POPSUGAR FoodSource: 9 Editor-Approved Chocolate Boxes For Valentine's Day and Beyond
It was a tough task at hand, but the food editors sat down with a stack of chocolate boxes and we tried them all to bring you the best of the bunch. Chocolate does not run cheap, so it's important that you guarantee your Valentine (or, let's admit, we like to treat ourselves too!) a delicious, decadent box of chocolates. We found these nine that we feel particularly passionate about. As you click through, be sure to zoom in on the pictures so you can see every detail, down to each sugar granule.
Valrhona Valentine's Chocolate Gift Box : Fifteen ganache-filled bonbons fill this Valrhona Valentine's Chocolate Gift Box ($30), including dark chocolate hearts with dark chocolate ganache, milk chocolate hearts with passion fruit ganache, and white chocolate hearts in vanilla bean ganache.
What we loved: The milk chocolate with the passion fruit ganache reigned supreme and surprised us with its compatible combination. The white chocolate ganache warmed our hearts with its nostalgic flavor, similar to Blue Bell's Natural Vanilla Bean ice cream.
The best in the box: We had to choose the dark chocolate ganache for its smooth, thick, and almost caramel-like texture, which we voted the best of all the dark chocolate ganaches that we tried.
TCHO Artisan Confections 4-Piece Winter Assortment Gift Box: TCHO Artisan Confections 4-Piece Winter Assortment Gift Box ($13) contains Classic (milk chocolate and ground Piedmont hazelnuts), Fruity (dark chocolate and wild morello cherries in liqueur), Citrus (dark chocolate and blood orange), and dark chocolate with sea salt and roasted nib caramel.
What we loved: We enjoyed the melt-in-your-mouth quality of the milk chocolate and hazelnuts, especially its crunchy pieces of hazelnut. We likened it to classic gianduja, which is perhaps why it gained the name "Classic."
The best in the box: Our hearts melted for the sea salt and roasted nib caramel as soon as we cut it open and the caramel oozed out of the dark chocolate shell. We appreciated the textural contrast of the nibs, which acted as a bitter counterpart to the tooth-achingly sweet caramel.
Jacques Torres 12-Piece Loves Me, Loves Me Not: In the box of Theo Casanova Caramel Collection, you're paying for organic and fair-trade-certified ingredients. Each box has two pieces of honey saffron, ginger rose, pink salted, and lavender jalapeño caramels, coated in milk and dark chocolate.
What we loved: Every caramel held true to the flavors represented. The lavender jalapeño amazed us with its unique combination; it starts floral and ends spicy. The pink salted is really salty and draws out the amazing flavors of the caramel and chocolate.
The best in the box: Again, there was a tie between the honey saffron (like Persian ice cream in caramel form) and the ginger rose (which starts spicy, then the rose flavor blooms to perfume your palate).
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Richart Heart to Heart 9-Piece: The classy box of Richart Heart to Heart 9-Piece ($25) has three each of passion fruit caramel in a milk chocolate shell, rose and lychee white chocolate ganache in a dark chocolate shell, and hazelnut praline with Penja white pepper in a white chocolate shell.
What we loved: We found the passion fruit tangy and satisfying. Fans of flower-flavored confections will appreciate the floral-forwardness of the rose and lychee.
The best in the box: Even the white chocolate naysayer of the group had to admit that the hazelnut praline is divine: we described it as crispy and crunchy, and despite the sweetness of the white chocolate, the white pepper balances it out.
See's Candies 8-Ounce Assorted Chocolate Heart: A mix of milk chocolate and dark-chocolate-covered nuts, caramels, and crèmes fills the box of See's Candies 8-Ounce Assorted Chocolate Heart ($12).
What we loved: It's an affordable box that has an assortment of the See's Candies that we know and savor each holiday.
The best in the box: We gushed over the milk chocolate molasses chip, which reminded us of chocolate-covered toffee.
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Jacques Torres: The Kissing Game: Twenty-five pieces of Champagne-infused dark and milk chocolate ganaches make up the Jacques Torres: The Kissing Game ($36) box of chocolate.
What we loved: The kissing game is actually really cute and clever. Each time you remove one of the chocolates, it reveals a place where you should kiss your Valentine (ex: the bathtub) or how you should kiss (ex: passionately).
The best in the box: We wished the entire box was filled with dark chocolate, it is that good. Smooth and not too bitter, the dark chocolate has an interesting acidity due to inclusion of Champagne.
Valrhona 16 Assorted Gourmet Ganaches: The box of Valrhona 16 Assorted Gourmet Ganaches ($30) contains four ganaches: cappuccino ganache enrobed in milk chocolate, salted caramel ganache enrobed in dark chocolate, milk chocolate ganache, and dark chocolate ganache.
What we loved: The milk chocolate ganache has a unique, slightly roasted and grassy flavor that reminded us of Cadbury Eggs.
The best in the box: We unanimously thought the salted caramel ganache enrobed in dark chocolate is our favorite bonbon. We decided it has a perfect semisoft, semifirm texture. What's more, it contains sufficient saltiness.
Chuao Aphrodisiac Bonbon Collection: Five different bonbons and truffles fill the Chuao Aphrodisiac Bonbon Collection ($13).
What we loved: Our first impression of the heart-shaped passion fruit caramel was it tasted tropical and not too sweet. After savoring it for a few moments, we appreciated the melty consistency of the caramel with the milk chocolate.
The best in the box: We have a soft spot for Chuao's infamous Firecracker chocolate, which is essentially pop rock-studded chocolate. But we did not expect it to be enrobed in chipotle caramel fudge. We found the sizzling effect eye-opening and fun, and the true pepper flavor at the end left us wanting another one.
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