Some luxury chocolate brands pride themselves on being bean to bar. This means the unique characteristics of different cacao varieties (sourced from around the world) are brought to the fore – some might naturally taste of nuts, others of summer fruits.
What is the best luxury chocolate brand?
The luxury chocolate you buy depends on the variety you prefer – white, milk or dark – and any additional flavours you’d like in your chocolate. All Willie’s Cacao is made from ‘bean to bar’, which offers each bar unique characteristics, from chocolate rich with stone fruit flavours, to bars bursting with nutty notes.
If you’re after a vegan luxury chocolate selection, choose Booja Booja. Booja Booja has been making vegan and organic chocolates in Norfolk since 1999. All their chocolate truffles are vegan and dairy-free as well as gluten-free, made using coconut oil. The flavours range from almond salted caramel to espresso and hazelnut crunch.
Valrhona is one of the world's leading producers of luxury chocolate. Traversing the globe to source the finest cocoa beans from ‘Grand Crus’ including The Caribbean, Oceana and South America, Valrhona pride themselves on building enduring, sustainable relationships with producers. Valrhona chocolate is loved for patisserie work, but it’s just as delicious eaten straight from the packet.
For traditional Belgium chocolate, we love Neuhaus. Neuhaus uses 100% sustainably sourced cacao for their chocolates as well as investing in their own cacao plantation in Ecuador. Any ingredients that are added to the chocolates, be it nuts, fruit or coffee, are 100% natural. The silky smooth chocolate is beautifully delicate and has a wonderful snap.
Mazet are a luxury French confectioner, and are best known for making the true and original ‘pralines’. Mazet have been producing pralines and chocolates from their workshop in Montargis since 1903. The luxury chocolate bars include raspberry, praline and almond.
What brand is the best dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is made with a higher percentage of dry cocoa solids, and no milk solids. This gives it a more bitter flavour than white and milk.
If you want the purest dark chocolate, choose Valrhona’s Araguani 100% bar. One for cocoa purists, this bar is full of roasted intensity balanced by hints of vanilla. This full-bodied, uncompromising bar is made with beans from Venezuela, where the Cacao San Jose family has been producing cocoa since 1830.
For a bar with less intense, fruiter flavours, try Willie’s Cacao San Agustin gold 88% Colombian dark chocolate. At 77% cocoa, there’s not much sugar added. Instad, it’s rich with stone fruit notes, with pronounced dark cherry and damson flavours.
What luxury chocolate should I buy?
Valrhona Dark Abinao 85% dark chocolate offers all the intense, bitter flavours you’d expect from a dark chocolate of this quality and cocoa percentage. With minimal sugar or cocoa butter added, this bar, produced from the finest African beans, has a persistent tannic intensity.
Raspberry and dark chocolate is a perennial favourite, and Mazet de Montargis’ luxury chocolate bar will keep you coming back for more. The 64% dark chocolate is lifted with natural raspberry flavour, which also brings an intense fruity fragrance that tempts you even through the wrapper!
Willie’s Cacao orange and almond dark chocolate has no added sugar, instead, the sweetness comes from the almond. This vegan bar – presented in a smart red and gold wrapper – makes a beautiful gift.
Booja Booja’s hazelnut crunch truffles are melt in your mouth vegan ganache chocolates, with a dusting of cocoa powder – perfect for post-dinner petit fours.
Valrhona Araguani dark chocolate is a luxury bar made from 100% Venezualan cocoa. One for cocoa purists, this bar is full of roasted intensity balanced by hints of vanilla.
Pieces of Mazet De Montargis’ signature pralines are paired with creamy milk chocolate in this bar with a nutty crunch and caramel undertones. Presented in a dusky rose wrapper, this luxury chocolate makes a beautiful gift.
Willie’s Cacao milk chocolate with sea salt is 100% natural, made with Rio Caribe milk chocolate. The Venezuelan cocoa is pure and creamy, with sea salt flecks adding a gentle crunch.
Ellie Edwards is a food writer for Sous Chef. Previously she worked at olive magazine, writing about exciting new ingredients, UK restaurants and travelling the world to find the best cinnamon buns. When she's not exploring the likes of Belize, Kerala and Zanzibar, Ellie loves rustling up a feast in her London kitchen, with a particular passion for porridge, sourdough and negronis.