It's that time of year when chocolate gets the better of us. So we tracked down some lovely chocolate shops to find out what the chocolatiers are creating for us this Easter, and found out that there are some lovely, thoughtful creations around town.

Small, handmade treats with individual nuances and quality blended chocolate are being created, so look past the average commercial chocolate available in unrealistic portions and explore clever designs, the type of chocolate used or the classic moulded bunny. Here are a few favourites.

Happy Easter!

Ganache
Step inside a chocolate box! Ganache has that feel about it with its exposed brick, dark timbers and that hypnotic scent of chocolate with subtle hints of brewed coffee. The selection of handmade chocolates is varied and so very pretty and Easter gets prettier with antique bunny moulds from Berlin and Luxembourg being used to make hollow eggs with 60% cocoa.

They also have classic bunnies and half-eggs filled with individual chocolates (from four chocolates up to 100!), all made from their house blend of chocolate. Their milk chocolate is 33.5 per cent cocoa, dark is 60 per cent and there are some eggs this year at 75 per cent cocoa. There’s also deliciously silky hot chocolate if you can’t decide and need a moment to think about it.

250 Toorak Road, South Yarra
(03) 9804 7485

245 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9650 8388

ganache.com.au

Monsieur Truffe
Monsieur Truffe feeds the sweet tooth of the inner-city fold who love chocolate but don’t want all the palaver that goes with this commercially sweet time of year. This year a small selection of Easter chocolates with a retro feel are available with just four in the collection.

Renowned for selling distinctive, single origin chocolates, owner Thibault Fregoni has created these treats in both milk (38 per cent cocoa) and dark (70 per cent) made of blended chocolate to produce a silky, creamy, more user-friendly finish on the palate, as many children (and adults) will be tucking into his delicate creations.

90 Smith Street, Collingwood
(03) 9416 3101

monsieurtruffe.wordpress.com


Haigh’s
It’s a family business that’s kept us happy for many years and Haigh’s gets serious mojo at Easter time for completely dismissing the Easter Bunny for a far more native and nationally appropriate Easter Bilby. The introduction of the rabbit to the Australian bush almost wiped out the Bilby and these milk and dark hollow eggs (either small or large) are a far more logical purchase in the geographical scheme of things. There’s also eggs small, large and enormous, and the eternally popular chocolate frogs aren’t going anywhere ... just in case you were wondering. We were.

Shop 7-8, The Block Arcade
282 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 7673

26 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9650 2114

495 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9620 3555

Shop 6, 191 Swanston Walk, Melbourne
(03) 9662 2262

499 Toorak Road, Toorak
(03) 9827 8713

715 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
(03) 9819 5000

haighschocolates.com.au

Xocolatl
This is a sensory feast with owners Jenny and Christos Partsioglou combining their passions on their own Easter creations with an art series of eggs inspired by Pollock and Miro, as well as Byzantine eggs for Greek Easter. The Partsioglous use Callebaut chocolate and have a feast of eggs and other Easter treats (how about an chocolate jigsaw puzzle?) in white, milk and dark chocolates.

123 Maling Road, Canterbury
(03) 9836 3100

11 Strathalbyn Street, Kew East
(03) 9857 0971

xocolatl.com.au

Koko Black
Koko Black shops are elegant dens of dark wood with displays of dark brown boxes sitting on shelves around the room; the counter is a glass cabinet housing small, delicately handmade and individually sold chocolates. Easter has bunnies of many and varied sizes and eggs galore but we love the pencil case boxes – old-school pencil tins filled with small bunnies, eggs and hand-made chocolates. There’s boxes for grown-ups too, with beautiful, sophisticated selections. It’s got a grown up feel at Koko Black even though chocolate shops are ageless – perhaps it’s the well-dressed staff or the hush when you walk in. It’s a little Mecca to all things coco.

Shop 4 Royal Arcade
335 Bourke Street, Melbourne

(03) 9639 8911

52 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9663 5567

Westfield Doncaster 619 Doncaster Road, Doncaster
(03) 9848 1356

167 Lygon Street, Carlton
(03) 9349 2775

799 Burke Road, Camberwell
(03) 9813 2160

1341 Dandenong Road Chadstone
(03) 9530 9060

kokoblack.com

Cacao
Four outlets around Melbourne satisfy a market desiring good quality chocolate with a story behind it. Cacao's Easter story is simple but striking this year, with the colours of autumn being celebrated. Easter is unusually late in 2011, which will see most of us in more than just slippers and a cardigan when we set out for the Easter Egg hunt. Cacao are acknowledging this with milk or dark chocolate bunnies, chicks and eggs in beautiful golden, toffee hues of the season.

52 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
(03) 8598 9555

Shop 7, 525 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9629 4955

Corner Burke & Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne
(03) 9662 4777

Westfield Doncaster 1st floor, Kiosk 107
619 Doncaster Road, Doncaster
(03) 9840 2269