I’d like to be able to tell you that each of these has passed the taste test, but I can’t. These splendid examples are the result of fun-packed, zero-calorie desk research!
These wonderfully extravagant chocolate treats are almost (only almost) too beautiful to eat.
Whether you ditched sugar for Lent or you’re in need of some serious indulgence after a particularly long, gruelling winter, there’s plenty of cause for celebration. Easter is just around the corner. The time has arrived to pile your shopping basket high with hot cross buns, roast lamb, and, most important of all, chocolate eggs.
If you’re looking for something a bit more special than your average grocery store confectionery, you’ve come to the right place. I have rounded up some of the very best luxury Easter eggs from around the globe.
The iconic Gleneagles hotel has taken inspiration from the great outdoors to create its first luxury Easter egg. Crafted by executive pastry chef Phil Skinazi and his team, the opulent egg (pictured above) is made using Valrhona’s dark chocolate with flavours of berries and peat in a nod to the surrounding Perthshire countryside. Inside there is a selection of handmade whisky truffles created with Gleneagles’ first single malt made in collaboration with celebrated local distillery, The Glenturret. This sounds like the perfect Easter present for a much-loved father or grand-father.
In the in-house chocolate atelier at Le Bristol Paris, maître chocolatier Johan Giacchetti and his team have hand-crafted a stunning sculpture of Socrate (the hotel’s feline resident) curled up inside an elegant Venezuelan dark chocolate egg. Socrate is made with the finest milk chocolate with hazelnut and toasted brown rice, while the sumptuous red cushion he sleeps on has been carved from white chocolate. If that wasn’t enough, the delicately crafted egg comes with a selection of Giacchetti’s praline treats featuring exquisite flavors such as pumpkin seed, buckwheat and pistachio, enveloped in dark and milk chocolate. Doesn’t this sound divine? I’m sure this one has my name all over it.
The next luxurious Easter egg on my list is a wonderful celebration of spring. Created by Paula Stakelum, the director of chocolate and patisserie at Ashford Castle. The intricate hand-painted egg is inspired by the idyllic cherry blossom avenue at the hotel’s 350,000-acre estate in County Mayo, Ireland. Crafted from Ashford Castle’s bespoke Valrhona chocolate couverture giving it a beautiful shine. I’m advised the indulgent egg delicately balances fresh milk notes with hints of sweet vanilla, biscuit and honey. My gardening (and chocoholic) mad mother would have appreciated this one.
No list of luxury Easter eggs would be complete without mentioning this delightful example from London’s Fortnum & Mason. This would be a truly special gift for a darling grand or god child. Crafted by master chocolatiers in Wales, it’s made from rich single-origin chocolate couverture from Colombia and coated in a layer of velvety white chocolate. The pièce de résistance, however, is the Easter bunny on the front – hand-sketched using all-natural cocoa butter paints. It’s a work of art!
For a serious chocoholic, look no further than Hotel Chocolat’s Classic Ostrich Easter egg. Weighing in at over a kilogram (2 lbs), the extravagant chocolate sphere is (you guessed it) the same size as a real ostrich egg, with a ludicrously chunky high-cacao shell packed with crunchy cookies, puffed rice and crispy feuilletine flakes. But wait, there’s more! This decadent egg also comes with a selection of 20 truffles, pralines, caramels and patisserie chocolates ranging from billionaire’s shortbread to Eton Mess. Those with a sweet tooth can opt for the classic egg, but there’s also a dark chocolate version and even a newly released vegan egg for your dairy-free loved ones.
Finding a plant-based chocolate treat that still tastes delicious can be tricky but the chocolatiers at Notting Hill-based Melt have managed it with the Wild Egg. Handcrafted using rare cocoa beans from Bolivia, the luscious dark chocolate egg has an extra thick shell and is adorned with gold leaf for a touch of luxury. Wrapped in plastic-free packaging, this vegan egg also comes with a case of dangerously addictive dark chocolate and sea salt discs.
Last but by no means least on our roundup of this year’s best luxury Easter eggs is the Bird-Bunny – a playful creation from renowned Belgian chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini. Half bird, half rabbit, the mini chocolate creature is handcrafted at the atelier in Brussels from São Tomé milk chocolate and sits on two drawers stuffed with charming Easter treats.In the first drawer, there’s a collection of miniature eggs with moreish praline centres and delicate chocolate shells, while the second features delightful animal creations including delicious vanilla-caramel dark chocolate birds and milk chocolate praline rabbits.
Which one of these wonderful creations rocks your boat? Or, have you found a magnificent creation that I missed in my trawl of the internet? If so, let me know in the comments below.