We’ve teamed up with Whole Foods Market UK to bring you an in-store monthly Craft Chocolate Focus, where every month we’ll be showcasing a new theme. For the month of March, we’re delighted to showcase Rozsavolgyi Csokolade, a Hungarian chocolate maker – and the latest chocolate of ours to reach Whole Foods Market.
Rozsavolgyi Csokolade is a Hungarian chocolate maker based in Budapest, founded by husband and wife team Zsolt Szabad and Katalin Csiszar in 2004. Rózsavölgyi translates from Hungarian to ‘rose valley’, and we think that this name delightfully conjures up a vision of aromatic beauty that is perfectly in keep with Zsolt and Katalin’s chocolate bars. Their bars are also moulded to look like traditional fireplace tiles and further hand wrapped in beautiful craft paper.
Their approach to chocolate making is a simple but highly effective philosophy of combining local ingredients with lightly roasted cocoa beans and extensive refinement and conching. The result is a wonderfully smooth chocolate that enhances the natural flavours of the beans.
At Whole Foods Market, expect to find the flavours of Matcha Tea, Black Sesame, Peppermint, Caradmom and Hot Paprika.
Dates to look out for to sample Rozsavolgyi Csokolade in March in-store are:
13th March at 12.00-15.00
High Street Kensington
14th March at 16.00-19.00
22nd March at 16.00-19.00
Tickets are £35.00. Two sessions are available: 6:15pm – 7:30pm and 8:00pm – 9:15pm
Location: Gaucho Piccadilly, 25 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4QR
As part of Regent’s Street ‘Show in the Dark‘ an evening celebrating international arts and culture, we teamed up with Gaucho to host a craft chocolate and Malbec wine pairing masterclass.
At this tasting, we’ll go under the hood of over a dozen craft chocolate makers and their bars, looking in detail at the intricacies of cacao genetics, harvest, fermentation, vintages, and roasting, and examining how each stage of cacao production can affect the flavour of a bar. These chocolates will also be paired with a number of Gaucho’s best Argentine Malbecs to show you that dark chocolate and red wine really is a marriage made in heaven.
Guests of this Master class can enjoy 25% off food while dining on A La Carte after the event with their booking confirmation. Gaucho advise to make a reservation.
Last year we decided to stick our neck out and make a few predictions on what might happen in the world of Craft Chocolate, you can view the original post here. So now it’s the end of January 2019, we’ve decided to review the accuracy of our 2018 predictions – and make some new ones for 2019.
For 2018 we did OK to middling. Maybe a B+? In terms of accuracy we had 2 “sort ofs”, 3 “not really”, and 6 “definitely happening”. But most of the “definitely happenings” were safe no brainers … so this year we are going to be a bit bolder and avoid the “safe” (ie obvious) predictions.
(Note: We defined Craft Chocolate as “the pursuit of the unique tastes conjured from small batches of the best beans”)
Verdict: Sort of. Thank you Prufrock, Curators, Colonna and Smalls, Out of Office and ~50 more speciality coffee stores for your support. But given there are thousands and thousands of speciality coffee shops in the UK and proper drinking chocolate is in less than a few hundred, we’ve a long, long way to go
2. Chocolate boards will become a mainstream rival to cheese boards.
Verdict: Not really. We sold out of our boards. And thank you Andrew Edmunds, 67 Pall Mall and a host of other stores for making “chocolate boards” a reality on your menus. But still lots of opportunity
3. Bloggers and journalists start to do more debunking of crazy chocolate myths and raise awareness of some of chocolate’s “darker” sides.
Verdict: Not really. Some great stuff on deforestation in 2017 … but why, oh why, has nobody debunked the likes of “RAW”, “Ruby Chocolate” and so much else?
4. Speciality beans become even more “special” as farmers and makers experiment with fermentation, drying and bean genetics
Verdict: Definitely happening. Hat Tip to Mikkel Friis Holm, Arnauld Stengel (Erithaj), Chris Brennan (Pump Street Chocolate), Mark Schimmel (Krak) and Nate Hodge (Raaka) for their pioneering work on different fermentations.
5. New bean origins emerge to delight and enthuse.
Verdict: Definitely happening. We’ve been delighted by new beans and bars from Mexico, Costa Rica, Uganda, etc. But this is all somewhat dampened by the relatively low penetration of speciality beans; speciality beans remain a fraction of overall cocoa production – we don’t really have the speciality coffee equivalent of “geisha” and cocoa remains predominantly a commodity crop.
6. New maker regions continue to emerge.
Verdict: Definitely happening. Thailand, Korea, Norway, Estonia and Uzbekistan are a few of the new countries where we met with new makers for the first time in 2018. But as above, craft chocolate remains a tiny fraction of world chocolate – far smaller as a percentage of overall sales and consumption than e.g., coffee, beer or spirits.
All too often the consumer still buys on price – and whereas they’ll pay a premium for speciality coffee, their craft beer or artisanal gin, they don’t realise that spending just one or two pounds, euros or dollars more will lead to a quantum difference in chocolate quality and the lives of the cocoa farmer.
7. Dark Milks become more and more popular
Verdict: Definitely happening. But can someone please tell Cadbury’s that 40% is (or should be) the “norm” or “standard” for a milk chocolate and that Dark Milks need to have over 50% cocoa solids? (Dairy Milk contains less than 20% cocoa and Cadbury’s Dark Milk contains 40%; ICA competitions for Dark Milk specify a minimum of 50% cocoa)
8. Craft White Chocolate also becomes far more accepted
Verdict: Definitely happening. Thank you Olly Murs for your support on Sunday Brunch, and hat tip again to Pump Street, Chocolarder, Akesson, Chocolat Madagascar, Dormouse and many more for craft such great white, craft chocolate bars
9. Sugar continues to be a confusing topic
Verdict: This was an (obvious) cheat — definitely happening. It’s still hard for consumers to make sense of all the “guff” surrounding sugar. Too many consumers still believe that e.g., coconut sugar or lucuma is “better” for them (hint: there is no science to back up these claims). Stevia is still being added to chocolate and ruining what might be great beans and bars. Too many consumers still lump all chocolate into “if it has sugar it must be bad” without realising that most breakfast cereals and many low fat yogurts have way more sugar than most craft chocolate bars gram per gram. Part of the problem is being able to work out how much sugar you are consuming (hint – a 375ml can of coco cola has 12 teaspoons of sugar, a single portion low fat vanilla yogurt has over 5 teaspoons of sugar whilst an average dark chocolate bar (65g at 70%) has less than 4 teaspoons of sugar; and most consumers won’t eat a full bar of dark chocolate at one sitting). So maybe take the initiative and say “x teaspoons of sugar per serving”?
10. Customers start to read the label.
Verdict: Not really. It’s not always obvious — see above for sugar. We’re hoping that some of this will change – for example the average consumer doesn’t understand the difference between “use by” and “best before”. But we also need to make this easier for consumers — we’ve not yet agreed common “best practise” for labelling inside the craft market (e.g., specify not just the country of origin but also the co-operative and/or single estate, etc.)
11. More and more customers will enjoy more and more craft chocolate “experiences”.
Verdict: Sort of – depends on region. A few examples in the US, great stuff by Dandelion in Japan, Fu Wan in Taiwan, Mirzam in Dubai, etc. But e.g., no one in Europe is doing anything like Napa Wineries YET (hint: we are hugely excited by Mike Longman’s plans for Chocolarder in Cornwall .. but still daunted by the many hours by train it will take for us to get there when his new operation opens)
2. The craft chocolate industry starts to develop some co-operative and standard definitions and best practises on labels. This should be a no brainer – but all too often, craft chocolate makes itself hard to identify and distinguish. Let’s at least start by being proud of the farm, estate or co-operative where the beans are grown and put this on the FRONT of the bar. And on the back label let’s say where the bars are crafted. Check out this blog post for more suggestions (and do have fun trying to work out where big chocolate mass produce and make their bars … hint, not all Belgian and Swiss chocolate is actually made there …)
3. Customers start to understand the difference between “use by” and “best before”. Sadly it may well be that we in the UK will take the lead here when the looming disaster of Brexit makes Brits really grateful for craft chocolate that is beyond its “best before” as it may well be the only stuff we can buy. More seriously, this is an extension of helping customers understand labels. For more on “best before” versus “use by” please see our blog from last year. Basically, “use by” means there is an ingredient (e.g., milk, a preservative or stabilisers) which goes off; “best before” means there is nothing that “goes off” but that the quality may (and I stress may) decline after that date (some dark chocolate bars, provided they stay in “temper” age like great red wines).
4. We become more geeky about flavour, mouthfeel and texture. Consumers are invariably blown away by the flavours in craft chocolate – and more often than not, amazed by the role of smell here (both retronasal and orthonasal). Texture is another dimension that intrigues customers, comparing stoneground to different grinds and conches. Next up will be more studies on bitterness and astringency (no they aren’t the same … see an upcoming post for more details), and on the role of “mouthfeel”
5. 100% craft chocolate bars continue to fly off the shelf. We’ve always known that 100% bars are great sellers online (it’s relatively easy to search for them). But we are also increasingly encouraged by customers reaction in store and at shows to tasting 100% bars. To quote from Harmony, who has done dozens of samplings in various stores, “when sampling in stores and events, most people who are interested in 100% have only dealt with mass brands and they are quite blown away when trying small batch 100%s. These people are pretty dedicated chocolate consumers and they are amazed that 100% bars don’t need to be bitter etc., it needn’t just taste like ‘cocoa powder’ or be dry and astringent. People will eat this because they genuinely enjoy it rather than for purely ‘health’ reasons”.
6. Craft Chocolate continues to get better at pairings with other craft / speciality foods and drinks. Again, this as a forecast is patently obvious and self serving – but we really believe that these pairings and tastings deserve more exposure and is really ready to be pushed out more and more. At Canopy Market last year we were fortunate to have experts from beer (Steve Taylor), wine (Charles Metcalfe), Sake (Peter McCombie) and Cheese (Karen Gaudin) to help us match craft chocolate to their speciality wares – and the customer reactions were FANTASTIC (thanks again to all our experts). And thanks to the likes of the SCA (speciality coffee association), Square Mile and Colonna we’ve learnt more and more about the similarities and complementarities between speciality coffee and craft chocolate. And we really hope that these pairings can be pushed further, more often and into new areas (we’re already planning rum and whisky pairings – and more suggestions welcome)
7. Craft Chocolate Tastings become even more popular. So this is a bit of a plug too. Nearly years ago, Lizzie and I started to do monthly Craft Chocolate Tastings at Prufrock Coffee (thank you again Prufrock). We’ve now done these all over the world – inside start ups in Silicon Valley, in Dubai, with wine clubs and speciality stores, with university departments (Oxford, UCL, etc), for corporates (they make great team building opportunities), etc. We’ve fine tuned the format, content and bars so that we are now really proud of our tastings. And we are now expanding them (e.g., see the website for ones we are doing Wholefoods for Valentines, our planned ones with Out of Office in Milton Keynes), etc. Many other people also do Craft Chocolate tastings – Duffy, Kathryn Laverack, Tristram etc. – and we are honoured to be able to support them with bars, content, etc. And we’d more than happy to share the tools and help more people set up their own tastings – or to come to you if you are a corporate, would like some special family do, etc. Or just check out upcoming events here.
8. Asia becomes more and more important. We’ve already seen India emerge as a great source of beans – and craft chocolate aficionado’s are emerging here. Japan now has twice the number of craft chocolate makers than the UK, France and Germany combined. How long before China wakes?
9. We move “beyond the bar” and see new formats of craft chocolate emerge. One of the questions we ask all our makers is why do they (just) make bars – and most are intrigued (or stumped) by this. Bars are an amazing format. Easy to put on a shelf. Easy to transport. And bars have been made and sold for over a 150 years (Fry’s made the first one back in the 1840s). But they aren’t always the easiest format for consumers. Cinemas some time ago worked out that bags of chocolate buttons were easier to share in the dark. For cooking couverture lots of new formats have emerged. And there surely is some room for craft makers to think of different formats for different occasions beyond mini-bars and squares
10. Debunking of myths. So if nobody else is going to cry “BS” at the likes of raw chocolate, we’ll write a blog on this. In the meantime, continued praise to the likes of Andrew Baker, Sharon Terenzi, Hazel Lee, Judith Lewis, Estelle Tracey, Clay Gordon, Dom Ramsey and Simran Sethi for their great pieces..
To paraphrase Original Beans, we wish you a year full of (speciality) beans
Spencer, Simon, Lizzie, Harmony @cocoarunners.com
Coffee and chocolate are the best of friends and a great gift either for your loved one or to share this Valentines.
We’ve teamed up with the team at Square Mile Coffee Roasters to present this delicious pairing of Chocolat Madagascar 70% dark chocolate and our La Piramide coffee from Colombia.
More about the chocolate
This fruity bar is a perfect example of Madagascan dark chocolate. Most of the cocoa grown in Africa is exported once it’s been fermented and dried. Chocolat Madagascar is one of the relatively few companies that both grow cocoa and make chocolate bars in Madagascar. Slight spice up front which gives way to sweet raisin and forest fruits in the finish.
More about the coffee
The La Piramide is from the municipality of Inzá in the Cauca region of Colombia. Sweet toffee features prominently in the cup with cloudy apple notes and an elegant honeysuckle note to it, which we think pairs incredibly well with the fruity, berry chocolate in our opinion.
This gift set is available for just £18 on via the Square Mile Coffee Roasters online store. We recommend buying before midnight on Monday 11th February for delivery to UK addresses in time for Valentine’s Day.
The weather here in London has taken a decidedly frosty turn, and we find ourselves reaching for a warming mug of hot chocolate. And for those of you in the US, our thoughts are with you as you face the “Polar Vortex”.
As part of our mission to continually seek out the finest craft chocolate to eat and drink, we’ve worked with some of London’s top baristas to devise the ideal recipe to turn your favourite single origin bars into the ultimate drinking chocolate.
We believe that the only two ingredients you need to make a truly exceptional drinking chocolate are top quality craft chocolate and hot milk. What’s more, each drink uses just 25-30g of chocolate, so whilst the new year is often a time of year for cutting back, a mug of drinking chocolate is a delicious way to enjoy craft chocolate without breaking all your resolutions.
So without further ado, we present our video guide to creating craft drinking chocolate like the pros – the recipe is easy to follow, but we’ll be the first to admit thatEwelina’s latte art may take a little more time.
We’re also sharing our pick of drinking chocolates and bars that we think make for some amazing craft chocolate drinks.
We’ve teamed up with Whole Foods Market UK to bring you an in-store monthly Craft Chocolate Focus, where every month we’ll be showcasing a new theme.
Having kicked off the New Year with 100% chocolate, for the month of February we’ll be taking a slightly sweeter and fruitier turn, focusing our attention on MIA chocolate. The Craft Chocolate Focus on MIA has been finely tuned with Valentine’s Day and Fairtrade Fortnight on the horizon.
MIA stands for ‘Made in Africa’, an acronym that neatly sums up everything this maker stands for. The team behind MIA believes that there is truly exceptional food and drink being crafted in Africa from locally sourced ingredients.
Madagascar has a rich heritage of cacao growing, and an ever increasing number of chocolate makers are choosing to make chocolate on the island too.
When it comes to MIA’s ethical supply chain credentials, this chocolate maker partners with Proudly Made in Africa. The MIA factory and cocoa farmer relationships are audited according to the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code, which is one of the highest audit standards globally used by various fair trade schemes.
For every sale of MIA chocolate, it contributes to MIA’s ‘1 for Change’ programme. This programme is MIA’s commitment to investing 1% of its sales towards projects in Africa to help save local endangered species or to improve a community’s livelihoods.
With “Fairtrade Fortnight” fast approaching, you may notice that there is a vast number of ‘ethically-traded’ or ‘direct-trade’ products on the market that do not carry the Fairtrade certification. And at Cocoa Runners, we’re very often asked whether our chocolate is “Faitrade”. However, the answer is a little more complicated than you might expect. Very few of our craft chocolate makers are Fairtrade-certified, yet all are committed to a ‘fair’ way of making chocolate and many in fact go above and beyond the guidelines of Fairtrade.
When it comes to fair-trade labels, Brett, the co-founder of MIA, believes that like in any industry, competition is good for everyone involved: fair trade labels, ethical brands and consumers. Brett continues: “in part because competition keeps everyone on their toes and in a state of constant improvement, but also because the concept ‘fair’ can take varying forms depending on the industry and the company’s focus.”
MIA’s brand mission is to produce high-quality and ethical products from start to finish in Africa. This means paying cocoa farmers fairly for quality beans as well as partnering with a local and entrepreneurial chocolate-making team to make MIA bars. Part of MIA’s choice for this equally challenging and rewarding business model was its passion for the people and continent of Africa.
Beyond its ethical stance, MIA chocolate is simply delicious. Whilst we love the chocolate by itself, naturally, we also recommend using the chocolate for flavour pairings or to cook with. Why not pair the 100% bar with some whisky or tannic red wine, or cook up some fruity, fudgy brownies with MIA’s 75% Madagascan chocolate?
Dates to look out for to sample MIA chocolate in February in-store are:
2nd Feb at 16.00-19.00
5th Feb at 12.00-15.00
11th Feb at 12.00-15.00
14th Feb at 16.00-19.00
3rd Feb at 15.00-18.00
9th Feb at 16.00-19.00
3rd Feb at 11.00-14.00
9th Feb at 12.00-16.00
9th Feb at 12.00-15.00
7th Feb at 12.00-15.00
10th Feb at 15.00-18.00
2nd Feb at 12.00-15.00
10th Feb at 11.001-14.00
You can also join us for a very special Chocolate & Wine Masterclass at Whole Foods Market where we’ll be showcasing and pairing a few of the MIA chocolate flavours. Tickets available here.
We’ve teamed up with Whole Foods Market UK to bring you an in-store monthly Craft Chocolate Focus. Every month we’ll be showcasing a new theme, and what better way to bring in the New Year than with 100% pure cocoa chocolate with no added sugar.
Yep, that’s right, for the month of January we’re dialling up the intensity and focusing our attention on 100% cacao bars. 100% cacao bars are made using nothing but cocoa beans. They are intense, powerful and they’re an excellent way to experience the pure taste of the cocoa bean.
With no added sugar, flavourings or vegetable fats, the only ingredient is cocoa mass, cocoa butter and the natural sugar of cocoa (cocoa after all is a fruit, so it contains 2-5% sugar).
If you’re new to 100% cacao, don’t be put off by the idea that it will be astringent and bitter. It’s true that the flavours can be intense but 100% cacao bars are generally not nearly as astringent and mouth puckering as you might expect.
Much of the mouth-puckering bitterness and astringency that you find in mass produced high percentage dark chocolate is down to how the beans are crushed, pressed and even treated in chemical solutions as they rush to make the maximum amount of chocolate in as little time as possible. On the other end of the spectrum you can find our wonderful craft chocolate makers, who take their time to coax out the awesome flavours of their fine flavour cocoa beans with careful grinding, concheing and blending.
If you head to any Whole Foods Market UK branch (Kensington, Piccadilly, Richmond, Stoke Newington, Camden, Clapham Junction and Fulham), you’ll find our craft chocolate makers’ 100% bars centre-stage of the chocolate aisle.
Dates to look out for to sample the 100% chocolate in-store at Whole Foods Market include Wednesday 16th Jan. 4-7pm in the Piccadilly store and Friday 18th 12-3pm in the Camden store. We had previously held our demos on the 8th January at Kensington and 11th at Clapham Junction.
An absolute must-try for the 100% lovers. Menakao’s bar packs quite the punch in comparison to the more mellow 100% bars of Oialla and Pump Street. This award winning dark bar is an intense 100% Madagascan dark chocolate.
Unwrap the chocolate and you are instantly hit by a strong fruity aroma. Delicious and inviting as this may be, don’t be fooled into breaking off a great chunk as this chocolate has a serious intensity! The initial berries have a citrus edge, leading to a powerful and sharp finish. A roasted note is mixed with the fruits, which reminds us a little of strong filter coffee.
The baristas at Climpson’s Coffee often use this 100% for “palate training” and find it ideal for baking.
This 100% Criollo bar is both an exceptional and rare example of terroir. In 2018, these Åkesson’s Criollo beans were awarded Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) status.
Wonderful berry notes burst forth from this smooth textured yet incredibly intense chocolate. This is accompanied by a natural sweetness that you might not expect to find in a bar with such a high percentage of cacao, complementing the citrusy tartness.
Crafted from beans from Hacienda Limon plantation of the Los Rios province in Ecuador. Possessing an intense cocoa flavour, this bar has a low acidity and earthy taste thanks to its long conch yields. It’s buttery and rich, which makes it ideal for baking.
This bar is crafted exclusively from cacao from the Alto Beni region of Bolivia. Bolivian cacao is known for its honey like profile, and these notes are certainly present in this bar. It has a remarkably even melt, and a richness derived from the flavour of the beans and the rich, fudgey texture of the bar.
The bar itself is delicate to hold, and the packaging has a Scandinavian minimalism that many admire as being simply “sophisticated”.
Rich and buttery, crafted from cacao of Madagascar. It’s smooth, buttery and embodies a hefty roasted profile, the signature style of French chocolate maker Pralus.
MIA stands for ‘Made in Africa’, an acronym that neatly sums up everything this maker stands for. The bar has many of the jammy notes that are so typical of Madagascan cacao, with a slightly roasted finish. Also, do keep an out for our February Craft Chocolate Focus of MIA at Whole Foods.
We were delighted to welcome Original Bean’s first ever 100% bar into our Library mid 2018. This is an intense 100% dark chocolate with a very pleasant and perfectly smooth melt. There is a sherbet like sweetness amongst the Peruvian cacao, and the melt and finish of this bar is clean and bright.
This chocolate had been crafted in Scotland, with Ali and Friederike working carefully to reduce the acidity of these cocoa beans from Belize. The touch of added cocoa butter yields a smooth melt. The flavour of this 100% is just fantastic and highly approachable.
The dates for our next series of craft chocolate tasting evenings in London have been announced!
We will be continuing to hold our monthly events at Prufrock Coffee in London’s Leather Lane, close to Chancery Lane and Farringdon Stations. There’s still time to buy your ticket for our next tasting, which will take place on Wednesday January 23rd, at 7.30pm. Subsequent tastings will take place on Wednesday February 13th, Wednesday March 13th and Wednesday April 10th. The tastings last for approximately one hour, and the doors open promptly at 7.15pm.
Buy your ticket today and join us to taste over a dozen different craft chocolates while learning more about cocoa origins, the crafting process, and emerging trends across the industry as a whole. This the perfect opportunity to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask and to meet like-minded craft chocolate lovers (and maybe even a maker or two!).
And if you want to treat a friend, you can purchase a gift voucher for a pair of tickets that can be used at any of our monthly tastings at Prufrock in the next six months.
Head on over to our Events Directory to book your tickets today.
We hope to see you there!
We hope you all had a great start to the year, and we are excited to kick off 2019 by introducing a new maker, Solstice Chocolate.
Solstice Chocolate is an American chocolate maker settled amongst the scenic vistas of Salt Lake City, Utah. Often dubbed the craft-chocolate-capital of the United States, Utah’s boom in makers and retailers of small batch craft chocolate has made it a destination for craft chocolate in the United States.
In 2013, husband and wife team, Scott Query and DeAnn Wallin, founded Solstice Chocolate with much support from their daughters. DeAnn has had a lifelong interest in chocolate and so initially started Solstice as a passion cum hobby. She was delighted by the enthusiastic reaction that their bars generated, so she moved to making craft chocolate full time. She named the company Solstice in deference to a legend that cocoa was best harvested during the Solstice.
We first came across Solstice when we were travelling in the USA three years ago, and we were instantly taken by their chocolate. In introducing Solstice to the Cocoa Runners’ Chocolate Library, we also introduce our first Ugandan chocolate bar.
We hope you enjoy and wish you a great 2019 that is full of (cocoa) beans!
With under five weeks until Christmas, today we present our edit of seven superb craft chocolate bars that are sure to fill you with festive cheer. And if you’re looking to treat someone else, these showstopping chocolate bars will delight chocolate lovers of any age.
Our makers have been hard at work crafting exceptional chocolate delicately infused with all the flavours of the season.
This year, our holiday bars come from makers around the world. We’ve milk chocolate made in the UK and Iceland, and dark chocolate bars that hail from Madagascar, Germany and the Czech Republic.
We’ve also a very special bar from American maker Taza. This dark chocolate bar with Gingerbread Cookie sees Taza take its signature stone-ground 60% and flavoured it with ginger, cinnamon and a whole load of warming spices.
We hope you enjoy!
Chocolarder – Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh | £6.95
All three kings come together in this spectacularly festive bar from Chocolarder.
The Peruvian dark chocolate is bursting with earthy caramel flavours. Chocolarder has then blended frankincense and myrrh into the chocolate.
The bar is topped with edible gold leaf to give a final festive flourish.
Taza – Gingerbread Cookie | £6.95
This festive limited edition sees Taza take its signature stone-ground 60% and flavoured it with ginger, cinnamon and a whole load of warming spices.
This Gingerbread Cookie Bar is simply bursting with irresistable festive flavours!
Pump Street Chocolate – Panettone | £6.25
This dark chocolate with Panettone inclusions is sweet, perfumed, and utterly delightful. The sugar crystals make for an authentic touch of the real deal, and create a beautiful texture contrast against the creamy 70% dark chocolate. The armagnac brandy is subtle, but ever so warming on the palate.
Menakao – Dark Chocolate with Orange & Cranberries | £3.95
The Madagascan chocolate maker has crafted this bar on the island using local ingredients. This is a rare with chocolate – it’s estimated that less than 5% of the world’s chocolate is made in the same country the cocoa is grown.
The bright and juicy dark chocolate is given an even fruitier twist thanks to the addition of orange peel and cranberries. The sweet but tart dried fruit give the bar a fabulously festive flavour that reminds us of richly spiced mulled wine and satsumas.
Taza – Cinnamon | £5.95
Rather than being refined and conched until smooth, Taza simply grinds the cocoa beans with sugar and spice in a traditional Mexican stone mill called a molino.
The resulting chocolate has a coarse, almost biscuity texture and a sweet flavour that lets you taste the cocoa, sugar and spices individually. We particularly love this cinnamon version for its gently warming flavour that always leaves us wanting more.
Chocolate Tree – Whisky & Cocoa Nibs | £5.95
The bar is crafted in Chocolate Tree’s workshop just outside Edinburgh. Husband and wife Ali and Frederike founded Chocolate Tree in 2009. This bar brings Chocolate Tree’s Scottish roots together with its carefully sourced cacao.
Chocolate Tree has hand-crafted the bar from a blend of South American Cacao. It has then soaked the more of these cacao nibs in Scottish single malt whisky from Islay. Islay whisky is renowned for its peaty and smoked notes. The whisky evaporates while the whisky’s distinctive aroma infuses the cacao beans. Chocolate Tree mixes the nibs in with the chocolate, infusing a subtle hint of whisky to the chocolate.
Georgia Ramon – Dark Chocolate with Kardamom | £6.95
A delicious dark chocolate bar with a cardamom twist. We love this aromatic, flavoured dark chocolate bar. Made from a blend of Ecuadorian and Dominican cocoa, the inclusion of cardamom in this bar gives the chocolate a wonderfully spicy kick and distinctive chai notes.
Jordi’s – Dark Chocolate With Ginger | £4.95
Czech maker Jordi’s has crafted a bittersweet dark chocolate with crystallised ginger.
Large chewy chunks of ginger are sprinkled on top of the smooth dark chocolate.
The sweet ginger lends the bar a gently spiced and warming flavour, which is just what you need on a cold winter’s night.