Valrhona has come a long way since pastry chef Albéric Guironnet first founded Tain L’Hermitage in 1922 (later trademarked as Valrhona in 1947). Long the choice chocolate for pastry chefs the world over, it is renowned for its bean to bar production reflecting a commitment to the particular flavour characteristics of each terroir of origin. The Gran Couva made from cocoa beans from Trinidad is a perfect example of an elegantly balanced chocolate, rich with notes of hazelnut and almond. The chocolate covered figs with a slight chew are a great alternative to chocolate covered raisins, and the variety box of 10 chocolates ranges from perfumed jasmine to praline and caramel. These sophisticated chocolates won’t have the time to melt in your hands.
(Valrhona’s Classic Bonbon Ballotin Collection, 10 pieces,100 gram; $16.99; Equinoxe Mini , sun dried figs, 75g, $9.99; 2009 Vintage Estate Grown Domaine: Gran Couva (64% cocoa) Trinidad, Plantation Gran Couva, 75 g, $5.99; www.valrhona.com/)