Now that we’ve wound down on the Christmas lights and the New Year’s Eve decor, you’ll probably realise you’re being bombarded with faux firecrackers and Chinese New Year couplets.
Yet, the flashing red neon signs shouldn’t distract you from another cause for celebration this February.That’s right, Valentine’s Day is coming.
The Beatles may have crooned, “All you need is love,” but we’d like to take it one step further — we need chocolate too. Given that Valentine’s Day is sweeter than most ordinary days just makes it all the more reason to stuff yourself (and your loved one) silly with endless chocolate goodies.
Rather than splashing out on international chocolate brands that just about anyone can get their hands on, why not grab some artisanal ones from our very own local chocolatiers? No, these aren’t your average homegrown brands: their creations mirror the unique stories and culture from the chocolatiers’ lives on the little red dot to form treats you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Here, we’ve put together a list of Singaporean chocolatiers with the most precious creations for you and your loved one. Discover them all below.
(Hero and featured image credit: Wai Kay Photography for Laurent Bernard)
Local brand Fossa Chocolate ensures that every bar of chocolate from their doors is carefully handcrafted — from roasting and cracking to winnowing the cacao beans in-house, the bars are made in small batches with no additives to showcase the unique flavours and nuances of each batch of cacao. Don’t expect run-off-the-mill flavours here either: uniquely Singaporean concoctions like Spicy Mala and Salted Egg Cereal Blonde await to tantalise your tastebuds.
The brand has recently launched two exclusive flavours in collaboration with Food Folks at Lau Pa Sat too: one’s a fruity concoction of chewy lychee and crunchy dragon fruit, and the other’s a sweet caramelised bar infused with tons of pineapple tart flavour.
If you’re looking for chocolate gifts that come from the heart, you can’t go wrong with the assortment at Lemuel Chocolate. Here, find delicious boxes of bonbons that come in local flavours like Kaya Toast and Milo, as well as other favourites like Strawberry and Matcha.
Planning to make your Valentine’s a little more hands-on? Lemuel also hosts a Chocolate Truffle Making Workshop at their Westway outlet that introduces participants to craft chocolate and the bean-to-bar-process, complete with truffle ganache making and a truffle rolling experience.
It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together, and no one knows this better than Anjali Gupta. After leaving a banking job and undergoing training in Istanbul and the UK Callebaut Chocolate Academy, she founded her own chocolate company, Anjalichocolat. Now, the local artisanal brand is home to a permanent “From Singapore Lah” collection, featuring exciting flavours such as Singapore Sling, Chinese 5 Spice, Lemongrass Coconut and Mango Pudding.
French artisan chocolatier Laurent Bernard founded his very first cafe in Singapore 15 years ago after more than 20 years in the culinary world, along the river at Robertson Quay. The chocolate bar-cafe is home to some seriously indulgent treats: think chocolate truffles filled with chocolate grand cru centre ganache coated in dark chocolate and rolled in cacao, and luxurious cakes layered with vanilla and white chocolate cremeux, milk chocolate mousse, dark chocolate mousse and dark chocolate sponge.
Nestled in the quiet Sin Ming neighbourhood, Mr. Bucket Chocolaterie is your modern, local version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The store is dedicated to promoting Asian chocolate, and strives to do so by using only regional cacao to create a glorious menu of beautifully made bonbons, chocolate bars, drinking chocolate, and chocolate liqueur.
From a salted egg yolk bonbon made in collaboration with The Golden Duck to a double soy caramel bonbon that incorporates two types of soy sauce from local soy sauce maker Kwong Woh Hing, one thing’s for sure: you won’t be able to find these flavours anywhere else in the world.