I think our Easter cake debate is over

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I love Simnel cake (ok, I really love marzipan, the cake is just an excuse to eat marzipan), but none of our kids are that keen. But it wouldn’t be Easter without a cake.

I think Lakeland have given us our answer:

 

The Lakeland Easter Anti Gravity Cake - chocolate lovers delight!

 

This anti-gravity kit is a clever piece that I’ve seen them illustrate with all kinds of ideas, but I particularly love this one and know it will go down well here. I mean, Flake and Cadbury Mini Eggs? Ok, it’s not exactly single origin chocolate, but it is Easter.

This piece of kit is just £9.98, and if baking is your thing then I can imagine you having some fun with this.

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Easter deliciousness without the chocolate

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Of course it pains me to write a title like that, as I’m “quite” fond of chocolate, Easter or otherwise. But the other great thing about Easter is there are also great baked goods to be had, with many of my other favourite flavours included. Here’s some I’d be making space on the tea table for:

 

Bettys Fondant Fancies - great gift for a food lover at any time of year

 

Ok, Betty’s get me every time, and I love a treat from them. They sent me fondant fancies at Christmas, which were delicious, and now they have pretty Spring flower ones. What tea time wouldn’t be improved for having these served up?

 

Colomba Cake - great gift for a food lover to give an Italian slant on Christmas

 

Italy also has some great baking traditions for Easter, and the Colomba cake is one of those. The dough contains candied orange peel, and I love the crunchy almond icing. The pretty packaging is a bonus too!

 

Easter Sponge Pudding from Fortnum & Mason

 

You might need a pudding after an Easter Sunday lunch, so how about an Easter Sponge Pudding? An amaretti sponge, covered in flaked almonds and drizzled honey, what’s not to love?

 

Easter Biscuits Gifts Box - great gift for a food lover who likes it cute

 

I’ll admit, I’m not very good with the whole decorated biscuit thing, although always admire just how beautiful they are, and how much patience it must take to make something this lovely. They’d make a lovely gift if you were heading to someone else’s for Easter lunch.

Of course the thing I’d be leaving the most room for would be some version of Simnel cake, mainly because I love marzipan. I will be making my own, though it may be more of a Simnel loaf thanks to Jules’ recipe on the Butcher Baker blog. So even if you are one of those rare creatures who doesn’t like chocolate there are still delicious treats to be had this Easter time.

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What chocolate are you hoping for this Easter?

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I love Easter. I mean, what’s not to love, especially when it’s this late in the Spring? I’m hoping for lovely weather and my cherry tree to be in full bloom.

And for there to be chocolate. Good chocolate. Any of these really…

 

The Ultimate Egg from Fortnum & Mason - a fabulous Easter gift for a food lover

 

If you’re going to go big, then this has to be the one, the Ultimate Egg from Fortnum & Mason. It’s a bit of a cheat, as it’s actually five eggs. Five chocolate eggs. If you’re not sure what kind of chocolate you like best (or like them all) then this could be for you as each egg is a different type, from white through to dark. Sounds like bliss to me!

 

Stroppy Teenager Egg from Rococo

 

I love Rococo anyway, they can do no wrong in my eyes. But I really love this Stroppy Teenager Egg. There’s no pink, no cute bunnies, no bows, just great chocolate plus praline and also salted caramel ganache eggs. It’s almost too good to be wasted on stroppy teenagers!

 

Rococo Almost Like the Real Thing - real eggs filled with praline

 

And I’m sorry for featuring two things from Rococo (told you I loved them), but who could resist something that’s like the real thing but better? I just want to fill my fridge with boxes of these real eggs filled with praline. Though imagine bit hard to whip up a Victoria sponge with!

 

Montezuma Super Thick Half Dark Half Milk Egg

 

Can’t decide what sort of chocolate you like best? I’d go for the Super Thick Half Dark and Half Milk Truffle Egg. With truffles. Wow, Montezuma’s still know how to spoil us!

 

Moo Free Dairy Free Hunnycomb Easter Egg

 

Need a chocolate egg but need it to be tasty but free from? Well, it looks like Moo Free might be for you. I love the Bunnycomb Egg, ticks the boxes for taste and is gluten free, dairy free and vegan, so everyone can be happy.

 

Humpty Dumpty from the Fairy Tale Gourmet

 

For something lovely and a little different then I love the Humpty Dumpty from Fairy Tale Gourmet. How gorgeous are these? And that’s just the good looks, wait till you see the flavour choices! I want the Earl of Peanuttle, but any of them would be welcome. I think these are a bit different, as the shells are filled which you don’t see very often. I fancy a whole wall of these!

Go on, get the choccies in! With so much choice there is no excuse for dull Easter egg selection.

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A badger parade for Easter. With pigs.

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I’ve written before about my long held love of Betty’s, the happy childhood memories that it brings back. And browsing their website to look at Easter just made me smile all over again. I mean, how could you not smile at this:

Milk chocolate badger

 

I don’t think I have seen an Easter badger before , but think it’s something that should become a tradition. That said, it’s got competition from these:

Gloucester Old Spot Pigs

Ah yes, the Easter pig. Of course lambs are more traditional, and these are very sweet too:

 

Lambs

 

If you need a more traditional egg, then they can sort that for you too. I love the Yorkshire egg, chocolate and reminisces of home:

 

Yorkshire Easter Egg

 

Should you need to buy for someone who doesn’t like chocolate, heaven forbid, then I’d have a think about sending one of their Simnel cakes in a tin:

Small simnel cake

 

All in all there are a great many lovely treats to choose from. Or you could just choose to take someone there for tea, and enjoy a proper afternoon tea. Not to mention a Fat Rascal or three.

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Getting ready for Easter

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Egg cartons - great gift for a food lover who want to make their own mark on easter

 

A very quick one, I saw these cartons in a magazine, and thought they were gorgeous. They’d make great presentation for cakes, pretty, pastel coloured ones perhaps, but you could also use them for putting in your own Easter eggs. Or even just pretty coloured hardboiled eggs.

There are 5 different colours available, all very pretty and spring like. If you’re having an Easter get together then I would think these would be lovely for the table, or even for gifts. Shop online for them at Peach Blossom.

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So what are Hotel Chocolat doing for Easter?

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Milk Beastie from Hotel Chocolat - perfect chocolate gift for a food lover

 

When I wrote about my Easter chocolate shopping stops, I got gently admonished on Twitter for not including Hotel Chocolat. Which is a bit of an oversight if you’re looking for great quality chocolate.

I guess they were an oversight as they are always my fall back site, as you can always guarantee that there’ll be something for everyone on your list, you’ll be getting them great tasting chocolate, sourced responsibly as far as I can tell, and some impressive packaging. Unless you’re MGG, but then she’s one tough kid to please!

So the eggs that got the mention this year were the Beastie Eggs, which I have to say look great. Who doesn’t want an egg that looks like cowhide? I think kids, big or small, will think these are great fun, and then there’s the 6 praline and caramel filled mini eggs that go alongside. Perfect.

I’d also have a look at You Crack Me Up, sure to raise a smile or two.

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What’s the Easter bunny bringing your little one?

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I was asked if I’d like to review the Bunny’s Easter Basket from Hotel Chocolat. I asked MGG if she’d mind helping…so we had one delivered, as you can imagine!

Bad news for MGG was that it arrived whilst I was away on business and she had to just look at the delivery sitting there. So she was really excited to open it! Sadly, she was a bit disappointed by the packaging, pronouncing it “goofy”. I’m not sure what it means, but I guess I can see where she might be coming from, it’s not particularly swanky packaging. Mind, she is a sophisticated, grown up 9 year old, and declared that this was really for “little” kids!

That said, she was pretty taken with the contents! The eggs and soldiers seemed to do a very rapid disappearing act, thanks to a sleepover midnight feast, particularly the white chocolate soldiers. The milk chocolate bunny is cute and will be made short work of I’m sure!

Now £20 might seem a lot more than the average Easter egg, particularly with all the slashed prices in the supermarkets. But please remember that Hotel Chocolat is a bit more than your average chocolate company, and even though this is milk chocolate, this is not your average milk chocolate. Proper tasty milk chocolate, the sort you need to get kids used to from an early age.

So yes, you could spend less this Easter, but really, the kids deserve better! I bet if Jamie Oliver were dishing out chocolate it would be this kind of chocolate! Although if he could hand me the Purist Extra Thick Easter Egg then I’d be pretty darn happy. All that dark chocolate would be perfect, and it must count as a superfood at 70% cocoa!

Thanks to Hotel Chocolat for the sample.

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