Chocolate? Cliche? Maybe. But there are few who won’t fall for this little lot on Valentine’s Day. And, should you end up spending the romantic occasion on your lonesome, don’t be disheartened; it just means all the more for you.
For the intrepid traveller
This lustworthy collection’s well-travelled, debonair creator has drawn inspiration from some rather romantic destinations. If the unique flavours and alchemical execution can’t seduce the recipient, something’s seriously wrong. Spanking-fresh truffles are £2 a piece, with flavours as follows. When purchasing, remember this mantra: ‘go everywhere, eat everything’.
- Marrakesh – Mint leaves, tea and rose petals, Varhona 72% Venezuelan
- Paris – Fontaine Absinthe, lump sugar and water, Valrhona 64% Dominican Republic
- New York – Vanilla cheesecake, Valrhona White chocolate, Valrhona 72% Venezuelan
- Seville – Marmalade ganache, toasted almonds, Valrhona 64% Madagascan
- Lisbon – Pastel de nata truffle, Madagascan vanilla bean, Valrhona white chocolate, caramelized milk chocolate, wafer pieces
- Istanbul – Pistachio, honey and fig caramel, 67% Michel Cluizel Saint Dominique
- Copenhagen – Romkugler, chocolate cake, Appleton estate rum, 70% Valrhona
- Dublin – Guinness truffle with soda bread, 65% Duffys Dominican Republic
- Edinburgh – Glen Moray Port cask whisky, oats and salt, 83% Duffys Ecuadorian
- London – Sacred distillery Gin, Bermondsey tonic water and lime, 64% Michel Cluizel Papua New Guinea
- Venice – Mascarpone, basil and limoncello, Valrhona, 66% Caribbean
For the big-hearted surprise-seeker
This blingy thing is not only super-sized and super-shimmery – it’s also packed full of Piedmont praline. Popping candy, caramelised hazelnut crumble and rice crisps might lend the centre filling plenty of texture, but giving The Chocolatier‘s heart will mark you out as a super-smooth operator with impeccable taste.
For the racy
How rude! Well, not really… more cheeky, and created by artisans of impeccable taste. The coffee ganache adds deep flavour and a bright buzz to the eating experience, with the white chocolate coating sweetening the whole shebang. According to legend, the tempting treat was first created by Viennese composer Salieri for the nubile young ladies he rather fancied making sweet music with.
For the staunch singleton
Alone this Valentine’s Day and fancy a threesome? Artisan du Chocolat is offering to make your fantasy reality… provided, that is, that chocolate is your company of choice. Your tempting trio might include Tonka milk chocolate, whose sweetly rounded flavours render it rather Reubenesque, along with a classy classic and something from the fusion line that’s as delicious as it is deviant.
For the hedonist
With the combination of pineapple and ginger in his ‘Fruity Revelation’ caramel, Nicolas Cloiseau has gifted you a rather nifty way of showing someone you’re feeling fruity and keen to spice things up. Further flavours in La Maison du Chocolat’s romantic range include a comforting rooibos tea and maple caramel, a textured Piedmontese praline, and the powerful, rich and very suave ‘Woody Accent’.
For someone you need to make melt
An English rose or indeed an amour of any other origin would be thrilled with Marc’s caramel collection. Making extensive use, as ever, of the bounty of the British Isles, the fillings for these handsome hearts feature a caramel created from Hampshire and Cornish cream and British beet sugar – plus a puree of either quintessentially English strawberries or less-local, more-exotic, equally-delicious passionfruit.
For the concerned cocoa-vore
Young upstart Jamie learnt his craft at La Iguana‘s cocoa farm and factory in Costa Rica, and left a little piece of his heart there on his return. This gift offers an excellent introduction to his intriguing and innovative creations, along with the chance to adopt a La Iguana cocoa tree and support a cause close to the chocolatier’s own heart.
For when everything’s rosy…
Why give chocolate and roses when you could combine the two? Maybe because floral confections can too easily and often veer dangerously into little-old-lady or bathroom cabinet territory. But one should and can expect more from the Burnets – and indeed, Chococo’s Great Taste Award-winning fresh-made rose chocs are perfectly-judged.
For those who like every edible to be made of chocolate
Don’t risk dodgy shellfish or selfishly subject someone oyster-averse to the real bivalves. Instead, offer an ode to the oceanic aphrodisiacs hewn from a more universally-accepted medium – praline-filled milk chocolate. Champagne truffles are also included, but that shouldn’t preclude you popping a cork on a real bottle too.
For after-dinner indulgence
When it comes to pud, ‘Go cocoa loco or go home’ is a good rule of thumb. This year, Paul’s made it both extra-easy and extra-difficult: offering such a sublime selection that it’s almost impossible to choose. Pink praline brownie? Billionaire’s salted caramel & chipotle shortbread?! Brownie pie?!? Or a Chocolate, raspberry reduction & black raspberry ganache dome?!?!
- To read more about The Chocolatier’s Indian-inspired chocolates, click here
- To read more about JK Oliver chocolates, click here
- To read about fine flavours in Paul A Young’s past Valentine’s collections, click here