What to Give for Valentine’s Day


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Master chocolatier Christophe Toury has seen many Valentine’s Day come and go through the years, and so far as presents go, though flowers and candies are well-liked, to him the choice is obvious.

“You will need to give chocolate … I don’t eat flowers,” he laughed, “but I eat chocolate.”

Now the grasp chocolatier at Voilà Chocolat on Manhattan’s Higher West Aspect, Toury started his pastry chef coaching at the age of 14. His storied career then took him to locations such as the Ritz in Paris, the Four Seasons in Maui and New York, and Jacques Torres Chocolate.

He has a deep respect for chocolate. “There are 17 steps between harvesting [and the final product]. It will be a disgrace to control it too much,” he stated.

Toury recollects what his mother used to tell him growing up, “Take a look at what you've got on your plate. Ten minutes ago, it was within the backyard.”

Freshness issues with produce; it's the similar with chocolate. Toury works in small batches and by no means freezes his ganache, which he finds hardens it an excessive amount of. His ganache is silky clean and will final just some weeks. Industrial chocolate makers, however, engineer it to final one to 2 years. “They’re going to take out the cream and add stabilizers,” he stated.

His product line ranges from the normal heart-shaped box of goodies to chocolate lollipops with love messages to cute creations like a French bulldog product of chocolate.

“Valentine’s Day must be fun, not too uptight,” he famous, otherwise, what’s the purpose?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, here's a record of Valentine’s Day presents—all chocolate and all fun—for inspiration.

Recent as They Come

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Working in small batches, Christophe Toury makes Voilà Chocolat’s goodies a bit of at a time, and the freshness comes by way of very clearly. His coaching as a pastry chef evokes his taste mixtures. For instance, hibiscus complements chocolate with its fruity, berry-like tang; or a mixture of chocolate, peanut butter, and raspberry recollects childhood reminiscences. He additionally keeps away from synthetic colorants as a lot as potential.

His lollipops, made with a layer of dark chocolate and a layer of white chocolate, are widespread, with a message of love printed utilizing very minimal colorant.

In case you stay in New York Metropolis, it’s value stopping by for the signature experience—making your personal goodies.

A few of the merchandise are available nationwide; others, on account of their fragility, are only out there within the store. 31-piece heart box, $72; 14-piece coronary heart box, $42; Voilallipop Bouquet, $29; Love Puzzle, $12; Love Stamp, $9; XOXO Chocolate Bar, $9. Voila-Chocolat.com

A Treasure Box of Bonbons

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As bedazzling to the eyes as to the taste buds, the Signature Collection from XO Confections presents 18 gem-like chocolate bonbons made with nice care and positive components. The Oceana seems to be like a starry sky, its royal blue shell hiding delicate cream caramel inside. You’ll be hard-pressed to call a favorite flavor. Some are delicate, like the Jasmine Night time, with jasmine-infused dark chocolate encasing a combined berry pate de fruits jelly. Others are daring, like the Modena Summer time, which brings the basic mixture of strawberries and conventional balsamic vinegar along with dark chocolate ganache. There’s solely certainly one of every taste, and discovering all of the varieties is half the enjoyable, so hopefully your valentine might be completely happy to share. ($40) XocolatlConfections.com

Berries and Pop Rocks

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Sisters Wendy and Susan Lieu of San Francisco’s Socola Chocolatier are recognized for their recent components and creative flavors, akin to their seasonal Harmful Durian truffles, for instance, which sell out fast. Additionally they supply eye-catching bars, where berries and chocolate mingle, and pop rocks provide a playful tingle. The Strawberry Cream Soda Bar is made with white chocolate with freeze dried strawberry, while dark chocolate lovers may choose the vegan Raspberry Pop Rocks Chocolate Bar, with 72 % chocolate and shiny fuschia freeze-dried raspberries. (Every bar, $eight.95) SocolaChocolates.com

Say It With Flowers

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Can’t determine between chocolate or flowers? How about both? Hilliard’s Goodies, a fourth-generation family business based mostly in North Easton, Massachusetts, molds chocolate into roses, so your sweet valentines can have their roses and eat them too. Obtainable in milk chocolate or dark chocolate, by the dozen ($45.95) or by the trio ($12.95), in milk chocolate or dark chocolate; or as a single stem, in white, milk, or dark chocolate ($3.95). HilliardsCandy.com

La Dolce Vita

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Followers of Italy will love the curated present field aptly named “La Dolce Vita,” with quite a lot of Italian treats and sweets that should carry them from breakfast to dessert time. The merchandise are all sourced from family-run corporations and companies. Included in the mix are: Caffarel’s Gianduja unfold, a chic hazelnut chocolate unfold created from the original 1865 recipe; combined fruit jellies from Baratti and Milano, who have been the official confectioners of the Royal House of Savoy; pink licorice from Amarelli, in Calabria, recognized for making the perfect licorice on the earth. ($86.80) Eataly.com