Easter is coming fast and if you’ve been fasting – even if you haven’t -  then you have some good things coming, thanks to our chocolate makers.

My sweet hit of the year so far has been the real shell eggs that the imaginative Nicola of Pandora Bell has come up with. Yeah. Real  hens shells (see pic) filled with top class chocolate. Available in Cork at Bramley Lodge, O’Keeffe’s (St Luke's) and Nash 19.

Nash 19 is also the place to go for Benoit Lorge's handmade Easter Eggs. MairĂ©ad O’Brien: “He makes them in Kenmare and is a member of Good Food Ireland too. Pop into the shop to see the full range. Prices to suit all pockets.”

Easter came up during a French class during the week and Francis says her favourites come from Eve's Chocolates and her gorgeous stuff is available from the factory/shop on the Magazine Road, close to Dennehy’s Cross.

Worth a detour as they say in the best guides and, by the way, all three appear in the Bridgestone Irish Food Guide (2010). And so do O’Connaill’s of Carrigaline. You can study their range and have a hot choc at the same time in their shop in city centre French Church Street.

And the English Market’s Chocolate Shop is yet another Bridgestone entry. Most of those in the queue won't be bothered about guides – they know there’s good stuff here and they won't be waiting until Easter Saturday to stock up. Neither should you!

No time for the shops? Then try this competition, courtesy of Tweeter @dailyspud. It is for a hamper full of wines and chocolate, a win wine situation, and details are available at Daily Spud
Prefer to make your own? Looking for ideas. Well, the Daily Spud (above) has a few and so too do the folks at All Recipes
Editor Diana Moutsopoulo tells me they
 have quite a few recipes including one for Easter Bunny Cakes   - pictured above