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Who makes the best marshmallow Easter eggs?

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South Africans love marshmallow Easter eggs. We like them so much, we consider it normal to buy them in bulk. Even Lindt snobs can’t resist the crackly chocolate shell and spongy, mallow goodness inside. But which one is best? Chef Corlette Heyns took some for the team and filed this report.

Growing up in the 1980s, I had the following options of Easter eggs: Beacon, Beacon, and Beacon. Or that’s how I remember it. For the record, I grew up in the Free State, which could explain my lack of exposure.

These days, we’re spoilt for choice, and I find the variety on offer almost overwhelming.

The Big Three plus one

We decided to limit the tasting to four brands. I chose The Big Three: Beacon, Cadbury, and Woolies. To this trinity, I added Kayley’s Marshmallow Eggs, because the bright packaging caught my eye, but I’ll get to that later.

After a lazy Sunday braai with friends (including five-year-old Cara, whose favourite colours are pink and purple and only wears sparkly dresses), I decided to spike the guests’ blood sugar and pulled out my Tupperware dish full of Easter eggs.

Before the tasting had even begun, Cara’s mom, Veronica (a self-confessed chocoholic), declared Cadbury Fluffies the best. But this was to be a blind tasting. Would Veronica change her mind after the test? Tension was mounting.

First up: Beacon mmmMallows

Beacon mmmMallow Easter egg

Veronica immediately recognised the nostalgic Beacon taste. “It tastes like my childhood,” she said, and I couldn’t agree more. But the panel concluded that the chocolate tasted watered down and had a grainy texture.

Luckily for Beacon, the soft yet slightly chewy centre and the yellow ‘yolk’ of the mallow centre compensated for the underwhelming chocolate coating.

Second contender: Woolies Vanilla Flavoured Marshies

Woollies Marshies mallow egg

The extra puffiness of the marshmallow centre impressed us. (Must be Woolies’ claim of selling free-range eggs only, right?). The flavour of the mallow centre was fairly complex for a humble, mainstream Easter egg. The tasting squad noticed interesting nutty nougat and coconut tones. The vanilla flavouring was slightly overwhelming.

However, the chocolate coating was disappointing. The layer was too thin for our liking and it didn’t provide that wonderful crunch when biting through the chocolate. Although the ingredient list states 41 percent full-cream milk chocolate, the quality of the chocolate was average and had a slight talcum-like aftertaste.

Overall, this contender was too sweet for our liking.

Third up: Cadbury Fluffies

Cadbury's Fluffies Easter egg

Cadbury’s famous “glass and a half of milk” slogan from the 1980s is still apt when describing the ever-so-creamy yumminess of the chocolate coating.

This egg certainly lives up to its name. Of all the contestants, its marshmallow centre had the best squishiness and puffiness factors. Also, the ratio between chocolate and candy was just perfect.

Fourth contender: Kayley’s ‘No-Bunny’s Gonna Catch Me’

It’s a suitable name indeed, because no-bunny would buy this mallow egg if it wasn’t for its eye-catching packaging. Its chocolate had the taste of overly sweet melting chocolate. The centre tasted artificial, and the texture was plasticky. Eating it felt like chewing on a leftover braai marshmallow the morning after.

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Colour therapy

But let’s give Kayley’s its due credit. Judged by their ‘covers’ only, these brightly packaged eggs certainly attract attention. Cara was smitten with these happy eggs (this was after the blind tasting) and proclaimed that they were her favourite. You see, looks are deceiving indeed.

Kayley’s are notably smaller in size (12g vs the standard 16g/16.5g), which is not necessarily a bad thing. The smaller size might comfort parents who are concerned about their little ones’ sugar intake on Easter Sunday.

Final verdict

In the end, it was was Cadbury Fluffies that hopped off with the honours, taking first prize. Old faithful, the Beacon mmmMallows egg, was second, while Woolies Marshies came in third. Our panel didn’t show much love for Kayley’s Happy Easter “No-Bunny’s Gonna Catch Me”, but the vivid colours make for a good egg hunt.

While Checkers’ Eggs Galore wasn’t included this year, we have received favourable reports about it’s chocolate coating, so you should definitely add it to your own taste test.

Happy hunting!

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