Valentine’s Day Chocolate Review

We tested out the latest collections from today’s top chocolatiers, and rated their taste, texture, presentation and more. Feel free to reference our reviews when it’s time to go candy shopping.
Valentine’s Day Chocolate Review

We tested out the latest collections from today’s top chocolatiers, and rated their taste, texture, presentation and more. Feel free to reference our reviews when it’s time to go candy shopping.

Be careful; numerous factors can determine whether your edible Valentine scores or strikes out. “It’s not just about the taste,” says recipe editor and nutritionist Leslie Fink. “Things like size, mouth-feel and even how the filling oozes can heavily determine how a person feels about a piece of chocolate.” Whether you’re buying for a friend, significant other, family member or yourself this holiday, keep their likes and dislikes in mind when shopping for the right heart-shaped package this year. Despite what Forest Gump says, a box of chocolates doesn’t always have to be a surprise. Sometimes it’s good to know what you’re going to get.

We tested out the latest collections from today’s top chocolatiers, and rated their taste, texture, presentation and more. Feel free to reference our reviews when it’s time to go candy shopping.

Box of Fauchon Chocolates
More Than Just a Pretty Box
After opening their signature hot-pink box, I pulled out the folded chocolate guide to see which one I’d like to choose for a POINTS value of 1.3, which is roughly 4 POINTS values for the three-piece serving. I decided on the Praliné Piémont. I bit into the little square and literally thought, “Oh my God.” The creamy center had teeny-tiny crunchy bits of hazelnut that complemented the chocolate perfectly. I have no idea what a Piémont is but this chocolate was delicious.

Even if you’re not keen on the heart-shaped box cliché, it’s something your lady will like and Fauchon has some serious packaging options along those lines—they include mini hot pink purses, heart-shaped tins, and even boxes with the Paris skyline on the outside. I also sampled the 70-percent dark chocolate from the "Napolitains in Magenta Tin". At slightly more than half a POINTS value, one piece of these would be great for an indulgent heart-healthy dark chocolate fix with not too much guilt. – Diana Kelly, Assistant Editor

Fauchon 25 Piece Signature Gift Box; $45; fauchon.com
Heart Shaped box of Gayles Miracle Chocolates
Miraculous and Long Lasting
If your special someone has an taste for fanciness, perhaps you should go the truffle route. Gayle’s Miracles Perfect Truffles are button-shaped shells individually wrapped in plastic, which makes them perfect for snacking on the go.

As a volume eater, I loved that I could enjoy four rich, melt-in-your-mouth pieces for a modest POINTS value of two. The crisp, real-chocolate shell and gooey, fat-free filling combo was so scrumptious that one treat was a satisfying sweet fix. If your lady likes to snack on Valentine’s candy for weeks after the day itself, the shelf life of these chocolates makes them a real winner. Filling flavors include mint, raspberry, milk and dark chocolate. –Lisa Thomas, Senior Copywriter

Gayle’s Miracles Valentine’s Day Special; $30; gaylesmiracles.com
Heart Shapped Grand Heart Box of Lake Champlain
Hefty Flavor
I did a double take when I saw the size of the chocolates in the Grande Heart Box from Lake Champlain Chocolate. They’re quite hefty, but that’s actually a good thing—a nice, substantial piece of chocolate can be all you need to satisfy a craving, but if the piece is too small, that might leave you reaching for seconds or thirds.

The assortment is fairly standard, including the dependable classics like almond, orange-cardamom and pecan-caramel. I first tried the "Grand Valencia," which has a chocolate mousse-like filling. The taste was subtle but quite lasting, which again prevented me from immediately grabbing another. With the samples that followed, I found the rich flavors sweet, but not overpowering. I particularly appreciated the crumble-free shells—you can be sure you’re getting every last crumb of the 1.3 POINTS values it’ll cost you. –Jamie Gerardi, Assistant Men’s Editor

Lake Champlain Grand Valentine Chocolate Heart; $38; lakechamplainchocolates.com
heart Shaped Box of Maisondu Chocolate
Sweet Sophistication
As I see it, great chocolate is one of life’s attainable pleasures, and even if your recipient is watching her weight, you can guarantee she’s set aside some extra POINTS values for chocolate. I was thrilled to taste-test La Maison du Chocolat’s finest seasonal offerings. These folks know their chocolate—the Valentine’s Day packaging is an understated red (a switch from Maison’s classic brown), and any chocolate lover will be impressed by how pristine each piece in there looks.

I loved opening the heart-shaped box and finding small diamonds and squares of milk and dark chocolate nestled in a bed of tiny chocolate beads—who needs foil or paper holders? As I bit into one, then another, the chocolates’ thin coverings snapped delicately to reveal fillings such as perfectly salted caramel and hazelnut praline. It made my day, and it’ll make your sweetie’s day as well. –Lisa Chernick, Executive Food Editor

La Maison du Chocolat Valentine’s Coeur; $34; lamaisonduchocolat.com
Box of Norman Love Chocolates
Iced and Impressive
I’m pretty hard-to-impress when it comes to chocolate, but if a guy handed me this elegant white box this Valentine’s Day, I’d certainly give him a second look. Made by ex-Ritz Carlton pastry chef Norman Love, the package opens from its corner to reveal two layers of brilliantly colored confections. When ordered over the net, the pieces are delivered wrapped in ice packs to keep them fresh and maintain their shape.

Biting into one of the rainbow-colored bonbons I was struck by how unique flavors such as “Vanilla Cupcake” and “Granny Smith Apple Puree” seem oddly at home at the center of a chocolate candy. My favorite piece, however, was a “Caramel Pecan Truffle.” Coated in candied nuts with a salted vanilla caramel and Swiss milk chocolate core, it had a perfectly balanced ratio of crunch to cream. –Laura March, Production Coordinator

Norman Love 18-Piece White Box; $40; normanloveconfections.com
ADVERTISEMENT
Free Newsletter Get it now
ADVERTISEMENT