10 Best Gourmet Chocolates All Dressed Up For Valentine's Day

Gourmet chocolate is every bit about the taste, but presentation is a very close second. Designing a chocolate -- it's shape, color, markings, dust, sparkle, even it's inside layering -- is an art in itself. On Valentine's Day, the biggest day of the year to celebrate CHOCOLATE, it's also about the dressing!

Here are 10 Valentine delights from some of the world's most highly rated gourmet chocolatiers that will put sparkles in your Valentine's eyes and tastebuds!

(There is no ranking in this list. The following chocolatiers have a selection of Valentine's gifts wide enough to accommodate all budgets.)

 

1. Recchiuti Confections: Valentine Motif Chocolates

Recchiuti of San Francisco has the most marvelous burnt carmael chocolates! Here they are lusciously decorated and tastefully boxed for the big day!

 

 

 

2. Leonidas Belgian Chocolates: Velvet Valentine's Heart

If your loved one can get passed the deep red velvet lid, he'll find quite a selection of milk, dark, and white chocolate Belgium delicacies. Shown is a box of 30 pieces, but the Velvet Heart also comes in a 20 piece box and a 49 piece box. There is also a special promotion offered at Amazon.

 

 


3. Lake Champlain Chocolates: Sweetheart Valentine Assortment

Outrageous "passports to chocolate heaven" including cherry and peanut butter, maple crunch, evergreen mint, honey caramels... Keep me from myself! A gluten-free, all natural 18 piece, 2 layer loving box of sweets for your heart's true love. Sweetheart's Assortment available  from Lake  Champlain or from Amazon.

 

 

Here's my buddy, the Be Mine Chocolate Frog from Lake Champlain Chocolates. This guy is the cutest, and I bet the most delicious, frog ever! He stands 4 inches tall and is made of milk chocolate with hand painted dark chocolate markings. A great Valentine's gift for budget watchers.

 

 

 

4. Richart Paris: La Perle de Mon Coeur Valentine Assortment

So refined, perfectly understated and every bit as delectable as... well, fine chocolate. This 42 piece Valentine special includes 24 Micro-Hearts in Milk Chocolate Almond Praline, 16 Micro-Hearts in Dark Venezuelan Cocoa Ganache, 1 Dark Chocolate card (73% Ivory Coast), 1 Pink Heart Shape and 3 Suger Silver Pearls. La Perle de Mon Coeur.

 

 

Not exactly intended for Valentine's Day, but for Richart's "celebration of RED," my pick for Valentine's Day would be Richart's Ultra-Fine Discovery Ballotin with 36 pieces of seven naturally flavored chocolates, including Banyuls Grand Cru wine grapes, black currant, and blood orange....

 

 

 

5. Chocolat Moderne: Mysteries of Love Valentine Assortement

A dual layer, 24 piece, chocolate lover's to-die-for! Each hand painted heart has a mysterie to reveal.... For example, there's The Lover (passion fruit and cardamom caramel), MadameXtasy(sea salted Illy espresso and dark chocolate caramel), Caramel Caresse (Poire Williams Pear and Eau de Vie caramel)... Should I continue tempting you? No, but I will let you in on a little secret... smaller assortments are available here too!

 

 

 

6. Christopher Norman Chocolates: Tiger Heart Valentine

Grrrr. Truly wild, but no animals were harmed, we are assured, once your lover gets past the fuzzy box top, there are some amazingly hand carved and hand painted chocolates to feast her eyes! Passion Fruit, Manhattan Dark, Pomegranate, Champagne, Amarene Cherries, Hazelnut Gianduja Hearts, Pomegranate, and Framboise are just some of the samplings she'll find in this wild Tiger Heart Valentine.

 

 

 

7. NoKA Chocolate: Vintages Collection - Valentine's Box

One of the most understated boxes of chocolates you may find among the very best gourmets, the Vintage Collection of NoKA is for chocolate purists. This is "single-estate" chocolate. Like wine that is made from only one grape, chocolate can come from only one type of pod grown on one chocolate estate. There are very few chocolatiers who use a single-estate chocolate; most use a blend of chocolates. This Vintages Collection has all four varieties of NoKA's estate chocolate from single estates in Venezuela, Ecuador, Côte d'Ivoire, and Trinidad.

 

 

 

8. Vosages Chocolates: Valentine Love Tower

Best known for its excruciatingly yummy truffles, Vosages makes every chocolate a work of heart. And Vosage also has a variety of novel packaging selections. As for the creations inside the two boxes in The Love Tower, the top box contains 1/4 pound of Carmel Toffee Hearts. If your own heart can stand it, you can actually check out each of the 16 truffles from the lower Exotic Truffle Heart Collection here, but I'll show you a few of them below.

 

 

"Soft caramel + deep milk chocolate + organic New Mexican pecan. Inspired by Aesop's fable of The Tortoise and the Hare. This truffle celebrates the victory of the turtle, who won the race "in a wink" (of the rabbit, that is)."Soft caramel + deep milk chocolate + organic New Mexican pecan. Inspired by Aesop's fable of The Tortoise and the Hare. This truffle celebrates the victory of the turtle, who won the race "in a wink" (of the rabbit, that is).

 

"Tanzanian chocolate + organic pumpkin seeds. Oaxaca, Mexico inspires this fruity dark chocolate truffle. The sweet guajillo chili pepper intermingles with the mellow pasilla, rounding out the fresh cream ganache with a touch of licorice and spice.""Tanzanian chocolate + organic pumpkin seeds. Oaxaca, Mexico inspires this fruity dark chocolate truffle. The sweet guajillo chili pepper intermingles with the mellow pasilla, rounding out the fresh cream ganache with a touch of licorice and spice."

 

 

9. Godiva Chocolates: Romantic Heart Box

Godiva is one of the most familiar Belgian chocolatiers in the U.S. This Valentine's Day, Godiva has put together some of the most elegantly designed chocolates and packaging just for the occasion. I fell in love with the Romantic Heart Box, with its chiffon draped cover and crystal centerpiece. So lovely! And inside, so delicious... try "delectable mousse, truffles, fruits and nuts, caramels, ganaches, and pralinés in milk, dark, and white chocolate." Shown below is the large Romantic Heart Box, but several sizes are available here.

 

 

 

10. A Bountiful Harvest: Sugar-Free Belgian Chocolate Valentine Heart

If your sugar can't eat sugar, that's perfectly fine. She can have her hand-made chocolate and eat it too, all of it, including the box. That's right. That bronze colored, carefully carved box is not a keeper! It's sugar-free milk chocolate and all edible. But wait... First the goodies inside: "2 lbs of delicious chocolates such as Raspberry Hearts, Cherry Cordials, White Chocolate Enrobed Hawaiian Macadamia nuts, Creme de Menthe, Key Lime, Creamy Caramels, Amaretto Cream and beyond..." And there are no artificial ingredients in these chocolates! Sugar-Free Belgian Chocolate Valentine Heart.

 

 

Remember that gourmet chocolates do not contain preservatives, so they should be eaten when fresh. Make sure your sweetheart follows the chocolatier's instructions about when the chocolates should be consumed to get the best flavor. Timing is usually between one and three weeks.

I'd rather eat chocolate than wear diamonds!

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