Mother’s Day – or Mothering Sunday for the purists – is Sunday 31 March, so put the date in your diary right now.
Whether you’re buying for a first time mum getting to grips with a newborn, or a seasoned pro with kids that have long since flown the nest, we think you’ll agree that all of our lovely mums deserve a treat.
What better way to put a smile on her face this year, than with chocolate.
Whether she prefers layers and layers of hand-decorated treats, booze-spiked truffles or just a tiny token of your appreciation, we’re sure you’ll find something to suit her unique personality here.
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse The Discovery Box, 100g: £16.37, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse
Until recently you could only get your hands on these magnificent ganaches in Paris (well worth the Eurostar over there in our opinion) but now you can order online as they ship to the UK, alternatively you can visit their newly opened shop in London’s Coal Drops Yard. Hurrah! If you’re new to Alain Ducasse, the discovery box is a great place to start.
Available in various sizes, the smallest of which contains 12 single-origin dark chocolate ganaches in completely different flavours – from the likes of smoky dark chocolate from Java to dark chocolate filled with exotic coconut and passionfruit. However if you’re feeling flush, the largest box contains a whopping 90 pieces. Hands down, the best chocolate we’ve ever eaten. Let’s hope your mum is feeling generous and will share your gorgeous gift with you.
Love Cocoa raspberry champagne truffles, 150g: £12.90, Love Cocoa
When your great-great-great grandfather is the John Cadbury, you can’t help but pick up a thing or two about what makes a great chocolate. Sadly Cadbury’s is no longer part of the family, however we think he’d be proud of what founder James Cadbury has created in Love Cocoa. Palm-oil free, Fairtrade and made in Great Britain, these patterned tubes contain truly decadent truffles.
A perfectly balanced blend of champagne, raspberry puree and fresh cream ganache is inside a thick white chocolate shell and each is finished with hot pink dried raspberry pieces. Although the champagne ones were our favourite, Love Cocoa also have tubes of pretty pink truffles containing gin-spiked white chocolate ganache, or salted caramel truffles. If you really love her you’ll get all three.
Islands Chocolate the whole gang, 430g: £20, Islands Chocolate
This chocolate brand sets itself apart with their "seed to bean" ethos. What this means is it’s grown and made in the very same place – which in this case is on family-run farms in the Caribbean’s St. Vincent & the Grenadines. This may not sound exceptional, but only 0.01 per cent of chocolate manages it. And really, who better to make tasty chocolate than the farmers themselves, who nurture the seeds from the very beginning.
Resembling four books on a shelf (which is exactly where we plan to hide our stash from greedy little fingers), this gorgeous boxed collection features all four flavours in the range. Ranging from a pure 72 per cent dark chocolate, to an 80 per cent bar with crunchy cacao nibs, followed by 80 per cent cinnamon & nutmeg, finishing with the darkest bar with 85 per cent smooth cacao.
Waitrose chocolate chest of drawers, 265g: £15, Waitrose & Partners
Is there any greater pleasure than discovering there’s another layer of chocolates waiting for you underneath when you’re done with the first one. Well Waitrose seem to think so and this gorgeous marble-patterned box contains not one, not two but three lovely layers of chocolates. There’s 17 variations to try, including chocolate pyramids, foil-wrapped truffles and heart shaped caramels – so you’re bound to find one you love.
Hotel Chocolat pillow packs, 27g: £2.50, Hotel Chocolat
You don’t have to spend a fortune to make her smile this Mother’s Day, as proven by these super cute mini packs of chocolate from Hotel Chocolat. Resembling a pack of ear plugs (which, if she’s a mother of a newborn, she might actually prefer), instead of squidgy noise defenders, it contains a packet of five heart-shaped solid milk chocolates. They’ve been decorated with a swirly pattern, which on closer inspection includes cute birds. Let the little ones choose their favourite message from "Yummy Mummy" or "Best Mum".
Fortnum & Mason milk & dark chocolate selection box, 460g: £38.95, Fortnum & Mason
We were thrilled when the iconic Fortnum & Mason eau de nil box landed on our desk. Opening it up we found a charming wildlife design printed inside the lid – this is a box you’ll want to keep long after the contents disappear. A simple bee sticker seals the tissue paper, but once through the layers there’s a beautiful selection of 25 handmade chocolates. All crafted in the UK, flavours include dark coffee cream, milk butterscotch and hazelnut baton, each a different design to each other. A traditional box for the mum who appreciates the finer things in life.
Chococo Mother’s Day selection boxes: £11, Chococo
Lovingly handmade in Dorset, this box of chocs is a real looker. The award-winning range contains seasonal flavours, so you won’t know exactly what will arrive until it does, but we loved the element of surprise. We tried the likes of "conkered coffee" (a local cold brew coffee liqueur spiked truffle), "salt sweet smoke" which combines Cornish smoked sea salt with caramel in dark chocolate and "lemon zing" with fresh lemon curd in white chocolate. Chocolates are so fresh that they only have a two week window in which to eat them – not a problem that we were faced with.
The Wolseley the chocolate connoisseur collection: £69, The Wolseley
Ok, so your budget might not quite stretch to treating her to afternoon tea at the iconic hotel, but this special gift set should make Mum just as happy. It contains a box of milk chocolate praline truffles, the ultra-rich dark sea salt caramel truffles and a tub of hot chocolate made from real chocolate flakes no less. Get the kettle on – even the loose leaf tea has been given a chocolate makeover with a blend of Indian Assam and Chinese Yunnan black loose leaf combined with Peruvian cocoa nibs and Madagascan vanilla. Everything comes in the striking monochrome packaging for the most elegant of tea parties.
Neuhaus 25-piece milk collection chocolate box, 305g: £27, Selfridges
Just launched at Selfridges is Neuhaus, a chocolate brand that have been making authentic Belgian chocolate for over 160 years. This pretty box contains 25 milk chocolates, spanning 14 different flavours. Creamy, velvety and oh-so-delicious, each and every sweet bite hit the spot. From hazelnut pralines, to cones and caramels, you won’t find any bitter dark chocolate here. Make sure you leave the nutty heart shaped red foil wrapped one for mum.
The Chocolate Libertine I love you mum hand painted heart with raspberry thins, 200g: £15.95, The Chocolate Libertine
Make sure your message comes across loud and clear this Mother’s Day, with this beautiful milk chocolate heart from the award-winning, London-based The Chocolate Libertine. The pink heart features a gold swirly hand-painted message saying “love you mum” and the clear box is wrapped in a pink bow, so you don’t need to do anything before handing it over. As an extra little surprise, she’ll find six white chocolate and raspberry popping candy thins hiding inside the heart.
The verdict: Mother's Day chocolates
We’ve honestly never tried chocolate so utterly delicious as Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse but we’d say the unique flavours are better suited for the real chocolate connoisseur. If you want something as pretty as a picture, then Chococo would get our vote for their fresh, beautifully decorated chocolates and inventive flavours.
Stacey Smith is the founder of food and drink website Crummbs
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