It starts in early January: bunnies and egg baskets start appearing on supermarket shelves and you realise that Easter is the next mega-holiday on the agenda.
Your local supermarket might have an impressive selection of chocolate bunnies and eggs, but there is no need to settle for the stuff that tastes like plastic and turns up months later all stale and speckled.
Here are some creations from around the nation that are making the Easter bunny look bad. There’s something a little bit special for everyone, regardless of preference and personality.
Best for… Secret admirers
Burch & Purchese is known for it’s delicious and delicate creations, and the masterminds at this Willy Wonka-esque studio have upped the Easter ante this year with animals sweet enough to keep as pets. There’s a blue Easter chick ($22), an adorable Easter bunny ($28) and even Pablo the Easter penguin ($28), all handcrafted from white and milk Belgian chocolate.
Burch & Purchese, 647 Chapel Street, South Yarra, VIC, (03) 9827 7060
Best for… Gluttons
Meet Handsome Harry Hare ($165), who won’t be quite as handsome once you bite off his giant, dark chocolate head. This mammoth two-kilogram bunny from Mayfield Chocolates has been hand painted with white chocolate and stands 62 centimeters talks. Caution: do not attempt to finish Handsome Harry Hare in a single sitting.
Mayfield Chocolates, corner Via Roma & St. Peter’s Place, Isle of Capri, QLD, (07) 5504 5389
Best for… Sophisticates
Sue Lewis Artisan Chocolatier’s golden eggs ($20) are reserved for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Each one is decorated with edible, 23-carat gold leaf and shimmers in the sunlight. The Valrhona chocolate eggs weigh around 130 grams each and are handmade with care. Those who prefer their eggs tall, dark and handsome will be drawn to the 70 per cent dark chocolate version, while others might indulge in the caramalised dulce de leche white chocolate number with notes of shortbread.
Sue Lewis Artisan Chocolatier, 44 Derby Road, Subiaco, WA, 0452 423 323
Best for… A splurge
If you want to impress your guests over Easter lunch, head to Lindsay and Edmunds and purchase one of their original Showpiece Easter eggs ($250) with which to adorn the table. The Belgian coverture eggs weigh in at 1.3 kilograms each and are hand painted with natural colouring. No two are the same, just like fingerprints, or snowflakes. Whatever. The only thing each egg has in common is that they’re all gluten free, fairtrade and certified organic. Available in dark or milk chocolate.
Lindsay and Edmunds, 20 Amberley Avenue, Fairbairn, Canberra International Airport ACT, or at 3 pop-up locations, (02) 6230 0166
Best for… The Little Ones
There’s absolutely nothing despicable about Adriano Zumbo’s minion Easter eggs ($60). Kids will recognise these mischievous, gibberish-speaking characters from the children’s film, Despicable Me. Made from 100 per cent chocolate and standing at 15 centimeters tall, they don’t tend to misbehave like they do in the movie. They do however make an incredibly unique alternative to standard Easter eggs.
Zumbo Patisserie, locations across NSW & Melbourne, 1800 858 611
Best for… Keeping it local
All of Gillian Ryan’s goodies at Cygneture Chocolates are fairtrade and handcrafted with local produce, including the solid chocolate robots and bunnies on chocolate mushroom islands ($9.50). Everything is made in the stunning heritage-listed shop; it’s charm alone warranting a visit. You’ll also find Cygneture Chocolate’s at Salamanca Market most Saturdays.
Cygneture Chocolates, 20 Mary Street, Cygnet, TAS 0408 970 440
Best for… Advance Australian Easter
If you’re the kind of patriotic Aussie who believes in the Easter Bilby, not the Easter Bunny, Haigh’s Chocolate has you covered. You won’t find any rabbits here, just good old-fashioned chocolate bilbies protecting a few solid eggs wrapped in colourful foil. Bilbies are available in milk or dark chocolate and come in two sizes, 110 grams ($11.95) or 335 grams ($24.25).
Haigh’s Chocolate, locations across SA, NSW, VIC, Details online
Best for… Non-chocolate eaters
Better known as the pasticceria responsible for Melbourne’s best cannoli, T. Cavallaro and Sons also specialises in agnello pasquale, traditional Sicilian Easter lamb cake (prices vary). Perfect for non-chocolate eaters, Tony Cavallaro uses his great grandfather’s 120-year-old plaster mould to assemble the cake, made from marzipan and stuffed with cake and fruit mince before being covered in butter cream ‘wool’.
T. Cavallaro and Sons, 98 Hopkins Street, Footscray, VIC (03) 9687 4638