Willy Wonka wouldn't get a look in with these Irish chocolatiers.
Easter is a-coming and we have one thing on our minds; chocolate. Nothing new there though... Easter or not, it's rare a day goes by that we don't have chocolate on the brain, to be quite honest.
The busiest time of the year for Irish chocolatiers, they've been hard at work behind the scenes preparing for the Easter rush and if ever there was a year to treat yourself or someone you love to an elaborate chocolate egg, 2021 is it. You just can't live a full life on an empty stomach and this year has been hard enough so go on, go on, go onnnnnn.
Below you'll find four different Irish chocolatiers worth supporting... plus two bonus ones who had to close their online shop early but may reopen if time allows. So keep yizzer eyes peeled.
Created in Dublin back in 1987 by Connie Doody and Mary White, Lir has humble beginnings with the operation kicking off at Connie's kitchen table using just a food mixer and a bowl. Several years of experience later and they're still dominating the Irish chocolate scene. Unveiling a stunning range of Easter eggs, each one comes in new recyclable packaging too. Available in four different varieties, you can have them delivered straight to your door or opt to pick them up in select stores nationwide if you'd prefer.
Hazel Mountain Chocolate
Making waves on the Irish (and international) chocolate scene since they first opened back in 2014, Hazel Mountain Chocolate can be found along the Wild Atlantic Way with locations in both Clare and Galway. And their Easter eggs are actual works of art. Seriously, they're hand-painted by Hazel Mountain chocolatiers using plant-based coloured cacao butter. Just look at the below. Almost too beautiful to eat.
To be found in the foodie mecca of Kinsale, Koko is a small artisan business that is "woven" into the local community... and boy, do they know their chocolate. Offering all manner of Easter treats, they even have a vegan option. Not forgetting their own take on the classic creme egg - I know they're divisive but I'm very much a fan.
Bean and Goose
Run by sisters Karen and Natalie Keane, all their chocolate is made locally at Last Tree Farm in the Wexford countryside. Saying that "chocolate signifies good times" to them (same), Bean and Goose chocolate is made using the complex and rich flavours of single-origin chocolate paired with flavours and ingredients that reflect and celebrate the seasons. Their whimsical Irish hare looks particularly tasty... beheading him does seem a little nasty though but one bite and you'd probably get over it fairly quickly.
Based down in Kerry, Lorge Chocolates is run by Benoit Lorge. A trained pastry chef, he started his own business in 2003 and has been keeping us all in chocolate ever since. They also offer chocolate courses (for both professionals and enthusiasts) under 'normal' circumstances too so definitely worth looking into if you want to learn more once restrictions ease.
Nic + Ali
Technically not chocolatiers, but as experts in all things confectionary, you can most definitely trust Nic + Ali with your Easter order. Stocked in all Brown Thomas and Avoca stores nationwide, this year's offerings centre around chocolate mini eggs... and we approve. Mini eggs don't get the recognition they deserve, in my opinion.
Egg-cited for Easter? So are the guys at Grá Chocolates. Committed to sourcing only the best quality produce, most of the ingredients that go into Grá chocolates can be found locally in Co Galway. Promising that there are no corners cut and no shortcuts taken when crafting their goods, the proof is very much in the chocolate egg.
The Proper Chocolate Company
Dublin's only bean-to-bar chocolate maker, The Proper Chocolate Company hand sort, roast, crack and winnow cocoa beans before refining, conching, ageing, tempering, moulding and packaging them into the gorgeous chocolatey treats that arrive when you order from their website. A whole lot of work for a whole lot of taste. The Golden Egg sounds like a bit of us. *Drooling*
Skellig Chocolate and The Chocolate Garden of Ireland are two others also worth mentioning, but such was the demand for their handmade eggs that they've had to close their online shops early. Keep an eye on their websites for when they do reopen though and if you're lucky you might just nab one of their famous chocolate treats.
A day that normalises eating chocolate for every meal of the day is one we can most definitely get on board with.
Header image via Instagram/Lir Chocolates/Bean and Goose