Chocolate-related gift guides (hint hint)

Serious Eats has put together a gift guide for chocolate lovers.

In other gift guide news, Vosges makes another appearance in Chow’s annual Winter Gift Guide. The folks at Chow.com are clearly big Vosges fans – or at least big fans of receiving Vosges as gifts (exhibit A, B, C, D). Hey Chow, Vosges is tasty, but there tons of other worthy chocolatiers out there; your thumbs up could be their big break!

And finally, Taza and Mast Brothers get a shout-out in Chow’s list of 10 Mail-Order Gifts for the holiday season.

Hedonist Holiday Truffle Collection

Remember when I reviewed Hedonist truffles that were maybe no longer for sale? That’s because they replaced them with new truffles, their Holiday Collection, comprised of Champagne Pomegranate, Egg Nog, Fig, Ginger Molasses, and Orange Clove. I was lucky enough to get a free sample box to try (and managed to pick up a hidden away cardamom truffle while I was there!).

Champagne Pomegranate is a molded dark chocolate shell with a milk ganache. It smells lightly fruity. The truffle contains definite fruity notes of red fruits, but I wouldn’t place it as pomegranate, exactly. I get some light, boozy undertones from the champagne (though that could be my imagination). Finally, the light sprinkle of granulated sugar on top was a nice textural touch.

Egg Nog is a dark chocolate shell around a creamy white chocolate ganache. The flavor profile is nearly all nutmeg, with a light eggy-ness below. It tasted super fresh, but it was too much nutmeg for me.

Fig smells absolutely lovely, of fresh cinnamon. The ganache is chock full of figgy-ness, as in actual bits of figs. The figs impart a light chew and grit that blend so well with the duskiness of the dark chocolate and the strong cinnamon notes. It works really nicely!

Ginger Molasses was a dark chocolate shell with a super creamy molasses ganache, topped with bits of candied ginger. I love that topping and the ganache. The latter tastes like creamy brown sugar with dark notes of molasses and goes well with the dark chocolate couverture.

Orange Clove is yet another dark chocolate shell, this time topped with a bit of candied orange peel. It has strong clove notes with a citrus undertone; the clove comes through first, then a light citrus/orange oil essence comes through. It’s too much clove for me, but clove is in the name, so it’s not unexpected.

The ginger molasses and the fig are my favorites and merit OMGs. Champagne pomegranate gets an OM, and orange clove and egg nog, while well made (like everything Hedonist does), gets an O. All in all, a lovely, seasonally-themed set.

Fannie May Giveaway

As best as I can tell, Fannie May is a Chicago candy institution, and I made sure to try them out when I visited Chicago a couple of years ago (reviews here and here). They’ve been around since 1920, and while most 90 year-olds aren’t terribly tech savvy, Fannie May’s entering their 9th decade with an online marketing/social media campaign. They’ve created a website that lets you choreograph dancing Fannie May chocolates and share the results with your friends.

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As Fannie May puts it: “Think ‘Elf Yourself ‘ meets the ‘California Raisins'”.

I don’t think it will manage to go viral, but it’s fun and cute, and my Chicago-an friends are totally getting goofy dancing chocolate holiday cards. Like this one that I made.

If you’ve got a few minutes of internet time-wasting to spare, go check out the site! Each of the four chocolates have their own set of moves, some better than others. Then, come back here and leave a comment. Tell me which dance move is your favorite (either for the chocolates or in real life) or leave a link to your own Fannie May dance creation.

Leave that comment by 11:59 pm on December 27th. On December 28th, I’ll randomly choose 2 comments, and each will receive a $25 gift certificate to Fannie May, courtesy of Fannie May, which can be used in stores or online. One entry per person, please. Good luck!