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 as far as presents go, though flowers and goodies are fashionable, to him the selection is obvious.

“It's essential to give chocolate … I don’t eat flowers,” he laughed, “but I eat chocolate.”

Now the grasp chocolatier at Voilà Chocolat on Manhattan’s Upper West Aspect, Toury started his pastry chef training on the age of 14. His storied career then took him to places such because the Ritz in Paris, the 4 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 an excessive amount of,” he stated.

Toury recollects what his mother used to tell him growing up, “Take a look at what you will have in your plate. Ten minutes ago, it was in the garden.”

Freshness issues with produce; it is the similar with chocolate. Toury works in small batches and never freezes his ganache, which he finds hardens it too much. His ganache is silky clean and will last just some weeks. Industrial chocolate makers, then again, 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 field of candies to chocolate lollipops with love messages to cute creations like a French bulldog manufactured from chocolate.

“Valentine’s Day must be enjoyable, not too uptight,” he noted, in any other case, what’s the point?

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

Recent as They Come

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(Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Occasions)

Working in small batches, Christophe Toury makes Voilà Chocolat’s candies a bit at a time, and the freshness comes via very clearly. His coaching as a pastry chef evokes his taste mixtures. For example, hibiscus complements chocolate with its fruity, berry-like tang; or a mixture of chocolate, peanut butter, and raspberry recollects childhood reminiscences. He also retains away from artificial colorants as much as attainable.

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

Should you stay in New York City, it’s value stopping by for the signature experience—making your personal candies.

A number of the products can be found nationwide; others, because of their fragility, are only out there in the shop. 31-piece coronary 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 style buds, the Signature Collection from XO Confections gives 18 gem-like chocolate bonbons made with great care and superb elements. The Oceana appears like a starry sky, its royal blue shell hiding delicate cream caramel inside. You’ll be hard-pressed to name 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 combination of strawberries and conventional balsamic vinegar together with darkish chocolate ganache. There’s solely one in every of every flavor, and discovering all 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 elements and creative flavors, comparable to their seasonal Dangerous Durian truffles, for instance, which sell out quick. 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, whereas darkish chocolate lovers may want the vegan Raspberry Pop Rocks Chocolate Bar, with 72 % chocolate and brilliant fuschia freeze-dried raspberries. (Each bar, $8.95) SocolaChocolates.com

Say It With Flowers

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Can’t determine between chocolate or flowers? How about both? Hilliard’s Candies, a fourth-generation household enterprise based mostly in North Easton, Massachusetts, molds chocolate into roses, so your candy valentines can have their roses and eat them too. Out there in milk chocolate or darkish chocolate, by the dozen ($45.95) or by the trio ($12.95), in milk chocolate or dark chocolate; or as a single stem, in white, milk, or darkish chocolate ($three.95). HilliardsCandy.com

La Dolce Vita

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Followers of Italy will love the curated present box aptly named “La Dolce Vita,” with quite a lot of Italian treats and sweets that ought to carry them from breakfast to dessert time. The merchandise are all sourced from family-run corporations and companies. Included within the combine 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 Home of Savoy; pink licorice from Amarelli, in Calabria, recognized for making the most effective licorice on the planet. ($86.80) Eataly.com

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