Hunting for chocolate on Easter Sunday is one thing, but hunting down out-of-the-ordinary Easter eggs is another. This year everyone from artisan chocolatiers and gelaterias to bars and hotels are giving the Easter Bunny a lot to live up to. This egg-straordinary collection does things differently from vegan takes on cream centres to works of art and cocktails. Kids will get a kick out of pinata eggs and ice cream creations, but the rest are strictly for grown-ups. Diet starts Easter Monday.
Gelato Creme Eggs, Messina
It's true, you can now buy Cadbury Creme Egg ice cream from supermarkets, but the latest innovation from team Messina will appeal to more refined palates – or at least those with Instagram accounts. There are three eggs available, each filled with different gelato flavours that mimic the appearance of egg whites and yolk. Choose from a dark chocolate shell with passionfruit yolk and white chocolate gelato, a caramel white chocolate shell with mango yolk and cheesecake gelato or a milk chocolate shell with yellow peach yolk and vanilla gelato. It's $70 for a set of three, enough for six to nine people. Order online and pick up from Fitzroy, Windsor or Richmond in Melbourne and Bondi, Rosebery, Miranda, Parramatta, Darlinghurst, Tramsheds, Newtown or Penrith in Sydney.
Gemstone eggs from Bibelot. Photo: Sofia Levin
Gemstone Eggs, Bibelot
These minimalistic Easter eggs by Bibelot in South Melbourne are a first for its collection. Inspired by gemstones, the hand-painted, marbled eggs are labours of love, taking great care to create and mere seconds to devour. Perched on a chocolate nest, cracking open the thin chocolate shell reveals comfit nuts fragrant with hot cross bun spice mix. The milk and white chocolate eggs are instead filled with honey caramelised puffed corn coated in Valrhona 35 per cent milk chocolate. Choose from dark chocolate rose quartz, milk chocolate amethyst, aquamarine, orange topaz and yellow citrine. They retail at $30 each, $85 for three or $135 for all five. Sydney delivery also available.
Vegan creme eggs from Treat Dreams. Photo: Sofia Levin
Vegan Creme Eggs, Treat Dreams
Treat Dreams is on a mission to bring decadence to dairy free, and this small company proves it has what it takes come Easter. Founded in 2015 by lactose-intolerant Lis Armstrong, who went vegan in 2012, Treat Dreams' biggest seller is a vegan take on creme eggs. Alongside the original dark chocolate vanilla cream, there's also a limited edition pack with pineapple, strawberry and berry bubblegum cream. Individually wrapped in cartons of six, peeling back the coloured foil reveals paint-speckled chocolate, with each bite releasing sweet, gooey filling. Still not convinced? They're tested on non-vegans for approval. See the website for stockists.
Popcorn flip cocktail from Eau De Vie. Photo: Sofia Levin
Egg-cellent cocktails, Eau de Vie & Mjolner
When naming a classic cocktail, you are likely to rattle off a martini or manhattan before mentioning a flip. Originally the drink was a concoction containing egg, spices and sugar, heated with a steel rod. This year Eau de Vie and sister venue Mjolner have created Easter versions. At the former you'll find the Popcorn Flip ($22), a buttery mix of egg cognac, curacao, chocolate bitters and popcorn syrup garnished with a popcorn-filled Easter egg. At Mjolner, the bar team is making its own advocaat with duck yolks, aged tequila, chestnut liqueur, sugar and bee pollen. Shaken with a touch of lemon juice, topped with scorched mead and served with ginger biscuits, it's called the Buster Knutt ($22). We're thinking of them as liquid Easter eggs for adults.
Smash eggs from Melbourne's Naughty Nush. Photo: Sofia Levin
You may have come across the pinata cake phenomenon, where children young and old take great joy in bashing open an edible chocolate dome that spews out lollies. Also known as smash cakes, there are now Easter egg versions. In Melbourne Naughty Nush has two options. The first is a pack of three, 16-centimetre eggs including a white chocolate 100s&1000s egg and paint-splattered milk chocolate egg – both filled with gummy lollies and assorted chocolates – alongside a half rocky road number heavy with marshmallows, rice puffs, toasted coconut and raspberry gummies ($70). The other option is a 20-centimetre-tall Pop and Splatter egg with popping candy through the chocolate, complete with mallet for busting it open ($55). Sydney Smash Cakes has extra large Easter eggs decorated with gold leaf and milk, white and dark chocolate that are filled with mini Easter eggs ($145).
Native Australian Eggs, Koko Black
Move over, Easter bilby, there's a new Australian Easter hero in town. This year its Koko Black's native chocolate eggs – one emu and the other cassowary. Both are made from premium Belgian couverture chocolate and head chocolatier, Remco Brigou, has painstakingly reproduced the speckled, shimmering blue of the emu egg and tones of yellow and green in the cassowary egg. Awfully realistic and taking an hour to make, they're almost too artistic to eat. Each chocolate mould is hand-sprayed with cocoa butter and food colouring, with layers airbrushed on top to create sheen and the illusion of depth and texture. Only 100 Native Egg twin packs are available at $100 each from Chadstone, Royal Arcade and Doncaster in Melbourne and Strand Arcade and QVB in Sydney.
Espresso Martini Egg, Bakedown Cakery
Espresso martini Easter eggs exist, thanks to Sydney-based Bakedown Cakery. Predictably dubbed the Egg-spresso martini, each is made with French couverture milk chocolate and filled with Kahlua-spiked chocolate ganache. Hand-painted and flecked with warm colours and edible gold, the self-dubbed "boujee" egg is exactly that. Bakedown Cakery's best-selling chocolate blocks have also been transformed into bite-sized eggs, including the zesty, neon-green pandan coconut lychee egg, gen mai cha Oreo strawberry egg and caramelised white chocolate toasty egg. There are three sizes, priced between $6.50 and $25.
Easter High Tea at the Sofitel in Melbourne. Photo: Khanh Nguyen
Easter High Tea, Sofitel & Shangri-La
Hotels are hopping into decadent egg creations in themed high teas. Thirty-five floors up at the Sofitel in Melbourne at No.35, a Sisko Chocolate collaboration sees a luxe lace egg hot chocolate as part of the package – a latticed chocolate egg with marshmallows inside that melts as hot milk is poured over the top. There's also a chocolate and vanilla creme brulee with a French couverture chocolate shell; the idea is for diners to crack it open and scoop out the creme. There are only two sittings on April 1, so visit Sofitel Melbourne to reserve a spot (from $99 per person). In Sydney, Anna Polyviou is working her magic at Shangri-La, where the Easter high tea features an egg made from coconut panna cotta, mango gel and toast crumbs that looks just like a hard-boiled egg. It too requires cracking open, but other tiered-platter treats like a hot cross bun caramel slice and Easter Bunny's carrot tart are also worthy of attention. Sittings are $55 per person.