The Best Dark Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate should be your go-to gift this holiday season as chocolatiers report a pandemic-driven run on chocolate, especially ones that evoke nostalgia. It’s no surprise that chocolates that inspire warm, positive memories are so popular during such a trying time. Says Wendy Lieu, co-owner of Socola Chocolates, “Taste and smell have a visceral power to transport people to memories when they felt safe, seen, and loved.” She’s right on—transport your loved ones with these sumptuous, silken dark chocolate offerings and one note of advice—if you want them to arrive on time, plan ahead as shipping during COVID times is inherently unpredictable.

Bon Bon Bon, (MI) Despite the pandemic’s effect on her business, chocolatier and owner Alexandra Clark and her team still strive to make chocolate for the good people of the world who, says Clark, “especially need and deserve a good piece of chocolate right now.” She’s doing that with absolute flair. Her retro packaging and clever, utterly delicious bonbons are as entertaining to open as they are to eat. Wrapped in wee individually labeled boxes, each one is a micro-dessert with multiple layers of flavor. Consider Crème Brulee (Madagascar vanilla, bean custard, ganache, brulee sugar) or Scorpio (cherry confiture, devil’s food cake, buttercream ganache) or Bubs (dark chocolate, brut rose, caramel, fizzy sugar—it really does pop in your mouth). Build your own box—because you will want these for yourself as well.

Li-Lac Chocolates (NY):  This is Manhattan’s oldest chocolate house and there is a reason these silky truffles have stood the test of time in a city of choosy and cultivated palates—they are properly decadent and deeply chocolate. Master Chocolatier Anwar Khoder makes dark chocolate magic with selections that prize the deep soothing flavors of dark chocolate over all else. The Gourmet Ganache Truffle selection is your best bet with Amaretto, Caramel, French Cream, Brandy, Dulce de Leche, Raspberry, Champagne, and Mocha offerings.

Michael’s Chocolates (CA): Owner and chocolatier, Michael Benner used to be a sommelier so his intuition about flavor pairings shines through in his creations—consider his Whiskey Collection truffles featuring dark chocolate and Old Potreo Rye Whiskey or the Bourbon Caramel Pecan combination. His newest (and seriously addictive) offering, the Hazelnut Caramel Latte Dragee, is a toasted, caramelized hazelnut enrobed in a layer of caramelized white chocolate and dark chocolate and dusted with espresso and cocoa powder. In 2017 Benner entered his Lemon Burst bonbon in the Good Food Awards and won—his first-ever entry.

Milène Jardine , NY: The beautiful wedge shaped truffles in her Live by Love Truffle Collection are big enough to share but you likely won’t want to. They offer compelling flavor combinations such as Sanctuary—a blend of ginger, turmeric, black pepper and silky dark chocolate. The fan favorite in our tasting was Serenity, made with dark chocolate, whiskey and sea salt—homage to her family roots in Cork, Ireland.

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2020 Gift Guide: American Chocolate

Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that can grow cacao, and this young 
industry is producing great chocolate. These five producers showcase the islands’ diversity.

1. Lonohana

lonohana.com, $16 for 2.3 ounces

Lonohana grows 14 acres of cacao on a 10-year-old farm to produce its small-batch bars. The North Shore 67% and 73% bars demonstrate the difference cacao quantity can have on a bar’s profile, but share deep chocolate flavor and raisined fruit flavors. The salted milk bar folds in another appetizing product of the islands: red Alaea sea salt.

2. Waialua

waialuaestate.com, $60 for six 2-ounce bars

Several decades ago, Dole Foods was testing new crops on some of its land and found one place in particular that produced great cacao and coffee. Today Dole’s Waialua makes three bars: Extra Dark, which is just what it says, but without being astringent; Milk, which is less sweet than most milk bars; and one with nibs that bring crunch and a bitter kick.

3. Manoa Hawaii Chocolate Gift Box

manoachocolate.com, $60 for five 2.1-ounce bars

A box of single-origin bars is a great way to dive into the breadth of flavors and textures coming from Hawaii. Manoa buys beans from local farmers, then produces these limited-edition vintage bars. Hawaiian chocolate is often put at the “fruity” end of the spectrum, and the Mililani bar backs that up. The Waiahole bar, however, runs against type with deep, dusky and nutty flavors.

4. Puna

punachocolate.com, $9 for 2.1 ounces

For a relatively new company, Puna has a broad range of confections. Look for local macadamia nut and coconut or black walnut praline bars. These walnuts bring earthy, savory flavors similar to mushroom. The added sugar cuts that a little, but it is intense and compelling. More serious types might want to compare the 70% bars from the Puna and Kona districts.

5. Madre

madrechocolate.com, $11 for 2 ounces

The emphasis here is on flavored bars, though if the Kona Criollo 70% is in stock, get it. As with “natural” wine, there is a movement in chocolate toward less refined, more direct flavors, and this shows that. The coconut milk and caramelized ginger bar has what I call “soap shop” character; it’s very floral. The milk is sweet and rich and gives the chocolate tropical, almost beachy, aromas, and the ginger gives a nice warm tingle. They also make unique products such as cacao fruit roll-ups.

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Cadbury’s Chocolate Santa Sleigh Kit Is The Perfect Christmas Gift

It may still be November but judging by all the Christmas trees I’ve seen up already, Christmas is well and truly upon us. And, considering the year we’ve had so far, I think we could all use a few extra weeks of festive cheer in 2020.

If you’re not one of those people that does all their Christmas shopping in the January sales, you’re probably starting to think about what to buy your friends and family. Well, may I suggest that you can’t really go wrong with chocolate, especially Cadbury’s chocolate?

The latest gift option from Cadbury is this Santa’s Sleigh Kit, and it’s just about the cutest thing ever.

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Perfect for children and adults alike, the kit, which will set you back £14, features various Cadbury items and instructions on how to build your very own sleigh out of delicious Cadbury chocolate.

Cadbury describes the kit on its website as, “A deliciously fun gift to make your own Christmas Santa’s Sleigh. A great novelty sleigh shaped gift box with includes all the chocolate components to construct your Santa’s Sleigh. Self-assembly kit includes Dairy Milk Bars, Dairy Milk hollow Santa, Curly Wurly, Freddo, Fudge Chomp and white Buttons and instructions.”

If this isn’t exactly the sort of thing you’d like to find in the bottom of your Christmas stocking, then I don’t know what is.

You can buy the kit online now!


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15 of the Best Chocolate Subscription Boxes to Gift Family and Friends (Or, You Know, Yourself)

Feel like you could use a little bit of comfort delivered to your doorstep these days? Same. Fortunately, you can have exactly that if you sign up for a chocolate subscription box—an ingenious service that sends a steady supply of high-quality chocolate straight to your home, so you can eat your feelings whenever you want. (No judgment.) Yep, there’s a subscription box for everything and we’re totally here for it. However, there is an overwhelming number of options out there, so a little guidance might go a long way to helping you select the package that best satisfies your sweet tooth. That’s why we put together a roundup of the best chocolate subscription boxes around—just pick one of these winners and you’ll be able to curl up with a scrumptious candy bar on the regular.

RELATED: The 31 Best Subscription Boxes for Kids

For those of us (raises hand) who can’t choose between chocolate or candy, sign on for this monthly subscription to satisfy your sweet tooth each and every month. The basic subscription includes six 6-ounce cups of sweet treats featuring various chocolate and non-chocolate picks, but if you’re pleased with the product you can upgrade to 13 cups and really go to town. The service also offers a limited customization option: You can select whether you prefer mostly sweet or mostly sour—the former guarantees more chocolate.

Buy it (from $30 per month)

You love chocolate but you can’t really justify a monthly subscription for a singular indulgence. Makes sense…and, in this case, so does the monthly BookBrews box. This recurring gift package contains a contemporary book in a genre of your choosing, a package of high-quality coffee or tea, and an artisanal chocolate bar (yum). Basically, this is the subscription box that you’re going to want to cozy up with all winter long.

Buy it (from $37 per month)

Harry and David, wherever they may be, are innovative veterans of the gourmet food market—and their chocolate subscription box definitely lives up to the legacy. All of the chocolates they feature in their boxes are made in-house and run the gamut from chocolate covered cherries to classic truffles. You can’t pick and choose, per se, but the full year’s menu has been made available (each month has a delicious theme), so it’s easy enough to time your 3-month subscription depending on whether you prefer milk or dark, fruity or salty chocolate sweets.

Buy it (from $100 per 3 months)

Jackie is no joke among chocolate aficionados. In fact, this chocolatier has something of a cult-following. Her fudge, creamy truffles and even sugar-free treats get rave reviews from subscribers who sign up for this monthly 15-piece per box delivery. Bottom line: Everything you get from Jackie will go down easy. Why? Because her chocolates are downright delicious across the board box.

Buy it (from $28 per 3 months)

The chocolate lovers behind Hu Kitchen’s subscription box make no bones about the fact that they value health and humanity above all

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Women & Chocolate

Sinful is how women has always described chocolate. But despite so, do you know that 99% of all women love chocolate and that they may actually prefer chocolate more to than to sex?

What exactly about chocolate is it so wonderful? Well, in fact it is not just the women who love it but almost everybody would love it too. I believe you enjoy chocolate just as much? It always feels so nice to have it melted in your mouth, delivering its wonderful taste right through your tongue, does it?

Well its wonderful taste aside, chocolate contains phenylethylamine – the same chemical that is released in your brain when you fall in love; leading to that increase in the pounding of your heart, feeling of a sudden gush of excitement. "Love Chemical" is what some would call it. It is also believed by researcher that phenylethylamine in turn causes the brain to release mesolimbic dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain, another chemical where its presence is at peak during an orgasm.

Nevertheless, the sweetness from chocolate also triggers the release of endorphins. Think about those blissful feeling you had after a wonderful session of lovemaking. That is the effect from the production of endorphins in your body. Perhaps that is why some women actually remarked that they felt a feeling of elation when eating chocolate.

Well, a perfect gift for your love, chocolate will be. Just like buying roses during Valentine's Day, chocolate can never go wrong. In fact, the both could be the best combination ever. Do you know that roses also contain the "Love Chemical", Phenylethylamine? That explains for its distinct scent.

Giving of chocolate, as gifts of love has been long popular in Japan since the late 1950s. A bit different though; During Valentine's Day, the ones doing the giving are the women instead and usually, chocolates were sent as gifts to confess their love for that special guy. Heart-shaped chocolates would usually be given. To nevertheless balance out this unique custom, "White Day" was later invented in Japan. On 14th of March it falls, one month after Valentine's Day exactly. During this day, guys who received the chocolate will be given the chance to reciprocate their valentine gifts with soft, fluffy marshmallows. This would be the happiest day for girls who receive their fluffy gifts. Isn't it so lovely?

Well, giving of chocolate as a gift of love has today, definitely become more and more popular. Along with the greeting card, your message of love will be delivered. Filled with your most genuine love, each chocolate will contain. Melting one's heart as they melt in the mouth, warming up their heart as sweetness run through their tongue.

Why not send some to your loved ones today, brightening up their day with a chocolate so full of love.

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Why Does Chocolate Make Me Horny?

Ever noticed that chocolate is sold in the women's clothing section in department stores? Ever wonder why? It's because women crave chocolate. And that's a good thing!

Doctors have done many studies on the connection between chocolate and an increased sex drive in females. These studies reveal that women who eat some chocolate each day have a higher sex drive than women who do not. It was also found that not only do females have stronger sex drives due to a daily intake of chocolate but they had improved sexual function. Chocolate also helps balance out mood swings right during menstruation.

The reason that chocolate improves sexual function and increases sex drive is due to chocolate's properties. Containing serotonin, which is a chemical that calms the mind and is produced by the brain, chocolate is like taking a mild sedative. Caffeine is found in chocolate in very small amounts and caffeine helps to raise serotonin. The chemical serotonin is often associated with the same effects as marijuana. Yet in reality, about 25 pounds of chocolate would have to be consumed to get the same effect as being high on marijuana. Plus the sweet, creamy taste of chocolate is more soothing and sexual on the tongue and taste buds. Why not having her lick melted chocolate off your body or seeing what happens with a can of chocolate whipped cream?

So if you're thinking of giving your girl a gift or treat, give her some chocolate. Not just for this upcoming Valentine's Day but every day. Just a small amount each day will be happier and healthier for you both.

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