15 of the best Easter chocolate treats
These are eggs you’ll want to crack right away and not shed a tear. The new wave of Irish artisan chocolatiers, as well as some top producers, have released their Easter 2022 collections, and you have the choice of stunning chocolate eggs, seasonal sweets and animal figurines.
Many of the manufacturers featured here all, or mostly, use recyclable materials and sustainably produced ingredients, and all but one of the eggs and gifts in this selection are made in Ireland.
Mountain chocolate with hazelnuts
Wild Atlantic Way Easter Egg, 220g, €28
Created with bean-to-bar chocolate made in Co Clare, this hand-painted egg sits on a crunchy salted almond base. It comes in 40% cocoa milk chocolate from Cuba or 72% dark chocolate from Venezuela. Hazel Mountain Chocolate’s Kasha Connolly has also just launched an art and chocolate collaboration with artist Corrina Earlie, which features three limited-edition chocolate bars and four beautiful, quality greeting cards featuring some of Earlie’s latest works, in a gift box (€57.95).
Miniature filled eggs, 65g, 10€
Chefs Georgia Quealy and Daniel Linehan opened their boutique chocolatiers in 2020 and now produce seasonal collections in what might just be the smartest boxes of chocolate on the market. For Easter 2022, they have both large and small eggs, as well as a limited-edition chocolate collection, Pop of Spring, which features fillings such as rhubarb and Madagascar vanilla, and a chocolate cheesecake. yuzu. The mini eggs are available in raspberry or caramel flavors.
Bean and goose
Irish hare or goose in milk or dark chocolate, 180g, €19.50
Karen and Natalie Keane’s Bean & Goose Chocolate Hares and Geese sell out this Easter, so sign up for one fast. The sisters have been making chocolate in County Wexford since 2014, at the wonderfully named Last Tree Farm near Ferns.
Vegan chocolate candies, 16 candies, €29.50
If you’re vegan, you can have your chocolate and eat it, of course. Especially if it’s Clare Tait’s Irish-made line that uses cocoa from organic Peruvian Criollo beans. An assortment box of six bars, also with or without nuts (€24.50).
Dark chocolate egg, 310g, €12.50
A 70% cocoa dark chocolate adult egg with dark chocolate truffles, from a wide range of widely available Easter products. The family business is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
Egg-straw-table egg, 300g, 45€
Gráinne Mullins’ hand made and painted chocolates and chocolate eggs are individual works of art and also taste superb. There are five large Easter eggs in the range, including this one with white chocolate and strawberry, and they all come with four large Grá chocolates and a few surprises inside.
Drippy egg, 225g, 15€
An Easter egg in a paint bucket – why not? These are made for M&S by Lir Chocolate in Ireland. The chocolate is milk and the drip effect is added by hand. There’s also a Dippy Egg, with a caramel filling, but this one isn’t canned.
Easter eggs, 300g, €22.60
Kenmare chocolate maker Benoit Lorge’s Easter eggs are available in milk and dark versions, plain, or filled with a selection of 12 of his chocolates, dark in dark egg and mixed in milk egg (€32.50 ). For a more lasting Easter gift, save a spot at her one- or two-day chocolate classes.
Easter Family Sharing Box, €32.50
Sharing is caring, right? So this family box from Chez Emily has it all, including an egg decorated with Smarties and jellies, and a chocolate hen. Ferdinand Vandaele and Helena Hemeryck will mark their 26th year of making chocolate at The Ward in North Dublin in July.
The best of Tesco
Egg stuffed with Belgian chocolate, 380g, €10
When is an Easter egg not an Easter egg, you might ask. When it’s half an egg, like this. Although with the amount of goodies packed into this half shell, it’s probably a good job. There is a 380g weight of Belgian milk, dark and white chocolate, salted caramel pearls, chocolate ganache, marshmallow and malt balls. This is made by Lir Chocolates for Tesco, and at €10 it’s one of the best value for money this year.
Treasure of the rainforest, 550g, 70€
One of two new additions to Belgian chocolatier Erik Van der Veken’s Easter 2022 collection, this one features a rare couverture of wild Bolivian Criollo Amazonico cocoa. “Less than 0.1% of the cocoa beans in circulation in the world are of this variety, harvested exclusively by indigenous Chimane,” he says. The eggs are filled with truffles made with the same cocoa. Arcane Eggs can now be delivered nationwide.
Caramelized hazelnut milk chocolate egg, 200g, 35€
No egg made in this former Kinsale art gallery is ever the same, the owners say. Their hand-painted eggs are almost too beautiful to open. New for 2022 is a milk chocolate egg with caramelized hazelnuts, which, although it does not have a painted exterior, is presented in a pretty floral box. Two different grinds of hazelnuts, which they caramelize themselves, are incorporated, so there are nice big chunks of nuts as well as flavor in the egg.
Easter bunny, 1kg, 50€
It’s the only one in this roundup that isn’t Irish-made, but these sturdy 1kg Lindt Easter Bunnies are extra special. You’ll need a heavy tool to break into the solid Swiss milk chocolate – if you can handle it, of course. Ideal for a high impact gift.
Hazelnut egg, 250g, 12€
Connie Doody and Mary White set up Lir around a kitchen table in Dublin in 1987, and now the company has a team of 250 based in Co Meath, making products for other brands and supermarkets, as well as their own Mark. It’s new for Easter 2020, a milk chocolate egg completely covered with chopped almonds and cocoa nibs, which is accompanied by a bag of hazelnut and praline truffles. Divine.
The range of Easter sweets will be released next week
Paul Young, who shares a name with a famous British chocolate maker (although Paul A Young uses a second initial), is another pivotal pandemic entrepreneur. Former general manager of The GreenHouse restaurant in Dublin, he left the hotel industry in 2017 to study pastry and baking. For Flow, he uses Swiss chocolate and creates very creative toppings like raspberry and Provencal lavender and blood orange caramel and aged balsamic vinegar. See flowchocolates.ie next week for the Easter range release.