"we have hand-picked 30 kinds of cacao that are a must try for all chocolate lovers! Lets get started with our virtual advent calendar to get you ready for World Chocolate Day."
World Chocolate Day is just around the corner, and what better way to show appreciation for the sweet treat than by trying a whole host of new varieties? There are so many out there to try before 7th July, but with some help from the sweet toothed folk at Cairn Collection, owners of many hotels in Jesmond, we have hand-picked 30 kinds of cacao that are a must try for all chocolate lovers! Let’s get started with our virtual advent calendar to get you ready for World Chocolate Day.
1. Superfood ‘raw’ chocolate
The chocolate market has grown vastly in appreciation for dietary requirements, cue the rise of chocolate for the health conscious amongst us! With additions such as spirulina, maca powder, and ginger, these chocolates can boast a whole host of vitamins and minerals, which are often lacking in the traditional form. Pacari’s spirulina range also contains coconut sugar, and is nut free, gluten free, dairy free, palm oil free, and vegan… it’s chocolate, but not as we know it!
2. Avocado white chocolate
The millennial craze for avocados has reached new highs with the creation of white chocolate infused with the fruit. Avocado has split opinions in the past, so you will either love or hate this one, but you won’t know until you give it a go!
3. Salted caramel swirl
This one has been popular for quite a while now, as it offers something just a bit different with the salty and sweet combination. A luxury option to look out for is Paul A Youngs’ range of sea salted caramels, available in PAY’s chic London boutiques, a delectable souvenir to pick up in the capital.
4. Green tea KitKat
The product designers at KitKat have revised their classic bar, and turned it green. Their green tea range is set to hit the shelves of UK stores in 2019, and it could become the new way to take a break when the mid-afternoon munchies hit! KitKats are massively popular in Japan, with over 300 flavour varieties available. Green tea has been prominent for the past few years, regarded for its array of health benefits including its role in aiding digestion.
This one packs a punch, and not everyone will look for a spice sensation in their choice of chocolate bar. Nonetheless, it has been hailed as oddly genius, and it was even sold by chocolatier Lindor in the US, with bars still available to order from some ecommerce sites. If you can handle the heat, try a square or two. It isn’t the only ingredient from Asian cuisines to appear in chocolate, as soy sauce can be used in baking for brownies.
6. Irn Bru chocolate
Found at York’s Chocolate Story, this chocolate replicates the flavour of the popular carbonated beverage, providing a unique tasting sweet treat. The popular York venue is a must for sweet toothed tourists, as guests can create their own varieties as well as sampling some of the finest cocoa and learning about its history.
7. Brown mice at the oldest sweet shop in England.
Staying in Yorkshire, the town of Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate, is home to the oldest sweet shop in England and it stocks some historic sweet treats. The humble brown chocolate mouse is never a bad addition to your pick and mix bag, and they also have a range of vintage favourites, including Caramac bars and Walnut Whips. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
8. Chilli chocolate
This mouth tingling choice is available widely, with many strengths to choose from. For those who do fancy some sizzle with their sweet treat, chilli chocolate is excellent.
9. Goat’s cheese
A goat’s cheese chocolate truffle is one of the most popular options for this quirky alternative, which is renowned as a waistline-friendly option. Find these in specialist chocolatier stores or try baking a homemade batch.
Now here’s an interesting one. Hickory smoked bacon and 62 per cent dark chocolate have been combined to produce a revolutionary experience for even the most experienced of chocolate connoisseurs. Prepare your taste buds for this fusion of two food icons; it really does capture the best of both worlds.
A well-rounded, woody flavour, tobacco invokes a distant taste experience when used in chocolate bars. It is popular in truffle form, but it could prove difficult to get a hold of as it is illegal in several countries, including the United States.
12. Shiitake mushroom
Hated by some and loved by many, mushrooms are a popular ingredient in global dishes, and they have even appeared in chocolate bars. The earthiness of the mushroom creates a full-bodied chocolate, and they are sublime when used to make ganache. Some brands even choose to leave whole chunks of the mushroom within the chocolate bar, making for a unique texture! The jury’s out on this one.
This eclectic choice takes the pungent notes of ginger and intertwines them with a rich cocoa. Ginger is known for curing ailments such as sore throats, so technically this chocolate could become your newest go-to health remedy!
14. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes have been the ‘in-thing’ for health addicts looking for an alternative to the carb dense white potato, and now chocolatiers are taking inspiration from the deep orange hued vegetable. The possibilities are endless in terms of flavour, as the sweet potato provides a creamy base and multiple antioxidants, making it a guilt-free treat!
15. Camel’s milk
We are all familiar with the cow’s milk in our dairy chocolates, but what about swapping to a camel’s milk based product? Al Nassma are a leading Dubai based chocolatier, who specialise in producing the finest quality camel’s milk chocolate. They have finessed their development process, allowing enough time to achieve perfection.
Available widely and in an extensive range of cocoa contents, organic chocolate is produced without harmful pesticides, following Fairtrade regulations which helps to support workers and their local communities to produce goods sustainably and fairly.
Chocolate and beer make for a notorious partnership, sample a Hotel Chocolat cocoa beer infused truffle and experience it yourself! Hops and rich chocolate are a match made in heaven.
Two sensual, bold flavours unite to produce coffee flavoured chocolate. This really is a winning combination, and an unmissable one to try in the run up to World Chocolate Day. Supercharge your chocolate with this organic espresso bar from Seed and Bean!
19. Popping candy
Popping candy chocolate catches the consumer by surprise every time. The small explosive sensation ripples through your mouth upon eating, making it a real sweet experience.
Fennel is another divisive taste, so this one could spark some controversy. A little goes a long way with fennel infused chocolate, as it strikes up an aromatic taste which departs from the conventional chocolate bar experience. Another similarly spiced up variety is cardamom chocolate. Why not try a bit of both!
21. Dairy milk
A quintessentially British choice, the classic Cadbury’s dairy milk is a coveted favourite, ranked the UK’s number one chocolate bar in 2018. Simple options are therefore remaining a popular choice, despite a plethora of new alternatives!
22. Mars bars
Another long-established British name, the mars bar has been around since 1932, originating in Slough. The caramel/fondant combination has proved timeless throughout the years.
23. Champagne truffles
A truly luxurious option, those with refined palettes will savour a champagne truffle for their creamy texture which simply adds to the extravagance. If you are looking to celebrate World Chocolate Day with the finest produce, opt for a champagne truffle — or two!
24. Potato crisp
Two of the most common snack foods come together to produce this one, capturing a crisp saltiness and combining it with delicious chocolate. It really is a snack-fiend’s dream, so be sure to break a few squares of this one off!
25. Flower power
Flowery notes such as rose and geranium are becoming regular experiment for chocolatiers trying to uncover a new hidden gem, and they often work brilliantly when teamed up with a fruity addition. The innovative British brand Montezuma’s are pioneering floral chocolate with their dark chocolate orange and geranium bar.
26. Rocky road
The popular traybake has been adapted into a chocolate bar by Choccywoccydoodah, a UK based experimental chocolatier. Honeycomb, marshmallow fudge, nougat, jelly beans, and coconut ice are all expertly crafted into one bar. Will you be tucking into this one?
27. Cheese and crackers
This one is literally crackers — crafted in Newcastle upon Tyne by The Chocolate Smiths, it captures the taste of the infamous post-dinner snack. Who would’ve thought cheese and crackers would become a chocolate bar flavour?
28. Goji berries
A sweet, yet healthy alternative, goji berry chocolate bars are common alternatives to combat the longing for a sugar fix. They work deliciously in dark cocoa bars, bringing a sharp new flavour.
Another British classic here, with the marmite chocolate bar. Don’t knock it until you have tried it, you could be surprised!
30. Bounty bar
Ending the list with controversy, the Bounty bar has been a hot talking point across the nation. The coconut flavour isn’t enjoyed by everyone, but the bar was listed 3rd in the UK’s official favourite chocolate bars in 2018. The tide could well and truly be changing for bounty!
Enjoy a new favourite treat every day leading up to World Chocolate Day this year!