And next they got me trying out Easter eggs – posh ones. The one below is an eye-watering £136. The Guardian. 8 April, 2017. Easter egg taste test
A sense of humour is at work here among the artistry: instead of being split vertically like other eggs, this reassuringly heavy one is halved horizontally – like a coconut, as its name would suggest. A milk chocolate shell encases white chocolate flesh. That combination is too sweet for me – we prefer the choc on its own – but you have to admire the ingenuity.
The Chocolate Society range
The eggs in this selection are indeed “edible pieces of art,” taking the painted Easter egg idea to extremes. This selection features a set of 15 incredibly lifelike speckled half eggs that wouldn’t look out of place in a real nest. Of the large eggs, one is artfully spattered Hockney-style, another decorated as if the top has been knocked off a soft-boiled egg. It felt like an act of vandalism to break into them; the Valhrona chocolate was rich but strangely lacklustre. Buy one and stare at it.
Prestat Easter egg range prestat.co.uk from £7.95 (large eggs £17.50)
Is this chocolate or jewellery? Each perfect egg lies coyly wrapped in an playful box. We can’t bear to dislodge it, let alone eat it. Prestat’s artful Nester egg – by appointment to her royal maj – is a beautiful Russian doll of papier mache stuffed with red velvet truffles – fuzzy maroon globes filled and dusted with a shockingly sharp raspberry sherbet. The season’s special comes in the form of a hot-cross-bun spiced milk chocolate egg complete with white cross and a fantastic orangey-cinnamon kick. Didn’t think we’d like it, but emphatically did.
Pierre Hermé’s Oeuf Tagli d’apres Lucio Fontana pierreherme.com £136
What are we to do with this? Eat it or worship it? A giant (26cm tall, 8mm thick) yellow rugby-ball-obelisk like some Mesoamerican demigod or one of those spaceships in Arrival, if they were bright yellow. Inspired by Argentine artist Lucio Fontana’s artworks, there are two trademark slits down the side of the egg. Alarming. The chocolate is also out of this world, revealing why this chocolatier’s wares are so famous. A real showstopper but, as one of the Cook team pointed out, the price of a European mini break.
Artisan du Chocolat sculpture egg
Artisan du Choc clearly sees itself as the sexy chocolate company, but the sculpture egg (above) takes the sensuality a step too far. It is a gold-sprayed upturned vulva of Colombian dark chocolate with a barely disguised, 18-carat gold-leaf ganache egg at its, errr, opening. Hidden in the void is a host of mini eggs, filled with praline, ultra-dark ganache, guava and star anise, cherry and cardamom and spiced biscuit butter. The luxurious dark chocolate was perfect once we’d stopped blushing.
R Chocolate range rchocolatelondon.co.uk: R Dark Cocoa pod and R Milk marble egg, the Hollow Trio, salted caramels
The aristocrat of the bunch – literally. The R presumably stands for Rothschild, the family that owns this London chocolatier-patisserie. A good environmental choice – they are proud of the provenance of the ingredients.
The cocoa pod is a large, rutted, rusty-looking object that reminds one of giant redwood bark. It’s a luxuriously made thing of beauty – 70% dark chocolate with a bitter chocolate dusting. The milk marble egg looks like the earth from space, only the colour of a coffee-cream. This is the real deal – flavour that just lasts and lasts. No wonder – 40% cocoa solids; the best of the milk chocs so far. 5/5
Pierre Marcolini Kawai Easter
collection ukmarcolini.com £15-£35
From Marcolini’s inventive Easter offering we sampled a two-tone sprayed chocolate egg and an exquisite dark chocolate kimono doll with a white chocolate fan. Startlingly good. Anyone you give this to will marry you.
Melrose and Morgan vegan choc eggs melroseandmorgan.com £15.95
Open the cardboard egg box from this posh north-London artisanal grocer to reveal four beautiful Creme-Egg-sized dark chocolate wonders. Any lingering scepticism evaporates as teeth crack into the incredible ganache filling. They could be filled a bit more generously, but they are overwhelmingly good – and we’ve been eating chocolate for three hours now.