It’s the season to be jolly, which also means that most of us forget the idea of dieting and instead enjoy the tasty treats to be had over the winter period. As well as all the festive fodder to be sampled, lots of us end up tucking into chocolate boxes, nibbling on chocolate bars, warming ourselves up on hot chocolate and indulging in other cocoa inspired delights. So as well as being jolly, it’s also the season to enjoy chocolate! Here is a selection of chocolate treats to savour this wintertime.
Dark chocolate bar
Dark chocolate is really rich and indulgent, so keep a good quality bar stashed away in your cupboard over wintertime, and snap a chunk off whenever you feel a cocoa urge coming on. Don’t feel too guilty about enjoying dark chocolate, however, as research continually suggests that it’s good for our health – promoting heart health, reduced blood pressure and even supposedly aiding in weight loss!
Box of Belgium chocolates
Belgium chocolates are a firm favourite and there are probably not many people who don’t have a box lurking in their cupboard over the festive period. Choose good quality Belgium chocolates and opt for a mixture of chocolate flavours and tastes. If you’re looking for a gift for a friend or family member, then a box of Belgium chocolates will always be an instant hit.
Chocolate and nut combinations
Chocolate and nuts were made to go together! Grab yourself a box or bar of chocolate and nut combinations and slowly savour the flavours. Pistachio, almonds, Brazil nuts and hazel nuts all make great additions to chocolate. A selection box with these chocolates will also make a perfect present.
Giving nutty chocolates a run for their money, are those chocolates that come intertwined with fruit. Chocolate and fruit make a really sumptuous pairing, as the flavours really bring out the best in each other. Popular flavours of fruity chocolate include cherries, orange, strawberries and lemon, but you could also go for something a bit more exotic and choose chocolate with banana and passion fruit pieces.
Real chocolate connoisseurs will relish the flavour of chocolates infused with alcohol, so take your pick from rum truffles, or brandy liqueurs to champagne chocolates. They are great for a special occasion, or just because you feel like indulging this wintertime.
The classic After Eight mint sticks were probably the first chocolates to be teamed with mint cream. These days, if you love your chocolate and mint combinations, then there are lots of varieties and choices to ensure you have your fix. Mint is supposed to great at aiding digestion, so there’s a good excuse for everyone to indulge in chocolate mint creams as an after-meal nibble.
White chocolate Snowman
Children love white chocolate because it’s so creamy and sweet, so give them a treat this festive period with a white chocolate Snowman. If you worry they might gobble it all at once, then opt for some individual white chocolate coins.
Alex enjoys writing about all things chocolate for the Irish chocolatiers Lily O’Brien’s.