Top 8 Easter eggs tested

THERE are many who will never go beyond popular brands of the delicious milk chocolate eggs we have loved for ever. 

Top 8 Easter eggs tested

But this year I looked for something new to appeal to the more imaginative, who might like a change of taste, texture and presentation.

Taste is still the most important of our criteria, so top marks still went to the best chocolate that a panel of five, of different ages, tasted. We didn’t go back to our usual top markers and great producers such as Eve, Cocoa Bean, and Skelligs; they’re well worth buying.

We looked at a mix of dark, white, and milk chocolate and found plenty to please.

Let’s not worry too much about calories at Easter, but remember that creamy fillings clock up the count in just one bite. A large piece of dark chocolate may deliver more satisfaction.

Best to chip away at your egg over the weeks after Easter as a treat or to satisfy cravings. Keep it out of sight so you are not reminded that it’s there. It will keep for months in an airtight tin.

Grate leftovers over ice-cream, onto hot chocolate and into cake mixtures. Add grated dark chocolate to stews and stir fries for richness. You won’t taste it, but the extra flavour will give them a lift. Happy Easter!

The Chocolate Shop milk chocolate egg with Turkish Delight 550g €20

This new, Cork-themed egg has a decent 250g bag of Hadji Bey Turkish delight in the most popular chocolate egg of the tasting. The milk chocolate has 35% cocoa solids and is creamy and full-flavoured with hints of caramel. It was the egg everyone kept taking pieces of when we finished the tasting. Good value too.

Egg can be filled with chocolates of your choice, fudge or other sweets, but we liked the contrast in the mouth of a little bite of rose- flavoured jelly with the chocolate. From the English Market, Cork and online.

Score: 9

Hazel Mountain chocolate egg 150g €18

From beans imported, roasted and stone- ground in the Burren Co Clare, this is the first bean-to-bar chocolate egg in Ireland.

With a high 72% of Venezuelan cocoa content, this half egg is not bitter and the flavour is clean and lively. While it didn’t appeal to our youngest taster, it was appreciated by all of the others.

Inside a Venezuelan chocolate baby egg is paired with a Madagascar chocolate chick filled with delicious salted caramel and roasted pecan. Gluten and dairy-free, it’s only available in their shop and workshop (and soon café) at Bellharbour, Co Clare.

Score: 8.5

Simply Choco Yes, No. Yes, No Yes. 90g €11

These nine half-chocolate eggs come in a yellow box and also in a beautiful copper- coloured egg (€39) which can be recycled to hold jewellery or bathroom bits. They were a huge hit with tasters who fought over the dark and white chocolates, less so the milk ones.

Three each of solid 33% milk chocolates are flecked with toasted coconut, while the white chocolate is flavoured with dried raspberry and liquorice, and the 60% dark chocolate flecked with ground-toasted hazelnuts.

From Inreda design shop at Ely Place, Dublin. They won’t crack if ordered online at www.inreda.ie

Score: 8

Chez Emily 195g €10

Made in Dublin from Belgian milk chocolate with 33.8% cocoa solids, there are different- sized eggs and little bunny shapes handy for indoor bunny hunts (as they are small). The cellophane bag is closed with two cute bunny pegs.

There are a few white chocolate and 53.8% dark-chocolate mini eggs. All were a hit with the nine year old. The milk chocolate has a little hint of vanilla with caramel notes and is gluten-free. For a list of an extensive range of stockists and to buy online: www.chezemily.ie.

Score: 7.5

Moo Free Easter bunneycomb egg 100g €6.85

I didn’t initially tell tasters this was dairy and gluten- free and suitable for vegans. The first reaction was that this had a good texture and taste with a light chocolate flavour.

It was too sweet for our nine-year-old taster, which is not surprising as it has 32% sugar and with crunchy honeycomb bits throughout, total sugars come to a high 41.8%.

A useful product for those who don’t like dark chocolate and need a dairy-free treat. From health/wholefood stores.

Score: 5.75

Marks & Spencer The Single Origin Cocoa Pod 210g €17.99

From a wide selection, this egg, with 69% cocoa solids, was too dark for our younger taster, but pleased all of the older ones.

With a lively kick, it wasn’t bitter, and even appealed to those who prefer milk chocolate. There are thin tasting bars in the pack too which adds to the experience of trying chocolate specifically from the Dominican Republic.

Score: 7.75

Aldi Choceur Secrets egg 350g €4.99

A decent-sized egg, this one was a bit too sweet for all tasters, even the nine year old.

The chocolate has a low 25% coca solids so it’s not surprising tasters thought it didn’t have enough chocolate flavour.

They preferred the vanilla flavoured cream- creamy filled chocolates inside.

Score: 6

Tesco finest egg coop 126g €10

This pretty wooden box has two rows of small eggs in dark, milk and white chocolate. While an interesting idea, the chocolate is unremarkable, with as expected, the white chocolate a lot sweeter than the dark, which has 53% cocoa solids and is not bitter. The milk chocolate has 33% cocoa content and is quite sweet.

Also available, the Tesco Finest dark chocolate egg — while not so new in presentation style, will please those who like a lighter dark chocolate.

Score: 6

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