Since I won’t be in Belgium this Valentine’s Day, and I won’t be able to get the usual Cote D’Or or Neuhaus I so enjoy, I started thinking about the chocolate options in Alberta, Canada. (Read more about my take on Belgian chocolate here).
Cadbury and Ritter Sport rank rather high on my chocolate scale in terms of taste, but in Canada, its more about chocolate bar brands such as Snickers, Mars, KitKat, etc. Most chocolate bars that are widely available have certain fillings. The chocolate acts more like a coating rather than the base. You can go to the “special” section of the grocery stores or specialty shops and find some higher-end chocolate, which usually costs about the same as a grande latte from Starbucks ($5-6 CAD). In Belgium, you can get fancy chocolate for 2.50 Euro a bar.
So since chocolate tends to be more of a coating in Canada, I’ve determined that I much prefer chocolate coated items than the popular brands of chocolate bars.
Here is a list of my top five favourite chocolate-covered treats:
1. Chocolate covered pretzels
There is just something about the marriage of salty and sweet and crunchy and smooth that makes me melt over chocolate covered pretzels.
In Alberta, these seem to be “specialty” items because you can pay between $6-8 CAD for a tiny bag. But instead you could buy a bag of pretzels and a few bars of regular chocolate for $5 and make at least three times the quantity at home.
Chocolate covered pretzels are now at the top of my list mainly because of the salty-sweet mixture…and maybe because you can eat a lot more of them in one sitting than other chocolate covered treats.
2. Chocolate covered almonds
Chocolate covered almonds used to be my all-time favourite way to eat chocolate. I eat almonds like a kid eats candy and I love the mix of nuts and chocolate and the contrast of the smooth chocolate coating and the hard interior. But I’ve come to realize that you can only eat so many before your stomach starts to protest.
I haven’t found salted almonds covered in chocolate yet, so maybe if someone creates this, or can tell me where to find some, these might sneak back to the top of my list.
3. Chocolate covered cherries
It was a toss-up between cherries and strawberries, but chocolate covered cherries are often of the maraschino variety, covered in a delightful sticky syrup. It’s not often that one gets to eat maraschino cherries without someone else thinking it’s completely unappetizing or juvenile to order extra cherries with your adult blended beverages.
Chocolate covered cherries are only done right in dark chocolate. I can eat more chocolate covered cherries than almonds, but the sugar rush tends to put a cap on the intake.
4. Chocolate covered strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries are probably a go-to for Valentine’s Day. Strawberries never tasted better without chocolate. They tend to also look pretty when arranged on a fancy plate and there is something that oozes romance around chocolate covered strawberries.
Maybe because couples can feed them each other. I don’t think pitching almonds into the other’s mouth like a basketball game is very romantic. Nor is holding a pretzel up to a woman’s mouth because she would probably have to debate as to whether she should bite into it like a lady or put the whole thing in so that the rest doesn’t crumble to peices.
The only disadvantages of chocolate covered strawberries is dealing with the green leafy parts because this sloppy leftover portion is also not very attractive and they tend to be very filling so it limited the number you can enjoy in one sitting.
5. Chocolate covered cream puffs
The last of my top five was very hard to choose. But when thinking back to the delicious desserts I’ve tried that have been chocolate covered, I will never forget the cream puffs I had in a restaurant in Bordeaux, France. I might even go as far to say that eating said chocolate covered cream puffs also topped with whipped cream was one of the best things about visiting Bordeaux.
The cream puffs, being made in France, were filled with all full fat ingredients, drizzled with hot fudge and included a dollop of real whipped cream for good measure.
This is a sit-down dessert that you will require a fork for so its slightly less easy to eat, but no less delicious.
Chocolate covered nougat, biscotti, ice cream and donuts. And the only reason cheesecake and brownies were ruled out is because they can also be chocolate-based.
What are your favorite chocolate covered treats? What is your favourite chocolate to eat on Valentine’s Day?