I am a fan of chocolate. I am a chocolate fan! There is no escaping it at Easter time but for me every day needs to have some chocolate in it! I am also a huge fan of good chocolate. There are days when I nibble just one square of good quality chocolate rather than mass-market bars. The good stuff is well worth it. In fact sales of artisan chocolate are going through the roof at the moment. So what better time than to share with you some of the best artisan chocolates out there?
First up is Hotel Chocolat. They make quality chocolates and are an ideal place to get your hands on some unique chocolate gifts. Their little Me Boxes are fantastic, you can buy one each week and nibble on a piece each day! Of course they now have cafe’s too. What’s not to love about having a coffee and chocolate? Divine!
I couldn’t talk about artisan chocolate and not include a local company here in Northern Ireland – Co Couture. Co Couture won 3 Gold Stars in the Great Taste Awards 2008. They are based in Belfast and make luxourious chocolates in small batches using the finest raw ingredients. You will most certainly get pleasure out of every single bite of their fresh chocolates.
Another alternative is to make your own Craft Chocolate where you can control your own ingredients. Never mind craft beer or craft coffee. Craft Chocolate is where it’s at. Aficionados of all things chocolate will be in their element making chocolate by your own hand drawing upon the flavours of your favourite chocolates!
The Grown-up Chocolate Company make the most dedidant and indulgent chocolates. They make high quality versions of chocolate bars and allow you to invent your own! You can select a base and add your own ingredients from a list of 70! They are then sent directly to your door.
No matter what chocolate you buy I would encourage you to buy artisan or craft chocolate. This has been lovingly made by local Chocolatiers and only the best ingredients are used. Whether you opt for a long established business such as Hotel Chocolat, a local Chocolatier or craft chocolate yourself, support handmade artisan chocolate makers. You are supporting a generation of imaginative thinkers and makers.
I enjoy my chocolate and love trying new artisan chocolate and hope that the above ideas will inspire you to go try for yourself too. It is unfair of me to pick out a favourite as they are all delicious using world class ingredients which according to recent studies are good for you!