Swoon before you even take a bite. Xococava’s milk chocolate with espresso bean, candied lemon and fleur de sel.
Remember that old Blondie song “Rapture”? Well, I think it was written about the above hand-made chocolates from Xoxocava. (Also, my friend Rina and I won a lip-sync contest in high school singing that song–my hair was big and that was pre-perm.)
Usually when I buy some good chocolate to keep squirreled away in the cupboard I buy a bar of something delicious like the salted dark chocolate from Stubbe (when I can get a west-end friend to pick it up). Somehow buying individual pieces like this for myself never occurred to me until I was knocking these back……like the lady I am.
Drool! Dark chocolate with sour cherries, pistachio and candied rose petal. (xococava)
Beautiful, individual chocolates have been fortuitously dropping into my lap lately. A friend of mine gave us a box of nine caramel-themed chocolates from Soma (Distillery District) which contained morsels such as Fleur de Sel, Caramel Kiss and Pecan Butter Crunch.
Honestly, you cannot ever eat a Smartie again after that kind of delicious. Now that Xococava and Soma have spoiled me and made me a xoco-snob I may head to the Belgian Chocolate Shop on Queen East to check out chocolate making in my hood. (anyone been there?)
The above gorgeous chocolates come delivered in this cute, witty package ($14.75/bag and there are over a dozen pieces)
I think an easy but spectacular finale to a romantic dinner (for those non-bakers) would be a plate of the above chocolates served with a beautiful, creamy cheese.
Neufchatel with red pepper jelly
And if you want to be thematic with your Valentine cheeseboard you’ll grab this heart-shaped Neufchatel from France’s Normandy region. It’s a Camembert style cheese that’s creamy, decadent and perfect for sharing.
La Sauvagine, QC
And there’s the triple cream, La Sauvagine. (If it rhymes it’s poetry right?) I just wrote about this guy for The Wedge so here’s the cheat sheet.
Sauvagine and friends…
Or you can get a few petit fours to accompany your cheese fetish.
If you would like to bring a gift to your cheese lover, I adore my stainless steel cheese markers (you stick them into your cheese to identify them–sometimes I just write “back off” on my favourites). This set from Lee Valley comes with a set of 6 cheese knives and a cool case.
Cheese Tiles-write on, wipe off
I was also sent an email about this cute little guys. Same function as the stainless steel markers but they’re called cheese tiles.
They come in a variety of styles such as Fleur-di-Lis, Shell, Vine and more. Retails for $29.95 for a set of 4, they can be purchased online at www.placetile.com
And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for, give the ultimate in S&M themed foodie gifts….
I mean, it’s pretty hilarious right?
I got in touch with Toronto’s Cookbook Store and asked what they would recommend and apparently this 50 Shades of Chicken was a hot stocking stuffer for 2012, but if you didn’t grab it then, now is your chance. (I took this picture from amazon.ca where you can also order it).
And they also recommended these two options……(it’s going to be a long winter right?)
So, I think you’re set for gifts and food for this coming February 14th. (FYI, the xoco cava chocolates are great bites while you wait for toast to brown in the morning, just sayin’)
How is that lady pigging out at the fridge so skinny?