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Health and wellness

Easter in Hong Kong: four vegan chocolate treats to fill your basket with – and where to find them

Whether you are preparing for an egg hunt or just want a sweet treat to eat on the sofa, we’ve found some healthier chocolate options available in stores around the city

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 March, 2018, 6:02pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 March, 2018, 6:02pm

The Christian festival of Easter has long been associated with chocolate in the form of eggs, bunnies, bars and more.

The first chocolate Easter eggs are thought to have been made in France and Germany in the early 19th century. The custom soon spread to the Americas and around the world. Our love for a sweet Easter chocolate treat is still strong, with chocolate lovers being spoilt for choice now more so than ever before. This year alone saw a 23 per cent rise in the number of Easter chocolate launches globally, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database.

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Whether you are preparing for an egg hunt or planning to gorge yourself on the sofa, we’ve found some healthier, vegan options available in Hong Kong to fill those Easter baskets. Most of them are made of dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants, is believed to improve your heart health, and helps to improve cognitive function and mood.

1. Boobook Chocolate Eggs – The Store

This delightful box of 10 chocolate eggs (HK$82), are made from blended cashews, virgin cacao butter, and organic evaporated coconut nectar for a caramel filling. Best of all, each egg is only 37 calories.

“Not only do they taste divine, but the story around the eggs is pretty wonderful,” says Shelley Lee-Davies, co-founder and chief digital officer of The Store, and director of the 2010 documentary about plant-based eating, Planeat.

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Made by Australian raw chocolate company Loving Earth, a share of profits from the sale of the eggs goes to the Great Forest National Park campaign to support the habitat of the native Boobook Owl near Melbourne.Under threat from logging and fires, the campaign wants the forests in the area to become a national park.

The package, designed by Melbourne illustrator Marc Martin, is completely compostable; even the plastic wrapper is made from renewable plant sources.

A post shared by LOVING EARTH (@loving_earth) on Mar 9, 2018 at 7:03pm PST

Vegan chocolate can often be dry and bitter, due to it containing a high percentage of cacao, but the use of cashew “mylk” and coconut nectar instead of processed cane sugar, makes these eggs delightfully rich and creamy.

The Store also sells Loving Earth gift boxes with a trio of vegan chocolate bars, including salted caramel, caramel, and lemon cheesecake flavours for HK$127.

The Store 2/F, 38 Cochrane St, Central, tel: 2967 7787, thestore.com.hk

2. Booja-Booja Easter eggs – Green Common

Plant-based concept store Green Common has a selection of Easter goodies, like the almond and sea salt caramel egg from award-winning UK company, Booja-Booja.

The organic, dairy-free, gluten-free and soya-free truffles from the UKare presented inside an intricately hand-painted egg-shaped container made in Kashmir, and cost HK$114.90.

The shops also offer Rosie Rabbit 32g chocolates for HK$11.90 each, and Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Cheeky Bunnies, for HK$54.90 for a 90g pack of eight. There is a 15 per cent discount on Easter products.

Green Common has six shops (Wan Chai, Sheung Wan, Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Tseung Kwan O) and a pop-up shop in Repulse Bay. greencommon.com

3. Fair-trade chocolates – Marks & Spencer

British retailer Marks & Spencer has entered the fair-trade ring, offering several single-origin dark chocolate bars, with 52 per cent to 83 per cent cocoa solids, fromEcuador and Peru.

The bars come in several knockout flavours, including jalapeño chilli powder, stem ginger and lemon, grapefruit and pink peppercorns, licorice and blackcurrant, and clementine. They cost HK$30 each, or two for HK$50.

The retailer also offers a dairy- and gluten-free dark chocolate selection box made with a minimum of 55 per cent cocoa solids. It has four mouth-watering flavours: orange truffle, blackcurrant truffle, sea salt caramel, and raspberry. Originally priced at HK$149, this item is on sale for HK$99.

There are more than a dozen M&S shops in Hong Kong. marksandspencer.com

4. Bianca Belgian chocolate bars – 759 Store

Also great value for money, are the Bianca chocolate bars from Belgium, available at Hong Kong chain store 759. Though they are not specifically Easter-themed, they are a treat for vegans or those who are lactose intolerant. The 100g bars are regularly priced at under HK$24; loyalty card holders save 12 per cent.

Other options include a purple packaged 85 per cent dark chocolate bar; a 55 per cent dark chocolate with mint bar; and a 55 per cent dark chocolate with orange bar.

There are dozens of 759 outlets around Hong Kong; not all of them carry the same products. 759store.com