Once the hunt is over and the eggs are eaten, what to do next? From painting egg faces to crafting outrageous bonnets, here are our five top tips to make the most of Easter…
- COLOURED EGGS
Transform that lonely egg in the fridge into an Easter beauty. It’s a task that’s busied many generations, dating back to the ancient Persians who painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration that falls on the spring equinox.
This year, start your own Easter tradition. Hard-boil your egg and leave it to cool while you search the cake cupboard for vegetable dye. Carefully fill a bowl with half a cup of boiling water and add one teaspoon of white wine vinegar along with 20 drops of liquid food colouring. Sink your egg into the liquid and rotate for up to five minutes. Get your paper towels, tongs or stray spoon at the ready to remove your dip-dyed egg, and leave to dry for decorating,
Gentle Easter reminder: your egg is for decorating, not the picnic hamper – don’t be tempted to eat!
Tie-dye festival eggs
There are some quick shortcuts to make your eggs look as if you’ve invested some serious craft time. Before you dip it, wind the shell in a network of elastic bands. The result is worthy of a summer festival T-shirt. You could even spell out names, and make simple designs in glue, then peel it off after it’s dip-dyed and dried. Line up your eggs on Facebook – all that time invested should be seen!
How about creating your own eggy identity parade? Picture your family or friends as a line-up in tiny egg cups. Draw their faces in permanent markers and create your own egghead portraits, from family members to favourite pets, hamsters, dogs, cats…
Don’t tell a soul who your egg portrait is meant to be, then you can score points for naming them. Whether Nanny’s glasses are a giveaway or it’s the whiskers on Gizmo, reward the highest scorers with some special Easter treats. As not everyone likes their eggs hard-boiled, we can recommend our Egg Sandwich in 40% milk chocolate, or raise a smile with The Egg On My Face Slab – ideal for this head-to-head competition.
- EASTER BONNETS
The centrepiece of any Easter parade is the bonnet. It’s a traditional symbol of all things new, and was made famous when Irving Berlin penned a tune that celebrated New York City’s Easter Parade. Every year you can still spot many bobbing bonnets making their way down Fifth Avenue.
Why not make your own? Either start from scratch with cardboard and cloth, find that unwanted hat crushed in a charity bag or buy one to decorate (plenty are available online). Go for simple and plain or as over the top as you like: flowers, chicks, ribbons – throw on the works (or delicately stitch). Don’t be shy – there’s no such thing as overdoing an Easter bonnet!
Your very own Easter parade
When all the hard work is done and you look like a line-up from a Hollywood musical, have your own Easter bonnet showdown. Star in your own Easter parade, with Strictly-style marking cards, and extra points awarded for downright silliness! Share your top hats on Facebook and Instagram.
- EASTER PUDDING – WITH A DIFFERENCE
Easter is all about cooking, from fragrant lamb roasted with rosemary and studded with garlic to the all-important pudding. We have some cocoa-inspired ideas to create to-die-for desserts in our cookbook, A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate. Picture your spoon sinking into our Rabot Mousse Collection (see page 158) or bake your own family favourite. The best bit about Easter, though, is the decorating, and we have extra touches to suit every taste, from Salted Caramel Egglets to Rabbert Speckled Eggs. The result is a ‘two-spoon’ dessert you may not want to share…
- CHILDREN’S CHOCOLATE WORKSHOPS
Of course kids love chocolate, but have they ever thought of making it? Take them to see how hard the Easter bunny works and make a masterpiece of their own. Our Children’s Chocolate Workshops last just an hour, in which your little ones will learn where cocoa is grown and how it’s transformed into chocolate. The best bit is they’ll get hands-on messy and proudly show off the results!
- DECORATE YOUR EGG BOX
Give your Hotel Chocolat box a new lease of life. Before it goes in the recycling bin, why not put it to good use? You could create your own Easter basket, adding a handle and decorating it with stickers, paint and Easter ribbons – it’s perfect for egg storage when the kids go charging round the garden. Share your eggs in baskets on Facebook .
Whether you’re dipping, decorating, modelling or making, reward yourself with a crafty treat. Our new Easter characters will raise a smile: he’s a bit sheepish, but don’t miss Woolliam our little lamb, Elizapeck the imaginative chick and Rabbert our floppy-eared carrot fan.
Whatever you’re busy doing over the holidays, happy Easter!