Guilty chocolate pleasures
by Qin Xie - Thursday January 13, 2011 6:49 pm
There's a lot of talk about January detox but admit it, how many of you have already fallen off the bandwagon? And even if you're still going strong, isn't the best part of the detox the day when you get to retox?
And there's nothing so tempting as the guilty pleasure of chocolates so that's why I've brought you the ultimate guide to chocolate in the next few months.
Award winning British Chocolatier Marc Demarquette has put together a Nutkeeper's Collection which is available in store and online now. It's a collection of four hybrid praline caramels in hand painted 71.1% pure origin chocolate shells. The pralines are flavoured with Kentish cobnut, Provençal almond, Persian pistachio and American pecan and maple. Along the caramel route, Demarquette has also introduced a Cornish Sea Salt Caramel Box.
Choccy Munchy Seeds www.munchyseeds.co.uk
Completely new to the market, Choccy Munchy Seeds are a mix of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pieces of dried apricot all coated in Belgian milk and dark chocolate. It's produced by a small family company based in Suffolk, who have been producing sweet and savoury coated seeds for over 12 years. The new Choccy Munchy Seeds are available now from their website or in Lakeland stores from March 2011.
William Curley www.williamcurley.co.uk
Consider putting your feet up and letting the chocolate come to you by joining the Curley Chocolate Club. You can sign up for either a three, six or 12 month membership and get a selection of William Curley chocolates delivered right to your door. You will receive everything from couture chocolates and truffles to Jaffa Cake and crystallised almonds. You will get something different every month but expect to try the latest products, best sellers and award winning chocolates.
Leiths School of Food and Wine www.leiths.com
If your ambitions are more active then think about taking on the Leiths Chocolate Workshop. You will spend a day learning about the history of chocolate, tasting different varieties of chocolates as well as making chocolates to take home. The one off course will take place at the school on the 7th of April 2011, visit their website for more details.
Hotel Chocolat www.hotelchocolat.co.uk
You probably always thought that Hotel Chocolat was just for adults but they have just put the finishing touches to their new children's range. There are two heroes in the new range – Nibblatron the robot and Twinkle Toes the fairy. Beware, these are so cute that you will probably end up buying them for yourself. The new range is available online and in store now.
Eating chocolate isn't all about indulgence though. This January, Thornton's will be launching their new limited edition Chocolate Blocks made from Haiti cocoa beans. 91p from every bar will be going to Save the Children's educational programmes in Haiti. The first of the series to be released is milk chocolate with mango and is on sale in all Thornton's stores and online now, priced at £1.79.
But that is not all for Thornton's – 2011 also marks the chocolate company's centenary year. To celebrate, Thornton's will be releasing limited edition Centenary boxes, which will include chocolates made according to 100 year old recipes from the Thornton's archive. They will also release boxes with one hundred chocolates in.
Artisan du Chocolat www.artisanduchocolat.com
It may only be January but things are definitely hotting up on the love front at Artisan du Chocolat. The chocolatiers have teamed up with New York designers, Bureau of Communication, to create a special limited edition Declaration of Romantic Feelings box. As well as the romantic mad lib in the box, there is also a selection of 54 assorted couture chocolates. A heart shaped XOXO Box, a sweet No.14 Passion Fruit Caramels and a bewitching Love Potion No. 9 are also part of the Valentine's collection. All are available online and in store now.
Love is also in the air for fair-trade chocolate company Divine. It is launching two new chocolate products – milk chocolate praline hearts and dark chocolate covered salted fudges which are both on sale in Oxfam stores nationwide now.
Paul a Young www.paulayoung.co.uk
Paul a Young Fine Chocolates will be releasing their spring collection in February and will feature flavours such as pink pepper truffle; saffron, green cardamom and vanilla bean; and sultry chilli with ginger and nutmeg. For Valentine's day, the chocolatier will also be releasing wild strawberry and champagne truffles and a rose water heart. The collection will be available online and in store.
Harrods have launched yet more exclusive chocolate products. This time it's a series of hand-crafted chocolate trees, designed for dinner party centrepieces or as quirky alternatives to flowers. The trees are created by a mother and daughter-run family business, and includes a strawberry champagne truffle heart, a milk chocolate truffle tree and a marshmallow heart terracotta pot.