “molasses”. Most found it “not too sweet”, though for a couple, it was “a touch sweet”. The aftertaste was “sweet” and “nutty”.

More of the panellists liked the “good boozy truffle things” than didn’t, describing them as having a “good texture” and “smooth filling” and the “heavily alcoholic tang to truffles” as ” very nice”. However, a couple found them “overly boozy” for their tastes.


Hotel Chocolat The Nibblatron Easter Eggsposé

Easter Eggs-5966

Ranking Value: 20
Ranking Taste: 7
Ranking Appearance: 30
Price: £14
Weight: 175 grams
Price / 100 grams: £8

Feelings about the design were almost universally negative though there were a couple of dissenters who loved the little robots.

The chocolate was described as “shiny” like a “pebble” with a decent snap. In the mouth it was “creamy” but “melt[ed] too fast”. One found it “smooth but fatty”. Many of the panellists felt it was “very sweet but nice flavour”, a “mild chocolaty sweetness” with a “very milky flavour”. Also detected were “molasses” and a “mild coffee taste”. But some didn’t like the taste at all. It had a “funny” aftertaste that one panellist described as “herbaceous”.

The robots were made from the same chocolate as the egg, which seemed “a bit pointless”.


Green & Blacks Organic Maya Gold Egg

Easter Eggs-5967

Ranking Value: 11
Ranking Taste: 8
Ranking Appearance: 28
Price: £5.59
Weight: 180 grams
Price / 100 grams: £3.11

This egg had a strong smell of “bitter citrus pith” and “Old Spice“. It had a “good snap”. For one, the mouthfeel was “too greasy”, for another it was “not smooth enough” but most seemed happy with it. On the taste front, it had a “nice”, “strong flavour” with “citrus, cinnamon, clove” that reminded some of “Christmas”. There was a “nice balance of orange and spices”. Some also commented on the fruity flavours and called it “posh orange chocolate”. It was “a nice change”. One found it “a little too sweet”. The aftertaste was like “pith but not too bitter” though for one of us, it left a “furry mouth” feeling.

A warning from one of the panellists, however, that “you really have to like cinnamon spice” to like this one!


Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate Egg

Easter Eggs-5971

Ranking Value: 7
Ranking Taste: 9
Ranking Appearance: 29
Price: £5.59
Weight: 180 grams
Price / 100 grams: £3.11

There was quick appreciation for the “nice thick egg walls” and the chocolate was described as having a “nice snap”. Most didn’t make any comments on mouthfeel but one felt it was “slimy somehow”.

The flavour was alternatively described as “not great”, “molasses”, “strong cocoa”, “plain but good” and “British style”. It “”tasted like a Flake” and had a “rich cocoa powder type flavour”. But three panellists detected a burnt taste in the finish – they said it “start[ed] off quite well, deteriorates, burnt towards end”, that it had a “darker flavour but burnt aftertaste” and that it was “burnt, a bit like coffee”.

That said, it was one of the more highly rated milk chocolates.


Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70% Chocolate Egg

Easter Eggs-5970

Ranking Value: 12
Ranking Taste: 10
Ranking Appearance: 26
Price: £5.59
Weight: 180 grams
Price / 100 grams: £3.11

Comments on this egg were mixed. Some panellists appreciated the “fruity” taste of the chocolate. Several panellists disliked the “slightly grainy” texture and the “chalky” aftertaste. Some of the flavour notes were of “leather and wood”; a slightly “sour” taste, “sharp”. It reminded some of “tobacco”. For some, that “spicy”, “earthy” taste was very appealing.


Chococo Union Jack Egg (With Freeze Dried Fruit)

Easter Eggs-5997 Easter Eggs-5998

Ranking Value: 18
Ranking Taste: 11
Ranking Appearance: 2
Price: £12.95 including UK P&P
Weight: 175 grams
Price / 100 grams: £7.40

With it’s distinctive decoration, this was a very popular egg on the looks front. Everyone liked the design of both the packaging and the egg itself.

Having failed to read the description properly, Pete and I served it alongside the three white chocolate eggs, so there were some surprised reactions when we realised that there were two layers, a white chocolate outer layer over a milk chocolate inner.

Panellists detected aromas of “cream” and “sugary milk chocolate”. The snap was “good” (and solid, it was a hard egg to break into, let me tell you!) Comments about mouthfeel and texture were mixed: one found it “creamy”, another felt it had a “nice texture with the freeze dried fruit” and one panellist felt the “bits were not very nice in the mouth”. Panellists were divided about the taste. Some liked the “occasional bursts of fruit”, others found the overall taste too “sweet and sickly”. But the “layer of milk tempered the sweetness of the white” chocolate. The fruit flavours were “zingy”. One panellist mentioned an “oily” aftertaste.


Tesco Finest Belgian White Chocolate Egg With Madagascan Vanilla

Easter Eggs-5991

Ranking Value: 8
Ranking Taste: 20
Ranking Appearance: 18
Price: £3 (2 for £5)
Weight: 100 grams
Price / 100 grams: £3 (£2.50 for 2)

The chocolate had a green tinge, perhaps from the heavy vanilla seed flecking. The smell was not very strong, and certainly the vanilla didn’t seem to come through. But all those vanilla seeds resulted in a “gritty”, “sandy”, “grainy” texture for virtually all the panellists. And yet they didn’t impart as much vanilla flavour as expected, though some did come through. The flavour was also described as “soapy”, “sweet” and “strange at the back of the throat”.


M & S White Chocolate & Raspberry Egg

Easter Eggs-5980

Ranking Value: 10
Ranking Taste: 11
Ranking Appearance: 13
Price: £5.99
Weight: 155 grams
Price / 100 grams: £3.86

This egg was soft to the touch and melted a little too quickly, though panellists liked that it was a decent thickness. The dominant smell was sugar. Some found the chocolate itself “creamy” and “melty”, for others it was “claggy”, “oily” and “waxy” but the texture of the dried bits of raspberry didn’t appeal to everyone – someone mentioned that it felt like eating “raspberry pips” that “get between the teeth”. Others quite liked the crunch. The flavour of the raspberry came through more than one of the other white chocolate and raspberry egg reviewed. From the chocolate, some picked up hints of “vanilla”, others were overwhelmed by how “sugary” it was, one panellist was reminded of “Milkybar”. A “dusty” aftertaste was mentioned.

Easter Eggs-6103

So there you have it!

If you were wondering which easter egg to buy, I hope this will help you narrow it down a little!

Of course, although we did our best to be as rigorous and objective as we could, we were a pretty small panel and sometimes just one outlying score from a single panellist raised or lowered an egg’s average (and therefore it’s ranking) significantly. We gave each egg serious attention but at the same time, we had fun!

If we scored an egg from one of your favourite producers low, please don’t dismiss it out of hand.

We all have different likes and dislikes and, as the saying goes, one man’s food is another man’s poison!

To finish, some photographs of some of the other eggs in the review!

Easter Eggs-5990 Easter Eggs-5961 Easter Eggs-5979 Easter Eggs-5984 Easter Eggs-5986 Easter Eggs-6750 Easter Eggs-5988 Easter Eggs-6746 Easter Eggs-5999 Easter Eggs-6748 Easter Eggs-6749 Easter Eggs-5989 Easter Eggs-6751 Easter Eggs-6099 Easter Eggs-6756Easter Eggs-6744

Many thanks to the producers and supermarkets for gamely sending us their eggs to review and to all the panellists for their tasting, scoring and comments!

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