With a little over a week to go until Easter it’s time we started thinking about what to get our loved ones to celebrate. You may opt for the much loved Easter egg, stacked in huge piles in our nation’s supermarkets or you may choose to support a small local business instead. As many people will be gorging themselves with chocolate I’ve rounded up some of the very best offerings from a variety of brands and some dairy free options so that everyone can enjoy a treat at Easter. You’ll also find some more grown up gifts as well as treats for all the family.
Let’s start with something small but big on flavour. I’ve reviewed a few vegan offerings from Rita Farhi in the past so I had high hopes for their milk chocolate praline eggs. Packaged in a lovely gift box, the individually foil wrapped eggs look absolutely perfect as a gift for any age group. Be warned as these praline treats are so moorish you’ll find half the box gone if you leave them alone with your partner too long! Gorgeous, creamy milk chocolate surrounds a smooth praline centre small enough to pop in your mouth one after the other. A great option for a grown up gift.
And from bitesize amounts to a good slab, Simsante offers luxurious chocolate packed with nutrients and incredible flavour combinations. Their dark chocolate has more nutritional value than any other on the market and they also have a fantastic vegan chocolate range. I was really blown away by the packaging alone but the chocolate (I had the Milky Magic selection) is also absolutely delicious and packed with nuts and flavours such as coconut and vanilla. You can buy it as a subscription or select one of their combination boxes to sample some of their best flavour combinations.
I was given some Easter eggs to try that contained no milk and were completely safe for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. The first was from Happi Free From who specialise in allergen-free oat milk chocolate that tastes great, is lower in sugar than other leading Milk Chocolate brands and is sustainably sourced and packaged. Their Easter eggs come in 3 flavours, plain milk, orange and salted caramel and can be bought as a pack of 3. I tried the plain milk and thought it was smooth and creamy and no different from the milk chocolate I’m used to.
I was also given 2 eggs from Moo Free Chocolates who’s Easter selection is one of the best I have seen for those who can’t have real milk chocolate. Their flavours include organic sour cherry, mint, orange, white chocolate as well as plain. I tried the mint and plain ones and was really impressed with them. The packaging is perfect for kids and what I also enjoyed is that the patterns on the eggs themselves were interesting and somewhat different to other eggs on the market. One looked like a dragon egg which is great for little ones with an imagination!
If you’d like to treat your children to something different than an Easter egg then I’d highly recommend a baking kit from craft-loving bakers Craft & Crumb . The award-winning bake and craft kit company have everything from a pizza biscuit baking set to a Cinnamon Snails Bun Kit that will have you and the kids having tons of fun in the kitchen together. I couldn’t resist the Easter Egg Bake and Hunt Kit with everything you need to bake, decorate and make an egg hunt around your home or garden. Perfect for kids and 32 year old women who are children at heart…(mine may not have turned out exactly like the photo, but they still tasted good so that’s all that matters!)
Now that we have the kids covered let’s dive into some more grown up Easter treats…
There’s no better feeling than opening a hamper full of things to eat. The Cherry Tree have curated an Easter collection from some of their best products and I sampled the Afternoon Tea Gift Box for Two. Quite possibly the epitome of British summertime, the afternoon tea is a simple but indulgent tradition that deserves high quality, naturally made ingredients for maximum enjoyment. The box contains 2 plain and 2 fruit scones, Cherry Tree strawberry jam and clotted cream as well as Cherry Tree Apple & Cider Cheddar along with crackers and 2 mini chutneys. I have to say I enjoyed this immensely. I’m not usually a big fan of cheese but this apple and cider cheddar was so delicious I pretty much consumed the lot myself along with lashings of the chutneys, which were also sublime. Although I enjoyed the scones with jam and cream they were not a patch on my Nanna’s, but then again none ever will be. It was just so nice to enjoy something at home you’d normally enjoy in a cafe as a treat. I guarantee any mum would love this.
Another Easter treat I’ve grown to love is a Colomba cake and I was sent an amazing one from Macknade Food Hall. Celebrate in true Italian style this Easter with this traditional festive cake jam packed with candied orange peel and topped with almonds and sweet frosting. Made to an old family recipe by the Vergani family in Milan, this cake is beautifully moist and fluffy with s crunchy, sweet topping. I usually find panettone too dry and plain but I was so surprised by how much I loved this. I’ve already recommended it to everyone I know!
Being British you can’t have a piece of cake without a good brew and so I’ve found one that has a brilliant Easter twist to go with all your bakes…. Hot cross bun tea.
Teapigs have released a limited edition box of hot cross bun tea bags for the Easter period and it was heavenly even opening the box as they smell just like hot cross buns. The tea has a well balanced taste of apple, cinnamon, vanilla and spices and are perfect for an afternoon treat with a bun, some cake or a biscuit.
They’d also go very nicely with a wonderful cake I was sent by Brazilian dessert specialists Brigadeiro Gourmet UK who have a fully customisable Easter cake selection on their website. You can choose your filling, decorations, size and sponge flavour to get exactly what you want. When the Easter Nest Cake first arrived in its beautifully packaged box I didn’t want to cut into it and ruin it as it was so lovely! The little bird on top guarding its nest of mini eggs was the cutest thing I’d ever seen and such a great idea. I worried that a cake sent through the post might be a bit dry or have ingredients added to make it last longer, but oh no, the cake is so moist and tasty and the layers and layers of chocolate ganache are just heavenly. This was a cake I couldn’t leave alone so I would advise you to order yours just before good Friday so it actually stands a chance of being there on Easter Sunday.
Another offering from Brigadeiro Gourmet was an ‘Easter Egg Filled with Brigadeiro’. These filled Easter eggs have become more popular over the last few years, with customers simply not satisfied with a hollow egg. Brigadeiro Gourmet allows you to select everything from your type of chocolate shell to filling and decoration with such delights as Dulce de Leche, coconut, oreo, lemon, walnut, peanut, white and milk chocolate and many more. But if you think those fillings could be a bit rich, then why not opt for a cake filling instead? That’s right, a cake filled Easter egg! The eggs come with a spoon so you can scoop out the filling then munch on the creamy chocolate shell. There is absolutely no way you could eat this in one go but it would be perfect to share with a loved one.
During lockdown it’s been harder to be with family and friends, and sometimes a card or flowers just don’t have the desired effect of showing how much you care. I was absolutely thrilled to receive a little package through my letterbox from Post Cake containing a flat vanilla sponge cake topped with a printed image of Easter greetings! The ink is entirely edible and each message is completely customisable. I thought this was a lovely way to send a heartfelt message, it also helps that it’s really good cake!
Now I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to choose which ones to get if you recommend all of them? But hopefully there really is something here for everyone. Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, only like dark chocolate, hate chocolate and just want cake or love chocolate and cake and want them both together… Easter is a cause for celebration and an excuse not to feel guilty about enjoying a little indulgence. I feel pretty guilty though. I mean I did eat all of these things and I don’t just mean I sampled a bit of each, I ate them all… and I loved it!
If you’re after a more grown up guide (time to have a tipple after Lent) then I have also compiled a special Easter drinks guide.