'TIS the season for eating chocolate at breakfast and stuffing your face with Hot Cross Buns.
Easter is around the corner and all sorts of Easter-themed bites and drinks have popped up on menus for the holiday season, from Creme Egg cocktails at Murray's Brewery to chocolate quesadillas at Beach Burrito Co. on Darby Street and bunny-shaped baos at Charlestown Square's New Shanghai.
If you're after something a tad fancier than a Red Tulip bunny, Aymee Slaviero at Cocoa Nib has created an Easter range of handmade chocolates, including the biggest chocolate egg she has moulded in her seven years as a chocolatier.
The 12.5kg egg is on display at her shop at The Junction Fair.
"It took me two hours to paint, and then five hours to mould and assemble," Slaviero says.
"It has five layers of chocolate inside and each layer has to set before you can apply the next layer, so in total it took me seven hours.
"The chocolate is fairly thick, so you might need a hammer to crack it."
Unfortunately for chocoholics, the giant egg is not for sale (she plans to donate it to the John Hunter Children's Hospital).
Here's five places to find Easter goodies:
The Junction Fair Shop 10/200 Union Street, The Junction (also at 989 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin). Aside from the oversized chocolate egg on display at The Junction store, Cocoa Nib has created hand-painted eggs and chocolate bunnies for the Easter season. And these are not just any eggs - each has a golden egg encased in the shell. Every year the flavour of the golden egg changes and this year they have decided on hazelnut praline. It's not all about chocolate bunnies though. With kids in mind for the holiday season, Slaviero has also created hand-painted dinosaur and unicorn eggs. Crack open the egg and you'll fine a tiny chocolate unicorn or dinosaur inside. Think of it as the gourmet version of a Kinder Surprise.
The Source Bulk Foods
Newcastle, Shop 6, Marketown Shopping Centre, 23 Steel Street, Newcastle West. If you're living that vegan life, but still craving the good ol' days of a gooey Cadbury Creme Egg, zero-waste health food store The Source have you sorted. They've taken delivery of their version of the Creme Egg, which is not only completely vegan, but also gluten-free. The Dream Egg is filled with a sweet, fondant-like goo that replicates the white and yolk of an egg (just like a Creme Egg) and is encased in dark chocolate. They're $4.95 and, in keeping with the ethos of the store, come completely package-free. They sold out in two days last week, so get in quick for their next shipment as stock is limited. If you miss out, The Source also has organic nutty caramel filled Milk chocolate eggs, which are vegan, as well as semi solid dark chocolate and milk chocolate eggs.
68 Orchardtown Road, New Lambton. OK, so Coles and Woolies began pumping out Hot Cross Buns as soon as Christmas was done and dusted. If you've managed to resist the temptation so far, Euro Patisserie is bringing the goods. The shop is well-known for its meticulously decorated cakes and tarts, but it also makes a mighty fine Hot Cross Bun. Euro offer the traditional bun with fruit, a fruitless version, as well as apple and cinnamon, or chocolate. Pick up half a dozen for $6.95.
Laneway On Darby
141-143 Darby Street, Cooks Hill. If you like a little booze with your chocolate, Laneway On Darby (previously The Depot) has a cocktail special on the board for Easter. The Nutty Bunny comes served in a chocolate egg, with a side of crispy shell Easter eggs. The cocktail of the month at The Greenroof in Hamilton is swapping its glass for a chocolate egg, too. The Good Egg combines Frangelico hazelnut liquor with Bailey's, coconut cream, coconut milk and marshmallows, sprinkled with chocolate flakes, and served sitting on ice in a Martini glass. Murray's Craft Brewery at Bob's Farm has two Easter cocktails ready for its Easter Blues and Brews Festival from April 19 to 22. There's a Toblerone martini and a Creme Egg version, too. The weekend event is always popular, so book on 4982 6411 to secure a spot.
Onyx Espresso Bar
2/191-197 Maitland Road, Mayfield. Yes, we featured Onyx last week for their scrumptious toasties, but we couldn't go past including their Easter egg latte. If you ever tried drinking milk from an Easter egg as a kid, here's your chance to do it again, grown-up style. The latte is poured into a halved Cadbury chocolate egg, sitting in a coffee cup (and you get to munch on the leftover bits of choccy egg shell, too). The lattes will be available until Easter Monday. Also using Easter eggs as cups is CJ's on Glebe in The Junction. They've got hot chocolate, or mocha, with whipped cream and marshmallows on the menu for Easter.