At Devonport Chocolates, there's just one slight problem — what to choose. Their Easter editions are so numerous it becomes an eeny-meeny situation.
Though I know which egg I'm after — the Luxury Fried Egg — a large, hollow milk or dark chocolate egg topped with their clever signature fried egg — sunny side up, complete with a salted caramel yolk. For something more classic, new this Easter are their elegant Belle Epoque eggs, in shimmering milk, dark or white chocolate, which come with an individual painted Easter chocolate inside.
To really make a statement, there's Robert the 45cm-tall rabbit. He's made in a mould and then hand-painted. "Quite a significant bunny," is how Devonport Chocolate's Caroline Everitt describes him. She says they once sold a Robert to a guy who was buying it to give to his three sisters, "to see how they would divide it up".
You can check out Robert yourself, he's on display in the handsome window of their Queen's Arcade store in the city, plus there's the original Devonport store. devonportchocolates.co.nz.
Creative Gianpaolo Grazioli of Giapo could never let a sugar-spun occasion like Easter pass by without grabbing the opportunity to create something magical.
This year he has translated the iconic Easter egg into the language of icecream, and it's a cracker. Put simply, it's an egg, cracking open to reveal ice cream inside, afixed on top of a cone. One egg is made in two separate moulds, created in-house in the Giapo R&D kitchen using 3D printing.
Each egg half bears the stylised zig-zag edge, to indicate its faultline. The chocolate eggs are in white or dark chocolate and customers choose which flavour icecream they'd like to fill the egg. As a final touch, handmade edible adornments decorate the tantalising peep of icecream.
Waimauku's recently revamped vineyard, winery and restaurant The Hunting Lodge will live up to its name for Easter Sunday, when guests who brunch in the restaurant (10am-12.30pm) will be invited on a special chocolate egg hunt among the vines.
The Lodge's pastry chef Vix Gurovich has serious talent, and what better excuse than Easter to try her wares by ordering her Easter-inspired petit fours, which include her homage to the Sweetie Pie, a favourite candy in Gurovich's home country, South Africa. Like a posh marriage between a Toffee Pop and Mallowpuff, Gurovich's version features a base of vanilla shortbread topped with a ball of salted caramel and cacao nib meringue,which is caramelised and then enrobed in dark chocolate.
Vix is also making Valrhona chocolate eggs with decorations inspired by the ever-changing beauty on the estate, which customers can buy.
Bastion of chocolate, pastry chef Brian Campbell's Miann has downtown covered in Valrhona chocolate, with shops in both Britomart and Fort St.
If you're bored with bunnies, check out Campbell's gold-sprayed chocolate squirrels for some Easter cuteness. That said, it's hard to resist their cartoonish rabbits, or the gorgeous painted eggs made with different chocolates and filled with chocolate slabs. The white eggs are filled with white and pistachio, the milk with milk and pecan, the dark with dark and hazelnut and the Dulcey chocolate (caramelised white chocolate) eggs come with a slab of Dulcey and hazelnut.
Then there are special Easter gateaux made with Valrhona Biskelia or Jivara chocolate in chicken and rabbit designs. miann.co.nz
If the kids have memorised all your craftiest egg hidey-holes at home (and/or you're sick of finding lost eggs months down the track), head to Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens tomorrow, between 9am and 3pm.
You and the offspring can take a relaxing, art-filled stroll through the large grounds while the kids keep their eagle eyes peeled for Easter eggs hidden among the many plantings and sculptures.
Don't worry if you're not there early, the Easter bunny will covertly be depositing his bounty throughout the day. Normal entrance fees apply.