It’s Christmas-my favourite time of year for chocolate! The stores abound with a plethora of chocolate goodies, gifts and gems. Here are the highlights of chocolate I have sampled (so far…):
I found these aptly named chocolates at the Ten Thousand Villages fair trade store. The milk chocolate advent calendar and dark chocolate mint wafers are absolutely heavenly! Religion aside, I would like to advocate for an advent calendar every month of the year. Who doesn’t want to be required to eat chocolate every day?!
The special edition bar ‘milk chocolate with spiced cookies‘ was good ole’ fashioned creamy milk chocolatey goodness. I didn’t detect much spice in the cookies which were subtle in size and taste. The crunch complemented the creaminess of the chocolate though. It was like eating milk and cookies in a bar.
I still have yet to try the dark chocolate fruit and nut bar. Stay tuned…!
2. Truffle Pig
How can you not love good quality chocolate in the shape of a happy pig?
Hagensborg Chocolates is a Vancouver-based company producing European-style chocolates and is responsible for bringing these piggies to market. They come in either bar form or individual bite size pieces and there are a variety of flavours from which to choose.
The chocolate is smooth and creamy and the fillings creamy and delicious. So far 2 hooves up for the:
- dark and white chocolate raspberry-yum! antioxidants never tasted so good
- milk chocolate and peanut butter which makes Reese cups look like a runt
- milk chocolate caramel-chewy gooey goodness
- dark chocolate peppermint-cool and refreshing like a chocolate covered candy cane
- dark chocolate hazelnut-have yet to devour this one. Stay tuned…
Deck the balls with chocolate from this Swiss master of chocolate. These balls of joy come in peanut butter, as good as a truffle pig, as well as milk, dark and white chocolate. I have yet to try the hazelnut. Santa and his sleigh of chocolate Easter bunnies are waiting patiently in my fridge until I can resist no more. Then there’s the Lindt Winterland Advent calendar.
4. Weal World Travel
Yes we make chocolate! Like so many good recipes this one was discovered by fluke. I had leftover blackstrap molasses and white chocolate plus an unopened bottle of anise flavouring. So what did I do? Mix them together of course and then rolled them in fair trade icing sugar! It tasted like a black licorice truffle-too good to share. I’m currently working on a recipe for my own version of licorice allsorts. Stay tuned…
5. Quality Street
I remember having these chocolates (and turtles too) at Christmas time and for reasons of nostalgia decided to get a box. It was a trip down chocolate memory lane with this British brand of assorted chocolates. It’s not so much about the chocolate itself as it is about the chocolate with the creamy centres. I admit that I like strawberry creams and couldn’t wait to dig in. I wasn’t disappointed. The chocolate and creamy centres are good, a sort of high-class version of Pot of Gold.
The regular tobelerone bar is available year round but during the holiday season are 2 limited edition flavours-fruit & nut and the ‘Alps’. The fruit and nut is made with milk chocolate, raisins and bits of almond nougat interspersed throughout. The ‘Alps’ as I like to call it is just a regular toblerone bar capped with some white chocolate. It’s tasty but not much different from a regular toblerone.
Fair-trade chocolate from this Ottawa based company comes in baking, drinking and eating form.
This bean to bar chocolate operation in Toronto has an assortment of fine quality chocolate.
And for numbers 9-12, honourable mention goes to
9. Ritter Sport – all manner of chocolate bars, ideal as fuel for outdoor activities.
10. Bernard Callebaut – mainstream but still good quality baking chocolate.
11. UK based Choco. Chocolates made with sparkles.
12. Laura Slack, chocolate artist in Toronto with her signature dulce de leche skulls.