Innovative, decadent, truffle-laden, studded with dinosaurs… Easter eggs have become an art form. In one glorious afternoon, The Resident team tried and tested 15 luxury Easter eggs to find the best
1 The Bulgari Hotel ‘Nest Egg’
What a thing of beauty! The Bulgari Hotel ‘Nest Egg’ was by far our winning egg. Incredibly impressive to look at, the textured red velvet egg is accessorised with a sweeping white and milk chocolate plume of delicate gold-tipped feathers. Each egg takes a week to make, handcrafted with 66% cacao dark chocolate made from Trinitario beans from the Caribbean islands, and encased in a red velvet coating. Mounted on a base of solid white chocolate and chocolate chips, and finished with an intricate nest of dark chocolate rings, eating this spectacular piece of confectionary art is practically criminal. But when you do, you won’t be disappointed.
Buy from: Available to take away or to enjoy in the lounge at the Bulgari Hotel, Knightsbridge, from 1-17 April. See bulgarihotels.com
2 The Chocolate Society Artisan Dark Chocolate Egg
This gorgeous, Jackson Pollock-esque creation is a contemporary art fan’s dream. The purple egg, hand finished with splashes of yellow and white paint, is a dark chocolate dream that slowly melts in the mouth. There’s no bitterness to this one – just a smooth, creamy finish. The only downside is that the paint comes right off on your hands, so you end up looking like Pollock himself at the end of an inspired session.
Buy from: chocolate.co.uk; selfridges.com
3 Michel Cluizel Poule en Choc
We’re loving the hen-shaped eggs this year! Michel Cluizel’s Poule en Choc (that’s chocolate hen, in case you skipped GSCE French) has been handcrafted from some of the finest bean-to-bar chocolate the world has to offer. And you can tell. The milk chocolate is perfectly flavoured – not too sweet, wonderfully creamy and pretty cool to look at to boot.
Buy from: harveynichols.com
4 Pierre Marcolini Chocolate Egg Fondant
A simple-yet-beautiful design that’s perfect for the indecisive, for one half of the egg is milk chocolate and the other is strawberry flavoured white chocolate. Again, the chocolate is thin and delicate, but is bolder in flavour than the Pierre Marcolini Kawai Doll. What’s more, the egg is filled with miniature eggs in various flavours (white chocolate, pistachio praline, milk chocolate hazelnut praline, white chocolate almond praline, milk chocolate nougat praline, double fondant and double milk), as well as two little caramel-filled animals.
Buy from: marcolini.com
5 Fortnum & Mason Crème de la Cream Eggs
These real-egg sized eggs are almost too cute to eat. Hand painted with swirls of abstract colour, they come in boxes of four and each one is splendidly unique. Housed in two milk chocolate eggs is a silken Strawberry and Champagne cream, whilst two dark chocolate eggs are filled with a smooth Bucks Fizz fondant. They’re super-rich, so devour sparingly if possible!
Buy from: fortnumandmason.com
6 Pierre Herme La ‘Poule’ d’apres François Pompon
The Pierre Herme’s La ‘Poule’ d’apres François Pompon is beautifully sculpted. But it doesn’t just look good, it also delivers beyond expectations, for this little hen is sitting on a a haul of truffle-filled mini eggs! The eggs have just the right amount of sweetness, but the hen itself split opinions in the office – the Grand Cru Pure Origin Madagascan chocolate was far too bitter for most. The dark chocolate lovers among us, however, devoured the rich, thick and wonderfully cacao-like shell. Fortunately, it comes in both milk and dark chocolate, so everybody’s a winner.
Buy from: pierreherme.com
7 Betty’s Milk Chocolate Orange Flavoured Egg
Betty’s Milk Chocolate Orange Flavoured Egg is beautifully decorated with chocolate fern-like swirls, hand-piped in dark chocolate and orange coloured white chocolate. The delicate milk chocolate and orange egg is generously sized and delicious, hand-crafted in Yorkshire from Swiss Grand Cru milk chocolate and flavoured with fragrant orange oil.
Buy from: bettys.co.uk
8 Fortnum & Mason Hand Decorated Milk Chocolate Egg
This Hand Decorated Milk Chocolate Egg comes in the classic, ribbon-finished teal Fortnum & Mason box that Londoners know and love. Each egg is finished slightly differently. Ours featured a dragonfly buzzing about orange flowers, and it doesn’t just look good. The classic milk chocolate – Fortnum’s Tercentenary-blend, expertly tempered for extra shine – is delicate in flavour, enhanced by the pleasant chewiness of the sugar decorations.
Buy from: fortnumandmason.com
9 Pierre Marcolini Kawai Dolls
The craftsmanship that has gone into creating these delicate little Japanese dolls is something else. By far the most beautiful ‘Easter egg’, if you can even call it that, that we have ever set eyes on. But then what else would you expect from Haute Chocolaterie Pierre Marcolini? Pierre’s Kawai Easter collection for 2017 merges both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture – kokeshi dolls meet kawaii – to create these works of art. None of us wanted to be the first to destroy the chocolate figurine, but what must be done, chocolate lovers, must be done! So delicate was this chocolate that it didn’t offer up much in the way of flavour, although it’s the perfect egg for those who admire the finer things but don’t have much of a sweet tooth. That mini pistachio praline egg though? Divine.
Price: Mini dolls, £15, larger dolls £75-£125
Buy from: Available in store at the Marylebone boutique, as well as Harrods and Selfridges: marcolini.com
10 Artisan du Chocolat Balloon Egg
Artisan du Chocolat’s Balloon Egg, complete with sweet lace edible strings, is wonderfully whimsical. It comes either as passion fruit white chocolate marbled with milk chocolate or raspberry white chocolate marbled with Colombian dark chocolate, with mini eggs inside. We tried the milk chocolate egg, and loved the hints of passion fruit and the overall aesthetic, as well as the mini eggs in assorted flavours like milk ganache, tangy yuzu and ginger coulis, passion fruit coulis and pistachio pralines.
Buy from: artisanduchocolat.com
11 Chococo’s Milk Chocolate Dinosaur Studded Egg
Chococo’s adorable Easter eggs are perfect for kids. An annual favourite, the marbled dark and white chocolate shell looks great on the outside, but the best bit is hidden inside: it’s studded inside with assorted mini dinosaurs and ammonite fossil shells. The 43% Venezuelan-origin milk chocolate egg is lovely and creamy. Two kiddies? Buy two for £19.
Buy from: chococo.co.uk
12 Guylian Sea Horses Shell Egg
The most ‘high street’ of our egg tasting session, we weren’t particularly excited about the Guylian egg – the packaging and presentation simply don’t compare to the luxury that had been paraded before us. But in simplicity there is beauty, as once we got inside we found a thoroughly decent milk chocolate Easter egg. Mild and moreish. It also comes with a box of Guylian’s iconic hazelnut praliné Sea Shell chocolates.
Buy from: guylian.com
13 Hotel Chocolat’s Egg Sandwich
Hotel Chocolat’s Egg Sandwich is part of the extensive and innovative Easter collection these luxury chocolatiers put out every year. The sandwich comes in milk, dark or white chocolate, or caramel, and they even put a loaf of bread through a 3D-scanner to create super realistic looking ‘bread’ slices, and it’s served in a sandwich box. It’s such a cute, quirky idea, and the 40% milk chocolate is smooth and mellow, although a bit on the sweet side. The white chocolate version got rave reviews from our lot.
Price: £10 (or £9 each if you buy three or more)
Buy from: hotelchocolat.com
14 Carluccio’s Gianduja Eggs
These little 60g milk chocolate eggs are hand filled with gianduja – a sweet chocolate spread with about 30% hazelnut paste that tastes like a grown up Nutella – and topped with sweet white chocolate to resemble real eggs. They’re adorable, and the hazelnut is a pleasing surprise if you’re just expecting plain chocolate. Some of our tasters thought the shells were almost thick, but these little eggs pack a real punch.
Price: £2.95 each
Buy from: carluccios.com
15 Paul’s Oeuf Chocolat au Lait
A big egg with a lot of promise but not so much int he way of delivery. Daintily engraved with spring-like florals, the egg gives way with a satisfying crack and crumble, and the chocolate itself didn’t match up to the high standards we’d already seen. Something about it was reminiscent of Hershey’s Kisses – American-style chocolate is like Marmite to the Brits, and our tasters weren’t loving it. However, Paul knows pâtisserie, and their gâteau de Pâques (an individual Easter cake with dark chocolate sponge, craquant – an unexpected crispy crunch in the thin layer of praline – chocolate mousse and white chocolate), is out of this world.
Buy from: paul-uk.com