Words: Maggie Scardifield
Never thought we’d say it, but here we go: we’re tired of Cadbury Creme Eggs. And you know what? We’ll survive. Because there’s so much more to Easter chocolate than supermarket eggs and bunnies. Whether it’s ganache flavoured with local wildflower honey, a bunny bum, or pralines laced with finger lime and green ants – there’s a world of thoughtful, small-batch and hand-crafted chocolate out there just waiting to be gobbled up. So if you’re ready to try something new this Easter, here are our picks of native-edible inspired creations from some of the best chocolate artisans around the country.
Winnow Chocolates, Sydney
Chocolatier Amanda McKeith uses the traditional French technique of hand-tempering on marble to make her range of Winnow chocolate bars. Her Typoflora collection, made with pure Belgium couverture, celebrates native Australian produce with combos such as ground lemon myrtle with salted macadamia, and wattleseed with honey-roasted macadamia. She’s won us over with her plant-loving packaging, too, which is illustrated with popping waratahs, whimsical garden roses and wild flannel flowers.
$10.95 per bar, winnowchocolates.com
Other notable mentions: Winnow’s Floreat range of botanical-inspired bars (think raspberry and rose Turkish delight, lavender and honey, and mandarin, geranium and citrus.)
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Belle Fleur, Sydney
Whatever you might be craving, Belle Fleur has every avenue of the Easter hunt cornered. Pinot noir ganache? Check. Dark chocolate covered marzipan decorated with 23-carat gold? You betcha. Put together your own box of handcrafted Favourites, starting with a handful of Gumnuts (a gumnut shaped milk-chocolate mould filled with hazelnut and macadamia pieces), some wattleseeds (milky squares of white chocolate ganache and finely crushed native wattleseeds) and some Mint Leaf gems (a dark casing of milk chocolate ganache infused with fresh mint). And the best part? The bespoke boxes are available all year round.
Boxes start at 10 chocolates for $20, bellefleur.com.au
Notable mention: A cone of 10 assorted creme eggs (hello rich hazelnut, salted caramel or vanilla ganache centre).
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Bibelot’s wild and colourful packaging is some of the best in town. So it should come as no surprise that their Easter range is better looking than a Monstera Deliciosa on bath-day. We’ll be grabbing a bag of the crunchy Dino Eggs: milk-chocolate covered caramelised almonds with crunchy wafer pieces, coated in white chocolate. They look like they’re straight out of the wilds of Jurassic Park. Dino Eggs, $6 for 45gm or $13.50 for 130gm, bibelot.com.au
Other notable mentions: Bibelot’s smores with raspberry marshmallow and jam, and chocolate marshmallow and ganache.
THE BUNNY POT
Sue Lewis Chocolatier, Perth
Perth chocolatier Sue Lewis recently discovered a little Plant Life Balance on her own through gardening. And luckily for us, as her garden grows so do her wild chocolate creations. The latest is the Bunny Pot. Made with Valrhona chocolate, it’s an Easter Bunny digging for carrots in a pot of peppermint-spiked chocolate soil and dark chocolate buttons. You won’t get to snap his ears off but biting into an upturned bunny bum, with a passionfruit chocolate tail, will be just as entertaining.
$25 per pot, suelewischocolatier.com.au
Notable mentions: Lewis has been browning native produce such as Geraldton wax, rose geranium and native thyme, and is putting the plants to good use in chocolate truffles. Wildflower honey from the local Kings Park area, for example, might be blended into milk-chocolate ganache, while the choccie coating for sandalwood nuts gets infused with homegrown saltbush. Go Sue!
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GIN & TONIC EASTER EGG
Just Bliss, Adelaide
Come Easter, the chocolate eggs at Just Bliss (some which weigh-in at one and a half kilograms) make heroes of freeze-dried strawberries and mint, shredded coconut and roasted almonds. But this year, we have our eye on the Gin & Tonic Easter egg, a decadent half-egg filled with truffles made with dark chocolate ganache, a generous splash of gin, and calamansi lime confit.
Other notable mentions: The hot cross bun truffles enriched by cardamom, sultanas, cloves and cinnamon.
DAN HUNTER x KOKO BLACK
Koko Black, national
Late last year, Koko Black announced an exciting partnership with Australian chef Dan Hunter, of Brae restaurant in regional Victoria. Alongside Koko Black’s head chocolatier Remco Brigou, Hunter dreamt up a collection of chocolate pralines and bespoke blocks made with native Australian ingredients. Our pick of the lot? Tart Davidson plums teamed for the win with 70% single origin São Thomé. “The ingredients I have chosen are a valid part of Australia’s culinary landscape,” says Hunter. “They have a place as integral as potatoes and tomatoes, in fact more so.” We couldn’t agree more.
$13.50 per 80gm block, or $49 for a gift box of four, kokoblack.com
Notable mention: Hunter’s pralines include inspired centres such as strawberry gum ganache and passionfruit jelly, lemon myrtle and candied cucumber, and a citrusy finger lime, burnt-butter cream and green ant combo. Yes, ants!