In the annual decision of what to get your special someone for Valentine’s Day, chocolate inevitably makes the cut every year. Whether presented as part of a grand date or gifted independently of other extravagancies, chocolate is almost always a welcome addition to any romantic gesture, and thankfully, the East End offers more than your typical kisses and bars. Hamptons and North Fork chocolatiers have concocted some truly inspired treats this year—from bonbons to heart boxes to hot chocolate bombs. Show your special someone how much you care with these enticing local chocolate offerings.
North Fork Chocolate Company has always gone above and beyond for the holidays, but this year owner/chocolatier Steven Amaral has gone above and beyond with the new individual three-inch sweetheart cakes, made with layers of sea salt caramel mousse and flourless chocolate cake; long-stem chocolate-dipped strawberries and long-stem chocolate roses. “Most exciting,” Amaral says, “is our heart boxes that we will have pre-packaged for in-store shopping, curbside, delivery and shipping, and they’re available on our website for online shoppers.” The chocolate company also offers a diverse line of cocoa bean bars with flavors including Rough Rider bourbon, New York red wine, organic coffee, toasted almond and a tasty sugar-free bar made with monk fruit. The last day for Valentine’s shipping is Sunday, February 7. Visit shop.northforkchocolate.com or 740 Main Road, Aquebogue to shop.
Jaimie Burns of Sweet Treats by Jaimie has assembled Valentine’s gift boxes with cake pops, hot chocolate bombs, dipped Oreos and pretzels and surprise-filled breakable hearts. “You smash them with a hammer and they’re filled with candy, or you can put a gift card, money or a ring in them,” Burns explains. Her trendiest offering, however, has got to be the hot chocolate bombs, which seem to sell out as soon as she makes them, “I can’t keep them made quick enough—as soon as I get them done, they’re sold!” Anyone who orders a Valentine’s gift can either schedule to pick it up at Burns’ Cutchogue home on Saturday, February 13, or, for an extra $8, they can have in personally delivered on February 14. Find more information on the Sweet Treats by Jaimie Facebook page or contact Burns directly at 631-875-1768.
The hot chocolate bomb trend has also hit the Hamptons’ Serious Chocolate in a big way, with chocolatier Tina Mulholland coming up with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, milk caramel, dark caramel, dark raspberry, milk s’mores and white chocolate flavor explosions, each packed with plenty of hot cocoa and mini marshmallows. And speaking of trends, the fashionable 3D chocolate dress shoes are absolutely darling and come in both a men’s loafer and a women’s heel. Other handcrafted options include wine bottle box chocolate samplers, puckered lips lollipops and assorted chocolate boxes—some of which are actually made of chocolate themselves. “Our very elegant chocolate crudité platter is an amazing gift solo or combined with our chocolate wine bottle and four-piece truffle box, any of our fruit and nut barks or clusters in a gift basket,” Mulholland adds. Local delivery and shipping are available. Call 631-728-1770 or visit serious-chocolate.com to learn more.
While Nancy Powers’ Southold brick-and-mortar isn’t allowing patrons inside at this time, North Fork Girl Chocolates is fully operational with an impressive selection of Valentine’s goodies on offer through contactless pickup. Her delicious chocolates are available in assorted heart boxes and as foiled hearts, and her other goodies include nonpareils, chocolate-covered Oreos and sea salt caramels, nutty chocolate turtles with caramel and more. And on Valentine’s weekend, she’ll be serving decadent chocolate-covered strawberries, as well. “It’s very hard to explain the things I make, because they’re all different creations,” Powers says of her countless chocolatey concoctions. “It’s a lot of work, but I love it!” Valentine’s shoppers can call the store as late as the day-of for premade chocolates and gifts, but custom orders should be placed earlier in the week. Check out the North Fork Girl Chocolates Facebook page to peruse photos of the many gift packages on offer, then call 631-765-8300 to place an order.
New to the North Fork is Disset Chocolate, an online artisanal chocolate company recently founded by Ursula XVII that just released two exciting collections—one for the winter/spring season and one for Valentine’s Day. “My holiday boxes are inspired by the holiday itself, so for Valentine’s I think of strawberries, caramels, flowers and things like that,” Ursula says. “Then we put the Disset spin on it, where our strawberry bonbon actually has a little bit of black pepper in it, so they’re very unique in that sense.” The most unique concoction in the Valentine’s collection is undoubtedly the dark chocolate sparkling rose pate de fruit, which invokes the flavor of Sparkling Pointe’s Cuvee Carnaval sparkling wine and, thanks to a sprinkle of golden Pop Rocks, actually gives the tingling sensation of enjoying a glass of bubbly. Other bonbons in the 12-piece holiday assortment include salted caramel, raspberry rose and white chocolate edible flower. Valentine’s delivery is available to those living on the North Fork, Orient to Riverhead, on Wednesday, February 10, and all shipping orders should be placed by Monday, February 8. Visit dissetchocolate.com for more info.