and her three helpers put a selection of tasty Easter eggs to the test
Three tasters, Ned (five), Ava (six), and Rosie (seven), proved a tough crowd for today’s survey of Easter eggs. No shortage of strong opinions about what they liked meant some of the adults’ choices didn’t make the cut.
Today it’s all about the children. To that end, Rosie came with me to pick from vast ranges on shop shelves. With a keen eye on longevity, packets of sweets were a plus. No dark chocolate and a leaning towards white chocolate as decoration of milk chocolate was indulged
We bought 11 samples and chose the final eight with difficulty. We took less notice than usual of ingredients and health, except to check why some chocolate tasted particularly rich — the highest percentage of cocoa solids was the explanation every time.
Educating the palate with small amounts of better-quality chocolate could lead children to eventually appreciate less fat and sugar in chocolate — dark — which is increasingly being proved to have health benefits and be better than commercially produced, high-fat, sugar-filled bars.
Some popular brands which have chocolate-covered caramels and other fillings were cast aside as they found the egg shell less tasty — they consistently had low cocoa content, around 20%.
Without realising why, they appreciated better quality chocolate eggs. But they still took the high-sugar sweets home.
Skelligs honeycomb & marshmallow
The only solid egg of our selection, 42% cocoa solids give it a richness that the three loved, though Ava, who doesn’t favour honeycomb, needed convincing. “It’s like Rocky Road,” said Rosie to convince Ava and won her over. The honeycomb and marshmallow pieces are throughout the chocolate and got top marks from Rosie and Ned, with an 8 from Ava. Made in Kerry.
Marks & Spencer Moonbeam The Unicorn
White chocolate appealed to Rosie, the unicorn motif a fashionable addition to the hollow egg. The pink cheeks come from beetroot colouring so no additives. This proved a favourite, though Ava found the white chocolate too sweet, scoring six, a nine from Ned who took the leftovers home (the greatest compliment), and a seven from Rosie who found it a little oversweet, but still good.
This hollow milk chocolate egg comes with five mini eggs with creamy fillings. The fillings were too adult in taste, but the chocolate was nicely caramel-like and got good marks — three eights.
Cadbury Dairy Milk with mini Oreos
A bag of mini Oreos was hugely appealing to all tasters who already love Oreos biscuits. This was Ava’s favourite — of course as it’s Dairy Milk. While they all scoffed the small pack of eight mini Oreos inside, only Ava wanted to take home the chocolate egg. They all favoured this chocolate shell over the Rolo brand from Nestlé.
Marks & Spencer Chicky Chicky Bang Bang
A decorated hollow milk chocolate fat chick has an impressive 52 solid chocolate mini eggs with a speckled candy shell with no additives provided an enticing, noisy rattle. These were quickly tucked into. White-chocolate, yellow coloured decoration on the egg was a plus. As Ned’s first choice, it got a 10 from him (the eggs especially), while Ava and Rosie loved the mini eggs and gave it a high nine each.
Chocolate Shop milk chocolate hedgehog
Rosie fell for Frippone the hedgehog’s eyes and his cute pink bow, and chose this from an extensive selection in the stall at Cork’s English Market. She has expensive taste, choosing chocolate made by the famous Paris-based Cluizel. She declared it one of her favourites, scoring a 10, Ned awarded eight marks and Ava, an avid Dairy Milk fan, didn’t like it much and gave it a three.
Chez Emily milk chocolate honeycomb
Sitting on a decent slab of honeycomb chocolate, which echoes the substantial shell, it has a good 33.5% cocoa solids. Made in Dublin. High scores of six (not so keen on the honeycomb), eight (tasty and crunchy), and 10 (particularly good as it has white chocolate decoration).
Made from a decent 33.6% cocoa solids, with hints of vanilla and caramel, this chocolate egg appealed to all. Squiggles of white chocolate as decoration and honeycomb chunks in a separate bag appealed to two of the testers who like a crunch. From English Market, Cork.