Pierre Tachon designs geometric hen-shaped chocolate Easter egg

In time for Easter, French designer Pierre Tachon has teamed up with chocolate company Alain Ducasse to create a treat that is shaped like a chicken rather than an egg.

The outer layer of the 300-gram Cocotte hen is constructed from dark chocolate, and houses a filling of crispy almond praline eggs. Two triangular fins form the bird's tail and beak, while the body is constructed from an upside-down diamond shape.

"In 2016, we wanted to work with an animal shape for a change" said Tachon, who previously partnered with the company to design a flat pack-style chocolate Christmas tree. "With the hen my aim was to express in the simplest way possible the shape of the animal, while staying in the simple and faceted codes of the art of chocolate shaping."

Easter egg by Pierre Tachon

The style of the design is based on studies Tachon made into carving, sculpting and cutting jewels.

"All the shapes and designs I have created for Alain Ducasse are based on the idea of work and shaping by hand," Tachon told Dezeen. "To be more specific, on the idea of cut, as jewellery is cut."

"Chocolate like diamond is a very noble material which can be shaped in the same was as a precious stone," he added. "Our willingness to be singular gives the hen a recognisable character.

The designer worked closely with Alain Ducasse's chocolatier Nicolas Berger to develop the egg, spending several months prototyping moulds to achieve the final effect.

Eggs have been decorated as part of Easter celebrations since the Middle Ages. Many European countries having their own distinctive approach to pattern, colour and motif.

Easter egg by Pierre Tachon

The first chocolate versions appeared in the early 19th century in France and Germany, with early eggs made of bitter dark chocolate, and often featuring shells that were decorated with marzipan and chocolate piping.

Tachon's hen will be available at London's Bulgari Hotel for £38, from 21 to 28 March 2016 – coinciding with Easter Sunday on 27 March.

Central Saint Martins graduate Robert Cooper also took an alternative approach to chocolate, combining it with wafer to design Airfix-style model kits, while Akihiro Mizuuchi transformed it into edible Lego bricks.