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My Ireland

Looking for inspiration? Planning a trip? Or just want to scroll yourself happy? We'll show you an Ireland that's tailor-made for you.

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    Wilde Irish Chocolate Visitor Centre, County Clare Wilde Irish Chocolate Visitor Centre, County Clare

    Ireland: dipped in chocolate

    Try these five Easter chocolate experiences that the whole family will adore (and one delicious recipe!)

    • #FoodandDrink
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    Butlers Chocolate Cafe, Wicklow Street, Dublin city

    1. Butlers Experience, County Dublin

    Do you love chocolate? We do. Deeply. Arguably the purveyors of the finest hot chocolate in Ireland, Butlers has been feeding us cocoa-flavoured happiness for a whopping 90 years now. For the secret to the smooth, silky, sweet (must stop drooling) wares, pop into the Butlers Chocolate Experience just 20 minutes from Dublin city centre. Not sure what a visit would entail? Have a look at their website for the lowdown on the tour experience and availability.

    easterinireland-thechocolatemanor easterinireland-thechocolatemanor

    The Chocolate Manor

    2. The Chocolate Manor

    With a great location in Castlerock on the Northern Ireland coastline, The Chocolate Manor boasts hands-on visitor experiences and workshops guided by chief chocolatier Geri Martin. Expect plenty of luxurious hand-crafted treats to enjoy while you’re there, too, including chocolate truffles and lollipops. Looking for the perfect present? Why not try one of their Chocolate Postcard Bars, which can be customised with messages and your own design for a truly personalised gift.

    Crawfordsburn County Park, County Down Crawfordsburn County Park, County Down

    Wilde Irish Chocolates, County Clare

    3. Wilde Irish Chocolates, County Clare

    Now with a factory based on the banks of the lovely Lough Derg, Wilde Irish Chocolates first started in the kitchen of Patricia and Con Farrell in 1997. Learn all about their humble beginnings and their journey to perfect the “bean to bar” process on the factory tour, , while the tantalising smells of their yummy chocolates fill your nostrils… For an even sweeter treat, try the Taste & Make Experience where you can get your own bespoke handmade chocolate bar to take home. But, before leaving, you have to stop at the Hot Chocolate Café which has 8 different varieties of hot chocolate for you to sample.

    The Crystal Cafe, County Waterford The Crystal Cafe, County Waterford

    The Chocolate Garden, County Carlow

    4. The Chocolate Garden, County Carlow

    Get your hands on a golden ticket á la Charlie Bucket and see the ins and outs of the chocolate-making process at The Chocolate Garden. From cocoa growing to the tricky business of moulding an Easter egg and nibbling on several grades of premium chocolate along the way, this experience will edge you ever closer to connoisseur status. You can create and decorate your own chocolate to savour at home, too. If you can wait that long…

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    NearyNógs, County Down

    5. NearyNógs Stoneground Chocolate Makers, County Down

    Established in 2011 near the stunning Mourne Mountains, NearyNógs is Northern Ireland’s first bean to bar, craft chocolate makers. The emphasis here is on sustainability, with the factory having recently switched to solar power, as well as sourcing the most ethical cacao beans and supporting cacao farmers. You can book a Master Craft Chocolate Experience to see the full process of bean roasting, stone-grinding and tempering that turn these cacao beans into delicious NearyNógs chocolates, truffles, fudges and more. You can even find dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free options, so no one gets to miss out on the fun!

    How to make your own Easter egg at home 

    Ingredients:

    1 medium-sized balloon (make sure the rubber is quite thick, or else the balloon might pop!)

    Sticky tape

    600g milk chocolate

    400g white chocolate

    Yellow food colouring

    Small sweets of your choice

    A few large white chocolate buttons to cover hole

     

     

    Method:

    1
    Blow up your balloon and tie the end. Take a small piece of sticky tape and place it to the side of the knot (this will ensure that the balloon stays in one piece when you deflate it later).
    2
    Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water and add a few drops of yellow food colouring. Leave the chocolate to set until it is around room temperature (test by placing it carefully to your lips).
    5
    Fill the balloon with sweets! To cover the hole, use the leftover melted chocolate to attach the large chocolate buttons. Enjoy your yellow Easter egg!
    4
    Using a sharp knife, trim the excess chocolate – don't cut too deeply into it or the balloon might pop. Once the chocolate has set, hold the knotted end and pierce it at the centre of the sticky tape. Once the air is released, pull the balloon out.
    3
    Holding the balloon by the knot, dip it into the bowl of chocolate to coat it. Use a pastry brush to cover any gaps. Keep 4-5 tablespoons of the melted chocolate to cover the hole later. Put the balloon on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and leave to set in the fridge. It is ready when the surface is solid to touch.
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    Making an Easter egg