12 Easter gifts offering more than just chocolate
With a restriction-free Easter on the cards, it’s more than likely that you’ll want to celebrate over the long weekend. Chocolate’s good and all, but so is cheese, gin and Colomba cake.
We thought we’d give you a bit of a break from the cocoa bean with our Easter gift guide offering more than just chocolate. Have a scroll through our top picks from around the web, from hot cross doughnuts, to bottled cocktails, cheese and gin…
The Colomba di Pasqua, or the “Easter Dove’ is Italy’s traditional Easter cake. Think of it as the season’s equivalent to the Christmastime panettone and pandoro, with the same fluffy texture, buttery richness, and time and care of preparation. The dough is risen for 30 hours, and then baked into its dove shape and dressed with, in this case, a heavenly combination of white chocolate and pistachio. Available from Eataly, £15.80.
You know how hot cross buns are pretty dry but no one really talks about it? Well, Crosstown have saved the day with their hybrid hot cross bun doughnuts (which happen to be vegan!) – these cinnamon spiced beauties are sticky, sweet and filled with generous amounts of creamy cinnamon custard. We devoured the box in an embarassingly short space of time. These rock. Available from Crosstown (£25.95 for six).
This ethical Easter gift feels as good to send as it does to receive. Dig deep – and we mean really deep – into a tall box filled with straw, like an old-fashioned lucky dip, pulling out sustainable, thoughtful treats, from a Divine Easter egg to a tiny perfect candle, as you go. Our tester particularly loved the beautiful bottle (and taste) of the fruity Sea Change wine. Buying this box will aid many causes, such as helping to fund marine conservation efforts and tackling human-trafficking. Available from the Social Supermarket (£49.99).
These divided Twitter, but M&S’ take on the savoury hot cross bun are loaded with Red Leicester and Cheddar, and they really impressed our tester. Toasted and slathered with butter and/or Marmite, they’re a treat of a snack, and crucially they aren’t lying when they call them extremely cheesy. Why not grab for the cheese-lover in your life and make a lunch of it by filling them with bacon or ham? Available from Ocado, £1.75.
We’re fans of London deli Melrose & Morgan for the high quality of its produce, and its compact Easter hamper is a wicker-packaged treat. It contains a simnel cake (one of the best we’ve tried), a mini trug of spiced biscuits in bunny and star shapes and a pot of sharp-sweet marmalade for your Easter weekend breakfasts – also wonderful spread thinly on the cake. Available from Melrose and Morgan, £65 including delivery.
Okay, we’re kind of cheating with this one. But it’s more about the date than the chocolate here. It’s hard to improve on the succulent caramel sweetness of a quality date – but that’s what The Datery does, enrobing them in chocolate spiked with hazelnut, coconut, pistachio and more. Its smart giftsets are popular for Ramadan, in which dates hold special significance, with a stunning mosaic-inspired chocolate Ultimate Experience platter (£49.95) for Eid Al-Fitr (2-3 May this year) available too. Available from The Datery, £22.95.
How about a hamper to transport you to long lunches in the Spanish sun? Filled with chorizo, manchego, Rioja, membrillo, olives, out-of-this-world-good olive oil, and plenty of crispy snacks. This beautiful wicker basket full of treats is sure to thrill the Iberian food lover in your life. Available from Ibérica (£60).
The Dean Box
Flavoured gin fans take note: distiller Sipsmith has produced a gin to pair with cheese exclusively for cheesegeek. Order The Dean Box and you’ll receive a damson cheese jar, generous 200g each of lincolnshire poacher, cropwell bishop stilton and creamy perl wen, and 20cl bottle of Sipsmith’s Cheeseboard Martinez. A punchy 29 per cent gin and sweet vermouth blend, it’s made with figs, grapes and orange, and has shades of port and sherry. Available from cheesegeek, £50.
Leave the chocolate to the kids this Easter and sip your way through World of Zing’s sweet treat-inspired cocktails instead. This quartet of 50ml serves includes a hot cross ‘bunhattan’, chocolate orange negroni, black forest sour and salted caramel espresso martini – something to suit every spirit drinker. We take our hat off to the sweet, subtle cinnamon take on the manhattan, a traditionally bitter drink. Available from World of Zing, £15.
Every homemade cake deserves a stand to show it off with pride, especially one as yummy as our rhubarb and custard Easter cake. Anthropologie’s hand-blown glass stand has an irregular pattern reminiscent of Murano glass. One word: GORGEOUS. Available from Anthropologie (£29).
Flor hot cross buns
If you’re familiar with our hot cross buns, hot cross cookies and hot cross bun loaf recipes, you’ll know that we take the quintessential Easter treat seriously. These hot cross buns from Flor bakery in London’s Bermondsey are made with special stone ground, UK grown flour and are our pick for shop-bought this year, and are special enough to give as gifts. Available from Flor (£2.30 each).
A platter is a kitchen essential: for salads (way better for showing off ingredients than a bowl), or for cakes… This large, attractively-priced Pom Pom platter in palest grey stoneware – robust and dishwasher safe – is perfect for your Easter roast. Available from Truly Gifted (£24).
And if it’s just chocolate you want, we are happy to bring you our tried and tested Easter egg guide too.
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