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.
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.
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)
|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
Ranking Value: 1
Ranking Taste: 1
Ranking Appearance: 5
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
Ranking Value: 5
Ranking Taste: 2
Ranking Appearance: 1
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
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)
Ranking Value: 4
Ranking Taste: 4
Ranking Appearance: 20
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
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
Ranking Value: 3
Ranking Taste: 6
Ranking Appearance: 17
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
Ranking Value: 20
Ranking Taste: 7
Ranking Appearance: 30
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
Ranking Value: 11
Ranking Taste: 8
Ranking Appearance: 28
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
Ranking Value: 7
Ranking Taste: 9
Ranking Appearance: 29
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
Ranking Value: 12
Ranking Taste: 10
Ranking Appearance: 26
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)
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
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
Ranking Value: 10
Ranking Taste: 11
Ranking Appearance: 13
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.
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!
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!