The best Easter eggs for 2018

This year’s luxury chocolate eggs tasted and rated

I am an unashamed Easter egg fan. Over lunch last week, a friend asked which self-respecting adult would buy an Easter egg for themselves or a friend, and the answer is: me. Each year, I long for someone to recognise my Easter egg love, and each year I find myself standing in the supermarket aisles after Easter, looking at the reduced offerings. So it seemed like my prayers had finally been answered when Spectator Life asked me to taste test the class of 2018. It turns out, that was a lot of eggs. I had become the Bruce Bogtrotter of Easter eggs; this was my Everest. So with a small team of helpers, I tried eggs from supermarkets, from the high street and artisan chocolatiers in the quest for the very best grown-up Easter eggs. Here’s what we found…

PRESTAT

London Gin Truffle Easter Egg, 170g, £13

What they say

‘An extravagant egg made from the finest milk chocolate flavoured with lemon oil. It is then filled with truffles made with ganache flavoured with gin and Mediterranean lemon oil, all enrobed in a creamy white chocolate. However, a bite of Prestat’s homage to a London gin and tonic reveals another secret ingredient – a magical fizz that tingles on your tongue.’

Pink Popping Prosecco Easter Egg, 170g, £13

What they say

‘A milk Chocolate egg with a fizzing pink chocolate lining filled with popping pink prosecco mini-truffles with prosecco-infused, dark chocolate ganache centres.’

Verdict

Prestat has to win the prize for most beautiful packaging: glitzy and vibrant, in pleasingly thick boxes (silver and green for the G&T, gold and pink for the prosecco), with brightly coloured foiled eggs, sitting on tissue paper and wrapped up with ribbon. These eggs are for booze-lovers, there’s no ambiguity. The eggs aren’t large for the price-point, but the chocolate is good quality and the whole feel is luxury. The lemon-flavoured gin egg divided our testers, and while it’s certainly an unusual combination, it found favour with some of our panel. The accompanying gin and tonic truffles can seem medicinal if you’re not a G&T fan, but then if you’re not, this egg probably isn’t for you anyway. The prosecco egg is pretty sweet, thanks to the white chocolate-based pink lining, but the ratio is reversed with the truffles, which are predominantly dark chocolate and don’t require as much of a sweet tooth.

Also in the range

There’s the obligatory salted caramel egg, of course, along with a plain dark chocolate and a milk chocolate, and if you want to go full Easter, they also have a hot cross bun flavoured egg.

Best for…

This would make a beautiful (and generous) gift for the gin or prosecco lover in your life

MARKS & SPENCER

Hand decorated Belgian milk and dark chocolate egg with shimmered inset, £20 (available in store only)

Verdict

The Georgia O’Keefe of this year’s eggs is quite something to behold. It’s quite beautiful and impressive, and a large egg for the price, and I love the shimmered inset which both sparkles and doesn’t come off on your hands. The chocolate is good quality, with a nice snap – and having a combination of milk and dark makes you feel sophisticated while also satisfying your, err, less sophisticated chocolate cravings. The salted caramel chocolates that come with the egg are surprisingly and delightfully liquid.

Also in the range

M&S have gone big on beautiful, artistic eggs this year, brightly coloured and hand finished. There’s also a made without dairy range, which is suitable for vegans.

Best for…

This feels like quite a grown-up egg: perfect for the Easter egg eater who values style as well as substance.

WAITROSE

Waitrose 1 Dark Chocolate Easter Egg, 240g, £10

What they say

‘A jewel in the crown of our Easter egg range, this diamond-shaped, hand-decorated egg is made with seductively rich, dark 65% cocoa chocolate. This decadent gift also contains six indulgent, dark chocolate fleur de sel salted caramels.’

Verdict

Well now this is a striking egg: it almost makes you want to stroke it. The chocolate is so very smooth, thick and high quality: snappy and rich. We were really impressed by this egg; maybe our favourite visually, and not far behind on the flavour. The salted caramels are good, but not the best of the bunch.

Best for…

The chic, dark chocolate lover.

Waitrose Dark Chocolate Avocado Easter Egg, 250g, £8

What they say

‘Avid for avocados? This is beautifully designed, exclusive to Waitrose and, most importantly, utterly delicious. The shell and stone are Belgian chocolate (made with 70% cocoa), while the white chocolate middle uses natural colouring to imitate the green flesh of the fruit.’

Verdict

Of course, Waitrose are courting the headlines with the egg, and I’m sure they haven’t been disappointed. There are an awful lot of newspapers up in arms by the sheer existence of this egg. Us? We thought it actually looked pretty cool, and the quality of chocolate was decent, but we were surprised that it was just a mixture of dark and white chocolate – the ‘stone’ looked like it might be something a little different. To borrow a millennial term: it’s basic.

Best for…

A millennial (non-home owning, obviously).

Heston’s Eggstraordinary Dippy Easter Egg, 440g, £20

What they say

‘It may look like something from the chicken shed, but this huge shell is pure chocolate – thick, 65 per cent dark coated in a thin layer of white, before being hand-sprayed with natural colours to make it look as if it were laid by a giant, chocoholic hen. Inside you’ll find blue milk chocolate eggs filled with sea salt caramel and a scattering of edible soil to dip them into.’

Verdict

Waitrose’s partnership with Heston continues, although this is a relatively tame exhibit. The egg is really quite large, and the chocolate thick and creamy, and quite handsome visually. The passionfruit flavoured edible soil is very tart and not really our bag (and not just because it spilt everywhere), but the filled eggs are the real star of the show – properly salty caramel, and disgracefully moreish.

Best for…

Someone who loves salted caramel. Seriously, get this just for those filled eggs.

GREEN & BLACKS

Green and Black Organic Milk Chocolate Egg, 365g, £10.99

What they say

‘Accompanying the milk chocolate Luxury Easter Egg are two of our most luxurious bars, Milk with Butterscotch and Milk with Sea Salt.’

Verdict

This is a pleasingly straightforward egg: the egg is unfussy, but good quality milk chocolate (with the old fashioned hexagonal pattern), as one would expect from the Green & Black’s range, and the two full size chocolate bars feel generous.

Also in the range

There’s the dark equivalent of this egg with a bar of ginger chocolate and a bar of burnt toffee flavoured chocolate, or smaller packs containing just one egg and a single bar – dark, milk or butterscotch. The latter has butterscotch nibbly bits in the egg.

Best for…

This is a great mid-range egg. A generous size for the price point and quality of chocolate, and the size of the additional bars. It’s the kind of egg I’d buy for myself – or for someone whose chocolate taste I didn’t know (and then regret giving it away).

ROCOCO

Rococo & Roald Dahl ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ Easter Egg, 150g, £19.95

What they say

‘This Easter egg joins our Roald Dahl Collection celebrating the genius of the world’s No.1 storyteller. Inspired by Roald Dahl’s incredible tales, the collection is our flavourful take on key tastes from the books, phizzwhizzing or filthsome alike. We hope you enjoy our “strange and scrumptious” creations. A 40% cocoa rich and creamy milk chocolate shell filled with six baby ‘saltwater’ milk chocolate with sea salt crocodiles.’

Verdict

This isn’t a cheap egg for the size, but it’s a beautiful one, and typically high quality from Rococo. The packaging is thick and luxurious, featuring illustrations from Quentin Blake; the egg is wrapped in bright green foil and filled with charming little green-tinged milk chocolate crocodiles. Both the egg and the crocodiles are excellent chocolate: thick and creamy and appropriately snappy.

Also in the range

The Roald Dahl range features eight chocolate bars each based on one of Dahl’s books; in their Easter range, there is a host of smaller filled eggs, and a variety of eggs similar in size to the crocodile egg – as well as three brightly coloured hand-painted eggs.

Best for…

The big kid or the book lover

ASDA

Extra Special Hand-Finished Belgian Dark Chocolate Egg with Cherry, 290g, £7

What they say

‘Come over to the dark side with Asda’s Extra Special Belgian Dark Chocolate Egg with Cherry. This dark chocolate egg oozes sophistication and is the perfect option for somebody looking for a more adult flavour. The rich, dark chocolate egg is studded with crisp cherry pieces and is infused with cherry flavours, giving a satisfying fruity twist. This egg also comes with cherry-flavoured dark chocolate truffles.’

Verdict

This is an interesting egg: the chocolate is great quality, super dark, and thick, and the cherry pieces are funny little nubbly cherry-flavoured bits, rather than dried cherries. One of our panel wasn’t a fan of the cherry-piece studded chocolate, whilst another thought it was the bees’ knees. Different strokes.

Also in the range

There’s a milk and a white chocolate egg in this Extra Special range, as well as a ‘free from’ range which is suitable for vegans

Best for…

If you love dark chocolate and red fruit, treat yourself to this egg. It’s a great price for the size and quality.

LIDL

Deluxe Desert Haze Hand Decorated Easter Egg by Our Master Chocolatiers, 600g, £9.99

Verdict

This egg is thick. Seriously thick. It took us a couple of goes with a cleaver to break into it. The glitzy sparkle comes off pretty readily onto your hands, but that’s the greatest criticism we could level at it. It’s a straightforward egg, no accompanying truffles or sweets to distract. But that’s fine when the milk chocolate is this creamy and delightful. A resounding success with our panel.

Best for…

The milk chocolate fanatic

Deluxe Eton Mess Easter Egg, 200g, £3.49

Verdict

OK, these eggs don’t have the prettiest packaging, but for £3.49, who cares? The flavours are interesting (see rest of range), and the chocolate is pretty damn good. There are little bits of freeze dried raspberry and meringues set into the centre of the egg, which were surprisingly crisp. For its price point, this is a really great buy.

Also in the range

Cornish sea salted caramel, Dark mocha, Cornish fudge

Best for…

At this price? Literally anyone, and definitely an extra one for you.

Charbonnel et Walker

Milk Chocolate Easter egg with Milk Chocolates, 225g, £26

What they say

‘Charbonnel et Walker present a classic milk chocolate egg with a thick creamy shell encasing a selection of their finest milk chocolates.’

Verdict

Gorgeous, spring-inspired packaging showing off a classic milk chocolate egg, stuffed with C&W’s milk chocs. What’s not to love? Charbonnel et Walker chocolate is great in both the egg and the accompanying truffles.

Also in the range

Several milk and dark chocolate eggs, coming in two sizes (the above is the smaller), filled with different C&W chocolates including rose and violet creams, salted caramel, and pink champagne truffles.

Best for…

Pretty much impossible to dislike, and ever so pretty, buy this egg as a gift and you’ll be in anyone’s good books.

HOTEL CHOCOLAT

Rare & Vintage Easter Egg – Extra Thick, 385g. £27

What they say

‘An egg of two, generously proportioned, halves: cocoa originating from our estate in Saint Lucia in 65 per cent Buffalo milk and 80 per cent dark Vietnam. Buffalo milk lends creaminess to multi-layered, complex cocoa.’

Verdict

Well, they’re not lying when they say it’s thick – this is a substantial egg, and along with the generous selection of hotel chocolate truffles, you’re getting decent bang for your not inconsiderable buck. The dark chocolate half is satisfying: sweet, dark, rich, just what you’d want. But honestly, we struggled with the supermilk half: the buffalo milk does add creaminess, but it coats the mouth in a disconcerting way, and has a distinctive tang.

Best for…

A large and impressive egg: one to really treat yourself with. Go for this is you like dark chocolate, and are up for something a little bit different when it comes to the tangy buffalo milk.

Hard Boiled Supermilk Chocolate Easter Egg, 190g, £16

What they say

‘Our revolutionary chocolate genre: minimum 65 per cent cocoa, less sugar than a typical dark, all the creaminess of milk. Intensely satisfying, with a crunch of all-natural granola. This is granola with no added sugar, flavours or colouring (sweetened with just a hint of maple syrup, redcurrant and blackcurrant). We dial up pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds and cocoa nibs for a deeply distinct flavour and crumbly texture. More cocoa, less sugar: satisfying ‘supermilk’ – ready to snap and share.’

Verdict

This is an interesting one. Whilst we criticise the supermilk in the other Hotel Chocolat egg, here, mediated by the granola, it is quite pleasant – and not as worthy as it sounds. The texture is surprising and more-ish, and the accompanying coated almonds and cocoa beans are a nice and grown up addition. Let’s be clear: it doesn’t taste like milk chocolate, it tastes like dark chocolate. This was an annoyance for our milk-chocolate loving taster, but the rest of the panel didn’t mind.

Best for…

While it’s presumably aimed at the health conscious, this is also a good egg for those who like chocolate but lack a really sweet tooth.

PAUL A YOUNG

38% milk chocolate egg, price TBC

Verdict

The unassuming cardboard of this egg wrapping belies the contents: taken out of the box, it is a lovelier product, half-decorated with hundreds and thousands, it is vibrant and colourful. As a milk chocolate egg, containing a pleasingly heavy bag of milk chocolate buttons, it’s about as simple as eggs get, but coming from the artisan chocolatier, it’s pretty special once you tuck into it. This egg is quite clearly hand-crafted, and masterfully so; the chocolate itself is excellent: sweet, thick and creamy, with good snap – we couldn’t find fault with it. This is the egg we kept coming back to, just for one more taste.

Best for…

This is the perfect egg for the sweet-toothed chocolate connoisseur; it might not be cheap, but it sets the standard for the genre.

GROWN UP CHOCOLATE COMPANY

Three Little Easter Treasures, £4.85

What they say

‘A trio of indulgent Easter eggs from The Grown Up Chocolate Company with gorgeously gooey centres. This super selection box includes: passionfruit caramel, salted peanut caramel, and crispy toffee caramel. £4.85 (available individually for £2.05 each.)’

Verdict

These are lovely little eggs, and the only thing they have in common with Cadbury’s Creme Eggs are their size. The caramel is the runniest we’ve come across (beware dripping it down your top), the flavours bright, sharp, bitter and sweet by turn. The outer chocolate isn’t anything to write home about, and quite sweet for something explicitly marketed at adults, but we really like the different caramels.

Best for…

OK, so, you’re an adult, maybe you’re not in the market for a chocolate bar reconstituted into an egg shape. But that’s no reason to miss out on Easter excess (eggcess?): these are the eggs for you.

ALDI

Moser Roth Eggometric Egg, 200g, £4.99

What they say

‘Add a little style to your Easter egg collection with this precisely printed geometric egg is a real stand-out gift idea. Made from Belgian milk chocolate, and Inspired by Hotel Chocolat’s Facet Egg . Complete with a decorative print in either gold or purple, this is the perfect gift for chocolate lovers!’

Verdict

Aldi are very deliberately pitting themselves against posh eggs this year, and drawing attention to the price differential. The price differentials are certainly impressive, and although the packaging might not be quite as fancy as the places they are competing with, the egg is handsome, and the chocolate has a good flavour.

Also in the range

Alongside the Eggometric Egg , there is a range of dual-flavoured ‘duo eggs’, as well as single origin eggs, some of which are suitable for vegans.

Best for…

The thrifty chocolate lover.


Close