Gift list choc-full of tricky customers? This might not be a case where only Smarties have the answer, but clever chocovores know that the most pleasant presents have a cocoa content. From whisky loving wives through to weird workmates and that crazy cousin thrice-removed, there are few who’ll fail to appreciate something from this spiffing selection.
Rococo’s Islay whisky-soaked cacao nib cigar
Everyone knows that smoking kills, so opt instead for this dead good replica is dead which won’t send the eater on their way to an early grave. Cast in Rococo’s 66% dark chocolate, Islay whisky-soaked cacao nibs and some secret ingredients account for the fine flavour, whilst the hand-made cigar’s cocoa powder coating and wafer crumb-coated end lend an authentic aesthetic.
- Rococo’s Islay whisky-soaked cacao nib cigar costs £9.95. For more information and to order, click here
Fifth Dimension Chocolates’ Salmóran
Forget Terry’s Chocolate Orange (especially the unorthodox newfangled flavours) and pop a box of these into the toe of their stocking. As a treat that’s for life, not just for Christmas, Salmóran can add zest and interest to any occasion, but the awesome agglomeration of sultanas, roasted almonds, bittersweet candied orange and dark chocolate is one that’s frightfully festive.
- Fifth Dimension Chocolates’ Salmóran costs £9.50. For more information and to order, click here
Cocoa Runners’ 2016 Christmas Collection
Best bean-to-bar chocolate, bar none? It’s a safe bet team CR have been there, determined that, and added it to the company’s extensive online library. This tasty curation fits through a standard-sized letterbox and comprises five fine examples from around the world from Chocolarder, Montecristi, Chocolat Madagascar, Original Beans, and Menakao. Word to the wise: you’ve not already tried everything inside, treat yourself to one, too.
- Cocoa Runners’ 2016 Christmas Collection costs £29.95. For more information and to order, click here
B Is For Brownie’s The Goldie
Who wouldn’t welcome a half-kilo slab of freshly-made brownie bearing their name under the Christmas tree? Baking to order is what Lou Cox does and by jingle she does it well – and with single origin chocolate, at that. From a marvellous menu, the Madagascan Goldie is best-dressed for the festivities; its edible gold leaf coat proving that everything that glitters need not be gold, as long as it’s chocolate.
- B Is For Brownie’s The Goldie costs £34. For more information and to order, click here
Matthieu de Gottal’s La Collection
The eccentric epicurean never fails to turn out terrific truffles (and if he does, they certainly don’t make it into his choc boxes). From superior spirits to brilliant bean-to-bar couvertures, ‘compromise’ simply isn’t in Matthieu’s vocabulary – as evidenced by this complex collection. Composed of the maker’s favourite flavours, it should fast put you in favour with the lucky recipient.
- Matthieu de Gottal’s La Collection costs £32.75 for 18 pieces. For more information and to order, click here
Dormouse Chocolates’ Bean-to-bar Stollen chocolate
From Dominique Ansel’s Cronuts to Pump Street’s Eccles Cake-infused bar, 2016 has been the year to bring together baked goods and chocolate. Now Dormouse has added a Germanic festive flourish to the trend with this strictly-limited creation, where the addition of roasted almonds and cherries make the maker’s own Madagascan bean-to-bar chocolate into a stonking tribute to stollen.
- Dormouse Chocolates’ Limited-edition Stollen bar costs £6. For more information and to order, click here
Paul a. Young’s Lingonberry brownie mince pies
Mince pies might be de-rigeur at this time of year, but there are a fair few of us who don’t get the least bit pie-eyed over the pastry-based, fruit-filled ‘treat’. If you and yours are among us, meet Paul a. Young’s happy hybrids, which keep the sweet pastry case in place but fill it with a deep, crisp and even layer of the chocolatier’s award-winning fudgy brownie that’s spiked with fresh lingonberries.
- Paul a. Young’s Lingonberry brownie mince pies costs £10.50 for 4. For more information and to order, click here
Jaz & Jul’s Drinking chocolate variety pack
If they like to sup a cup or two of hot chocolate during December and on into grey old January, then a trio of tasty options from choconnoisseurs Jaz & Jul’s will definitely be their cup of tea (or cocoa, but y’know where I’m coming from). From simple single origins in various percentages through to crazier creations like Masala Mojo and Mintchievous, there’s something to please every palate.
- Jaz & Jul’s Drinking chocolate variety pack costs £8. For more information and to order, click here
Demarquette’s Ali Baba’s jewels
With his magpie-like ways when it comes to finding amazing ingredients – and subsequently creating superb chocolates from them – it should come as little surprise that Mark’s latest lot emulate shiny stones. A mix of milk and dark chocolate, these precious jewels contain festive fillings like apple and spice caramel. Just like their maker, it’s safe to say that they’re real gems.
- Demarquette’s Ali Baba’s jewels cost £21. For more information and to order, click here
Artisan du Chocolat’s Brazil nuts Gaia tin
He (or she) who goes even mildly nuts for a chocolate Brazil at Christmas will go completely nutty for Artisan du Chocolat’s own version. A rather more elegant affair than their low-rent, high-street counterparts, they’re drenched in a thick layer of rich milk chocolate, given a dusting of gold lustre (for ’tis the season to sparkle), and packed into a pretty tin that’ll linger far longer than its contents.
- Artisan du Chocolat’s Brazil nuts Gaia tin cost £15. For more information and to order, click here