I’m an avowed supporter of Valentine’s Day — not as a result of I’ve a very rosy-eyed view of affection and friendships, though I’m additionally professional these issues. However I’m actually right here for the chocolate, which on
Valentine’s Day, deservedly takes satisfaction of place, dialog hearts and flower preparations however. That is the time to request and provides actually fancy chocolate, the sort of chocolate that instantly telegraphs luxurious and decadence. There’s nothing that matches that invoice fairly like bonbons.
Historically, bonbons are made with molds and include all kinds of fillings, from fruits and nuts to caramel and marzipans (in contrast to truffles, which typically include ganache). They’re a canvas for a chocolatier’s creativity each on the within and on the chocolate shelled exteriors, which are sometimes painted to resemble glistening gem stones. Whereas any field of sweets could make for a nice romantic gesture or clichéd apology, bonbons are at all times a celebration. Right here, a listing of confectioners from throughout the nation to show my level (all of them ship nationwide).
That is the place that satisfied me there’s completely nothing extra pleasant than sitting round and consuming bonbons all day. On the New York Metropolis store, Susanna Yoon manages to pack all of the flavors of different elaborate desserts — like calamansi meringue pie or black forest cake — into a stupendous bundle. You may’t choose particular person flavors if you order to ship on-line, however belief, they gained’t disappoint.
Pastry chef Jessica Wang is behind this Seattle-based, one-woman dessert omakase pop-up. Wang understands effectively that Valentine’s Day and bonbons go hand in hand, providing a limited-time vacation assortment till it sells out. The collections, accessible in six, 12, or 24 items, embody equal elements white, darkish, and milk chocolate bonbons, containing Wang’s ingenious taste mixtures, together with cassis and black sesame; black garlic, balsamic, and vanilla; and bone marrow salted caramel.
New Jersey-based Vesta Chocolate is a bean-to-bonbon chocolate manufacturing facility, that means chocolatiers Roger Rodriguez and Julia Choi Rodriguez begin the chocolate-making course of with entire cacao beans which they then course of to type the idea of confections starting from scorching chocolate to bars to bonbons. These bonbons can be found to ship in packing containers of six or 12 shock flavors, however all of them are gluten- and nut-free.
In Miami, bean-to-bonbon Exquisito Candies prides itself on moral sourcing. You may see precisely how chocolate maker Carolina Quijano turns cacao into chocolate on this episode of Eater’s “Handmade.” And for Valentine’s Day, you possibly can order packing containers of two to 12 bonbons containing flavors like guava and cafe con leche.
New Orleans bean-to-bar store Piety and Want sells packing containers of its fairly bonbons in units of 4 to 24, however the web site notes that the 12-piece possibility — a pink sparkle model of the same old set— would be the most festive. Whereas the flavors are a thriller (they’re a mixture of Piety and Want’s seasonal and signature bonbons), there may be the choice to decide on nut-free units. A vegan field can also be accessible.
Eater SF referred to as Topotgato San Francisco’s “most audacious on-line chocolate store.” The hand-painted confections from pastry chef Simon Brown and designer Beau Monroe include taste mixtures like pistachio marzipan with hibiscus jelly and pear jam with chamomile tea and a white wine ganache.
Sugoi’s Elle Lei makes bonbons in small batches out of Chicago. You may select from the brand new assortment (with flavors like beer pretzel, Chicago corn, and milk tea) or the unique assortment (flavors right here embody blueberry lavender, coconut almond, and cotton sweet pop rock), every in units of 12. However given the problem of selecting, it’s also possible to get each taste units in a field of 24 bonbons.
Houston-based Cacao and Cardamom acknowledges the jewel-like attraction of the bonbon, which right here are available quite a lot of shapes, packaged in gold-lined packing containers. Because the store’s title implies, spices take a starring function in chocolatier Annie Rupani’s flavors: there’s strawberry szechuan peppercorn, garam masala pistachio, 5 spice praline, and cardamom rose, simply to call a couple of.
The Valentine’s Day choices at Dallas-based chocolatier Kate Weiser mix my want for high quality, fancy chocolate with the gaudy Valentine’s Day imagery I unironically love. Simply have a look at these pink hearts!
In Tucson, Monsoon Chocolate places collectively packing containers of bonbons that showcase quite a lot of aesthetic types with flavors that mirror the southwestern setting, resembling chiltepín pepper, prickly pear caramel, and Sonoran sea salt darkish chocolate. For Valentine’s Day, you possibly can preorder its Sweethearts assortment, a field of eight items together with salted rose caramel and raspberry darkish chocolate, amongst others. Monsoon, too, is a bean-to-bar operation.
Atlanta-based Jardí Candies is especially effectively suited to the fruit lover. For Valentine’s Day, pastry chef Jocelyn Gragg is placing collectively a four-piece set of bonbons; flavors embody Earl Gray, blood orange caramel, amaretto cherry, and blueberry rose.
At And Sons in Los Angeles, second-generation chocolate makers stick with it the household custom with elegant bonbons and different chocolate confections. The 2024 Valentine’s Day assortment drops January 25, however the model has introduced its lineup of vacation flavors, together with buttered popcorn and strawberry Champagne.
Bon Bon Bon’s bonbons won’t have the standard domed form, however the flavors take full benefit of the anything-goes spirit of the bonbon. The Detroit store’s Valentine’s Day assortment is extraordinarily on-theme, that includes flavors like Pet Love (pet chow and milk chocolate), Stud Muffin (blueberry muffin ganache, cream cheese icing, and sweet studs), and Pandan Padam (pandan cake ganache and custard ganache). Valentine’s Day pre-orders will ship February 5.