Saturday 20 January 2018

How Lily's gets all 140,000 eggs into one basket

Just one more day before we can gorge on chocolate.

Some of the country's best chocolate manufacturers have been working overtime in recent weeks for Easter Sunday.

Irish chocolatier Lily O'Brien's has pulled out all the stops, producing a remarkable 140,000 eggs.

Unlike other companies, Lily's says it hand crafts every one of its eggs after they go through a unique tempering (cooking) process.

And to add to the tasty workload, a total of 35,000 Easter chocolate bunnies were also produced at the premises.

Founder Mary-Anne O'Brien said that her factory, in Newbridge, Co Kildare, has been "bedlam" since the beginning of the month.


"I feel like the bunny Santa Claus," Ms O'Brien said.

"This place used to be my kitchen and now there are 180 of us here. The place is full of local buyers who want their names on the eggs, and we also have men coming in who want the biggest eggs of all time and don't care how much they cost."

Ms O'Brien founded the company in 1992 in her kitchen, never thinking that it would become such a big success.

The company says it likes to make Easter eggs "the old fashioned way" by tempering the chocolate in hot ovens, making it mouldable.

The chocolate is then frozen in a cooler before coming out hard and easy to snap. The eggs then go on to be spun in a special machine before being decorated in various designs.

Ms O'Brien says the Easter season is "a frightening commercial venture" for any company, given the growing demand for the eggs each year.

"You are damned if you make too many and you're damned if you don't make enough," she said.


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