Chocolate is a serious business in my household – the richer the better, so this Easter I’m on the hunt for something which will really impress. Luckily, Scotland boasts a great range of excellent chocolatiers who can help with my quest, and even teach me to make one myself!
Cocoa Mountain, The Highlands and Perthshire
Using organic cocoa from the Dominican Republic, Cocoa Mountain creates indulgent chocolate by hand in small batches and sells them at their Highland shops in Balnakeil near Durness, Auchterarder in Perthshire, and online. The Easter range sounds particularly dreamy – especially the eggs with a chocolate centre of caramel and hazelnut gianduja (a chocolate paste). Not just a shell, but a full egg, mmm! For a personalised gift you could even pop into one of the shops and ask for a large half egg to be filled with 10 chocolates of your choice.
Oban Chocolate Company, Argyll
I’ve been to the lovely coastal town of Oban many times and almost always find myself in the Oban Chocolate Company – it is just too hard to resist popping in to enjoy some handmade chocolates. For Easter they’ve got some really fun special treats lined up for all the family, including dinosaur eggs, giant chocolate honeycomb-filled eggs for those who like a good ole’ big crunch and the ever-popular Easter egg cartons. Oban Chocolate Company also run regularly chocolate workshops for kids and will be holding some special ones in the run up to Easter.
Coco Chocolate, Edinburgh
A firm favourite of mine is Coco Chocolate, which has two shops in Edinburgh. They love to experiment with flavours, so alongside their milk and dark bunnies they also have chocolate with hot cross bun spices, an egg complete with pink champagne truffles, and tiny realistic quail’s eggs with a praline centre. If you have never tried it before, you should also check out their surprisingly tasty organic dark chocolate bar with haggis spices which also happens to be vegan! If you’re keen to have a go creating your own chocolate hamper you should consider their day-long cook school.
Easter break fun
As an alternative to giving an egg, why not make the fun last longer at an Easter or chocolate-themed event, such as going for Easter afternoon tea at Glen App Castle in Ayrshire, a traditional egg hunt at the Easter Festival at Drumlanrig Castle, or even taking a whisky and chocolate tour at Dalwhinnie Distillery?
Got a favourite Scottish chocolatier? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook or one of our other social media channels. Or why not find a hill to roll your eggs down? Take a look at our video below for some inspiration and have a Happy Easter!