The best artisan chocolates from around the world


Artisan chocolate, made by hand and usually in small batches, not only means it’s fresh and delicious, but it’s a more ethical, sustainable and healthier alternative to mass-produced chocolate. Here are eleven great handmade chocolate Valentine’s Day gifts from around the world.

1.Belgium: Pierre Marcolini, Malline of 25 hearts, £29

Maison Pierre Marcolini, founded in Brussels in 1995 by Pierre Marcolini, the chocolate maker known as a pioneer of the “bean to bar” movement, where a brand controls all stages of chocolate production, from the purchase of the beans to the creation of the Tablet . The cocoa in each chocolate comes directly from independent producers in Cuba, Indonesia, India, Sao Tome and Principe, Madagascar, Peru, Venezuela and China. The Valentine’s Day 2022 range offers this magnificent box of chocolate hearts with raspberry dark chocolate, passion milk chocolate, salted butter caramel, white chocolate cream strawberry and strawberry caramel faro almond praline.

2.Belgium: Corné Port-Royal, Tower of Love, 52 €

In 1935, the Belgian chocolatier Maurice Corné created the mythical “Manon Sucré”, a praline that combines cream with crunchy nougatine and fresh walnuts. Today, the team of artisans at Corné Port-Royal works daily to produce chocolates whose recipes have remained unchanged for nearly a century. The brilliantly named “Tower of Love” includes a pewter and red leather heart-shaped gift box. Inside, the classic pralines and 40 Neapolitans: dark squares, milk, milk and nougatine flakes, dark and orange, dark and ginger chocolates. The heart box and the red leather box each offer an enticing range of Corné Port-Royal classics: a praline for every moment.

3.England (London):Melt, Champagne truffles, £36

Chocolate shop Melt in Notting Hill, London, creates artisanal chocolates in small batches. Champagne truffles and passion fruit hearts are great fresh chocolate choices for Valentine’s Day. Decadent White Champagne Truffles are made with a mix of milk and white chocolate and infused with Marc de Champagne.

4.England (London): Paul Young, Chocolate Hearts, £20

London chocolatier Paul Young is well known for his artisan chocolates and truffles with creative flavors that use seasonal ingredients. This year’s Valentine’s Day collection includes the return of some favorites like Rhubarb and Custard, Honey Toffee and Cinnamon Toast Brioche Truffle, plus new flavors for 2022: Basiltini, Blackcurrant Bellini and truffle in caramel chai cookie dough. A box of 12 solid chocolate hearts, created from 12 different covers, wrapped in brightly colored foil presented in a chic black box are another great gift option.

5.England (Cornwall): Josh’s chocolate, Ultimate Chocolate Selection Box 79 €

Founded in 2019 by Josh Parker, this new Cornish chocolate brand offers chocolates made and hand-packed by a small team of dedicated chocolatiers, using Rainforest Alliance chocolate. The eco-brand uses attractive paper packaging (designed by local illustrator Joanne Barry) that is fully recyclable, as is the foil. The box’s bountiful selection for Valentine’s Day includes hot chocolate scoops, gigantic buttons and the full range of chocolate bars, with local ingredients added, such as Cornish sea salt.

6.England (London): Rococo, a truffle temptation, £29.95

The highly acclaimed London chocolatier Rococo has won numerous awards from the Chocolate Academy and the International Chocolate Awards. All chocolate is handcrafted in small batches in their London kitchen by chef chocolatier Mireille Discher and her talented team. The packaging also stands out, especially the popular blue and white design. For 2022, “A Temptation of Truffles” is indeed very tempting. The heart-shaped box includes milk, dark caramel and salted butter truffles as well as milk and dark chocolate hearts.

7.England (Devon), The blushing cook, Valentine’s Brownies £36

While not strictly chocolates, these gorgeous artisan brownies are worth a mention as they would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Topped with delicious pink chocolate and decorated with edible organic flowers grown in Devon, each tray of dense double chocolate brownies offers chocolate and flowers in one box. Blushing Cook’s Valentine’s Brownies can be ordered online and sent anywhere in the UK – anonymously or with a personal message.

8.Scotland: Highland Chocolatier, Velvet Truffle Romantic Selection 44,95 €

A fine selection of Iain Burnett’s award-winning Velvet Truffles and Pralines are presented in a red velvet heart-shaped box. Master chocolatier Iain Burnett has created fine, handcrafted velvet truffles for Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s no surprise, then, that he is Scotland’s most awarded chocolatier. Its velvet truffles are made with Perthshire crème fraîche and rare island cocoa.

9.Italy: Villa of Varda, Chocolate Praline and Amaretto Box €49.90

Handmade pralines by Villa de Varda’s master chocolatier are a delicious, alcoholic gift from an artisan grappa distillery in the Dolomite Alps. The pralines have a dark chocolate shell and are filled with a delicate and soft cream infused with Grappa Riserva Triè. They recommend tasting them with a bottle of their creamy Amaretto liqueur, available in a box.

10.Argentina: On, Limited Edition Valentine’s Chocolates, £30

London duo Maria and Emanuel create deluxe Argentinian alfajores, a special chocolate and dulce de leche cookie loved by millions of Latin Americans. Before launching Sur with her husband, Maria worked as a chocolatier for 20 years at the Savoy Hotel and the Hilton Buenos Aires and at chocolate shops such as Rococo Chocolates and L’Artisan du Chocolate. For Sur, they use chocolate of Latin American origin and classic Argentinian ingredients: Dulce de Leche, Malbec and Yerba Mate. Limited Valentine’s Edition, ‘Lentos Has Not Returned’, is inspired by innocent love before Wi-Fi (1980s and 1990s). There are six alfajores in the gift box in three flavors: Sos mi caramelo: 70% Peruvian chocolate with dark biscake, cherry, spearmint ganache; Merenguitos: Tumaco 85% Colombian chocolate, dry meringue and dulce de leche and Cesar Banana: Macondo 60% Colombian chocolate, Lemon Biscake, banana ganache and dulce de leche. A nice extra touch inside each box are two playlists with Argentinian and international Lentos (slow dances) so you can immerse yourself in the mood while enjoying the alfajores.

11. United States (Los Angeles): Compared, Gift box of heart-shaped chocolates, $107.95

Founded in 1950 and reinvigorated by chocolate prodigy Jonathan Grahm, Compartés Gourmet Chocolates are handcrafted daily by a small team of chocolatiers and chocolate artists, using fresh natural ingredients sourced from local farmers markets, in their Los Angeles kitchens and chocolate shop. Known for fusing chocolate with art, style, design and fashion, the box includes 30 gourmet chocolates. Some covers are hand painted by Jonathan while others feature their traditional lip design. Also available is a chic black box that reveals a hidden secret I LOVE YOU message spelled out on the chocolates when you open it.

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