Eggsciting treats this Easter

WITH Easter fast approaching, we put on our bunny ears and went foraging for top-class eggs.

Eggsciting treats this Easter

We found plenty of regular eggs from well-known brands, but wanted to include eggs for anyone with dairy or sugar intolerances, usually found in health food shops and speciality food shops.

Those trying to avoid sugar completely will find it more difficult. They will be labelled ‘no sugar added’ as they cannot claim to be sugar-free. The best of these we found was from the Chocolate Shop in English Market, Cork (€10 for half shell + 11 chocolates) and it, like others we looked at, contains maltitol instead of sugar. Maltitol is a sugar alcohol and sweetens in much the same way as sugar does. However, it still has a high glycaemic level, and therefor is calorific.

Where calories are concerned with most of the regular eggs, the lighter the chocolate is on cocoa solids, the more room there is for fat and sugar.

Dark chocolate has more health benefits than milk chocolate, but at Easter I suggest you simply enjoy the treat. And, to keep the calories under control, it’s best to share them.

These are the very best we eggs we found on the shelves. All of them are worth buying.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations, 291g €9.88

This fairly large egg has a low 23% cocoa solids, but it pleased committed lovers of this popular brand of chocolate.

Two new bars are launched with this egg and are flavoured with jelly-popping candy shells which give a cherry-like fruitiness with a crunch. The other cookie-nut crunch flavouring has chunks of crunchy biscuit. All very appealing to tasters. Widely available.

Lorge chocolate egg, 100g €7.50

Good lasting meltingness in the mouth, lovely, full flavour, high-quality milk chocolate with a decent 40% cocoa solids, this is smooth and silky, and liked by all tasters. Available from On the Pig’s Back, Cork, Avoca and Fallon & Byrne in Dublin, McCambridge in Galway, Country Choice, Nenagh and others.

Eve A Little Temptation, 340g €12

Six hollow (but quite thick) eggs in colourful sugar coatings sit in half an egg carton made of milk chocolate. Tied with a bow with a little chick attached, this is one of the cutest of the selection from this unique outlet on College Road, Cork.

The slightly caramel, rich chocolate flavour with 34% cocoa solids of the carton, typical of the Eve brand, contrasts with a slightly darker 50% cocoa solids chocolate of the eggs.

Michel Cluizel, 130g €16.95

Beautifully decorated with a speckled hen which is filled with praline, on a little fence at the front, this comes from one of the world’s greatest chocolate manufacturers. The milk chocolate version has a decent 39% cocoa solids while the dark has 63%. We tasted the milk chocolate version which was rich and almost dark in flavour. A range of Cluizel eggs and bunnies is stocked by Terroirs, Dublin and the Chocolate Shop, English Market, Cork.

Pandora Bell, 150g €10.95– €11.95

Three praline chocolate eggs are coated in real eggshell which has to be chipped off before eating. The effort is worth it for the dense, high content of hazelnut mixed with quite light chocolate. A good idea for those who like the flavour of toasted hazelnuts even more than chocolate. From Avoca, Brown Thomas in Cork and Limerick, Fallon & Byrne, Dublin, Harvey Nichols, Dublin and others.

Marks & Spencer Made Without Dairy, 195g €8.99

A good product for those with dairy intolerance. this hollow dark chocolate egg comes with a substantial bar. With cocoa solids of 50%, there is plenty of chocolate flavour.

The milk solids are replaced with sugar and perhaps extra cocoa butter, but it’s not too sweet and has a good texture. The vanilla flavour is pronounced too.

Decorated bunny, 180g €10.95

This hollow milk chocolate bunny with appliqued red flowers is the most attractive of the bunnies we examined. In a simple cellophane wrapping, the chocolate has 33% cocoa solids and is deliciously creamy, with a little vanilla/caramel-like flavour liked by all tasters. (It also comes in dark chocolate.) Available at Chocolate Shop, English Market, Cork.

Skelligs Mint Brittle dark chocolate egg, 250g €7.95, 400g €19.90

A light shell of 44% cocoa solids egg flecked with crisp mint pieces is a great choice for an after-dinner Easter egg. The chocolate is rich enough to take the contrast of the fresh mint flavour. Available at Avoca in Dublin, McCambridge in Galway, Chocolate Shop in English Market, Cork and others.

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