We are deep into chocolate season now, and the next chocolate holiday on the horizon is Valentine’s Day! It’s the perfect time of year to treat someone that you care about to some fabulous fine chocolate! Whether you’re celebrating another year with your favorite valentine, your first with a new one, or getting together with a group of your best friends, chocolate makes the occasion that much sweeter! Your local chocolatier or chocolate maker will no doubt have some creations that are sure to delight. Remember, in the chocolate world quality and quantity rarely go hand in hand – you are better off spending your money on a smaller box of high quality fine chocolate than a big box of mass produced chocolate, or on a high quality bean to bar chocolate bar than a mass produced candy bar. Here are just a few of the unique creations we came across in our travels on the web.
After their Good Food Awards win for their Maine Mint Truffle in January, there was no time to rest for our graduate Black Dinah Chocolatiers of Maine! They were right back into the swing of production for Valentine’s Day. Their Kiss A Frog box is an homage to the truth that sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your true love! And these frogs are even better because they are made of chocolate – 6 peanut butter-filled dark chocolate frogs, and 24 dark chocolate “frogletiers”.
Speaking of kissing frogs, who wouldn’t want to kiss these two from Vancouver’s Gem Chocolates? Our graduate Glenn Knowles does just great work with his chocolate figures, we always eagerly anticipate what we will come up with each holiday!
Norman Love is a well-known chocolatier, and has been creating chocolates and confections since 2001. In fact, he was the first inductee named to the Dessert Professional Magazine Hall of Fame. This 25-piece collection in a classic heart-shaped box is sure to please anyone on your list. The box includes all 10 of the limited edition 2016 Valentine’s Day flavors, their most loved flavors from the past 15 years. Flavors include “5-spice”: Asian 5 spice infused into a milk chocolate center, and “Muscadine”: dark and milk chocolate truffle ganache infused with orange liqueur and covered with a dark chocolate shell.
If you’ve been following our blog for awhile, you know what fans we are of the work of our graduate Giorgio Demarini of Roselen Chocolatier. The creativity and attention to detail in his designs, which are then beautifully executed in his chocolates demonstrate his talent. Perhaps it’s not surprising that he’s trained as a graphic designer! The collection available for Valentine’s Day doesn’t disappoint. These are Giorgio’s heart bonbons, a strawberry, raspberry and blueberry marzipan bonbon.
Toronto’s Soma Chocolatemaker has brought back their creative Vday Tiffin box again this year, a gift they call “an edible love poem in 4 verses”. A tiffin is a boxed lunch people take to work every day in Mumbai. If you want to read more about the story of the tiffin box, check out Soma’s blog post. This year’s tiffin box at Soma is full of delectable creations – Layer 1 is sweet and tart whole cherries tumbled in dark and milk chocolate. Layer 2 is a collection of truffles, including their whipped honey butter cloud and their Damask Rose truffle. Layer 3 is a “Milk Old School Heart” – chocolate made the way it was back in the day. Cocoa beans, milk, and whole crystals of organic cane sugar minimally processed without refining or conching. The texture is “unique crumbly and almost cookie-like.” Layer 4 is “5 berry pop” – “Freeze-dried and pulverized berries reincarnated as a thin creamy chocolate bark with pop rocks for a bubbly effect”. If that isn’t 4 layers of love, we don’t know what is!
Fresh from the honor of being named one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the United States by Dessert Professional Magazine in January, there was no time to rest on their laurels for our graduate EH Chocolatier! They were right back into the full swing of Valentine’s Day production. In addition to offering beautiful boxed chocolate assortments, we love their Red Hot Crunch Bars – Valrhona’s white chocolate called Opalys with crushed Red Hot candies, Vietnamese cinnamon and cayenne for a sweet, mildly spicy treat. This is an adult twist on those cinnamon hearts you probably enjoyed every Valentine’s Day of your childhood!
You may remember Carl the Snowman by Kate Weiser Chocolate from our Holiday chocolate blog post? Well Carl has a girlfriend! Meet Carla the Peppermint Drinking Chocolate Snowman (or snow woman)! Carla melts down to a delicious peppermint flavored drinking chocolate that you can enjoy on a cold day with someone you love!
Looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration? Check out our Valentine’s Day Chocolate board on Pinterest! What are you planning to give your Valentine? Tell us in the comments section!