Dairy-free Easter Eggs on test
This Easter there’s more dairy-free Easter eggs than ever available on the high street and from the supermarkets. I’ve tested these chocolate eggs out (tough gig). Here’s the verdict…
Hotel Chocolat Milk-Free Milk Scrambled Egg and Milk-Free Milk Goose Egg
Hotel Chocolat has made milk chocolate… without the milk. The chocolate, made with almond powder, is rich and fruity. It’s creamy, though not quite as creamy as a traditional milk. I’d put the taste somewhere between milk and dark. But it is high-quality chocolate with a complex flavour. The best attempt yet at dairy-free ‘milk’ chocolate.
As for the eggs – there’s a large hollow one with a white criss-cross pattern called the Scrambled Egg. It comes with six hazelnut and raisin chocolates (try these if you’re missing Fruit & Nut). The Goose Egg is a smaller egg with Milk-Free Milk buttons. Bonus points for the gorgeous, grown-up packaging – this is serious choc, not a token free-from line. Bravo.
£15 for the Scrambled Egg and £10 for the Goose Egg from Hotel Chocolat
Best for: Older kids and teens, giving to a friend or partner
Booja Booja Hazelnut Crunch Easter Egg
The peddlars of heavenly dairy-free truffles have done it again. For Easter, Booja-Booja has teamed up with Persian Dowry in Kashmir, whose craftpeople make beautiful laquered eggs. Each design is unique – mine is was black, green and gold. Inside are 12 of those fudgy hazelnut truffles (see my chilled truffles review), and there’s a smaller egg available, too. Divine, although I’d love to see Booja offering more chocolate lines in the future – perhaps even a chocolate egg.
£24.99 from Ocado
Best for: Grown-ups, mums, vegans
Sainsbury’s FreeFrom White Choc Egg and Buttons and Sainsbury’s Choc Egg and Discs
Sainsers should be applauded for the breadth of its free-from range. Everything in it is egg-, gluten- and milk-free and it has been producing dairy-free Easter eggs for several years. Of this year’s offerings, I preferred the white choc egg, a credible attempt to nail the taste and texture of white chocolate. It is, however, breathtakingly sweet and a little greasy – definitely not one for an adult palate. Cute packaging though, and I suspect kids will love it.
The regular chocolate egg has a good hit of cocoa, and is a decent budget option – but taste-wise it can’t compare with the Hotel Chocolat Egg, and again is very sweet.
White Choc Egg £2.49 and Choc Egg £3.49 from Sainsbury’s
Best for: Young children, kids who also have gluten and egg allergies, families on a budget
Moo Free Original Organic Egg, Easter Bunnycomb Egg and Cheeky Orange Egg (not pictured)
Moo Free is a brand familiar to many allergy parents for its dairy-free bars and buttons made from cocoa, sugar and rice powder. This year it has three Easter Eggs: original, honeycomb and choc orange. My favourite was the honeycomb. If you’re missing Crunchies, you need this egg. The shell is dotted with shards of honeycomb which fizz on your tongue.
Chocolate orange came a close second. It contains a generous 10% orange, and the flavour really comes across – there are lovely crispy bits hidden in the shell. Where Moo Free falls down for me is the taste of the chocolate itself. This is most apparent in the original egg, which doesn’t have other flavours to disguise it. It’s very sweet, and tastes more like ‘chocolate-flavour candy’ from the pick and mix than really good milk chocolate.
Best for: Young children,sweet tooths
Marks & Spencer Made Without Dairy Chocolate Egg and Bar
M&S has added a dark chocolate egg to its growing Made Without Dairy range. It’s too rich for little children, but as an affordable option for grown-ups, it’s bang on. The hollow shell has the snap and sheen of a good quality Easter egg. The chocolate itself is rich but not overpowering (it’s 55% cocoa solids, whereas many dark bars are 70%), and it comes with a big bar of very moreish dark choc, too.
£6 from M&S
Best for: Teens, adults and dark chocolate lovers
NB all these eggs state that they are free from dairy ingredients on the packaging, and none have a ‘may contain milk traces’ warning, so should be suitable for milk allergy suffers, but if in any doubt please check with the manufacturer before purchasing.
Have you tried any of these eggs? Have a favourite? Do let me know here or on Twitter/Facebook.