The elixir of the gods, our friend in good times and bad, the secret to a life well-lived; Chocolate. Chocolate should be an integral part of everyone’s diet (choc-haters, we do not understand you). Us chocolate lovers know all too well that chocolate comes in all different shapes and sizes, with different tastes and flavours and that it is definitely not all created equal.
What makes the perfect chocolate for you? Everyone has different criteria for their velvety delicacy. Like many, for us, it has to taste good, but we do find that there are other factors that help it bring out the flavour so to speak. For example, we find it important that the ingredients are of high quality and that the growers and workers are paid fairly. we also enjoy something a little different, something that you won’t find at Tesco. Coming across flavours created using Holy Lama Spice Drops is always a pleasure too, as it allows some of the highest quality chocolatiers in the business to craft new, unique and incredible tasting chocolates.
Anyway, let’s get straight into what we’re all here for – the best UK craft chocolate. Here are some of our favourite chocolatey picks.
Ready for the list? The best UK Craft Chocolate
25g full set of Lucocoa chocolate – £14.04
This Collection from London’s first craft chocolate masker is bound to put a smile on any chocolate lover’s face. Made from the finest organic ingredients and sourced responsibly. The collection includes a bar of 50% Milk, 60% Haiti, 73% Belize, 73% Guatemala, 70% Dominican Republic and their Natural Blonde. One of the pioneering Bean-to-Bar chocolate makers in the UK, Lucocoa doesn’t use refined sugar in their bars, instead opting for unrefined coconut sugar and lucuma a fruit from Peru.
BRIK COFFEE AND ORANGE SPHERE 80G – £14.50
The bitterness of the coffee meringue and the 70% chocolate is superbly balanced with orange-infused marzipan. If you’re looking for something a little different, something unique and exciting, then Brik Chocolate is for you.
For all the whisky lovers out there, then this is one for you. Made in Edinburgh, this delicious dark chocolate has just the right balance of whisky. Quirky chocolates also have a fantastic selection of personalisable chocolates – perfect for gifts. They’ve got bars for every occasion – be it a thank you, a sorry, a happy anniversary.
Not strictly a chocolate bar, but something I know you chocolate lovers will soon for anyhow… These brownies are absolute heaven and what’s more, there are 16 pieces! The selection box includes their best-selling Original Chocolate Fudge brownie, Classic Chunky Chocolate and Chunky White Chocolate brownie.
Handmade in London, Diana’s Chocolates are the real artisan dairy-free deal. From her Salted Caramel bar to the peanut butter, they just taste so good. If you’re after dairy-free chocolate, then look no further, get in touch with Diana.
Self-proclaimed “accidental chocolate makers” this inspiring Welsh chocolatier produces some of my favourite chocolates. Fall in love with this milk chocolate bar blended with caramel & peanut butter coated popcorn. One for the environmentally-conscious, All their UK deliveries are carbon-neutral, they use 100% renewable energy, send no waste to landfill, all their packaging is recyclable or compostable and the chocolate they use is sustainably grown.
As you know, here at Holy Lama we’ve launched two bars of limited edition chocolates, handmade by our friends at Quirky chocolate in Edinburgh, combining heavenly chocolate with our Spice Drops. We’re so please at how popular they’ve been – although I do get a little jealous seeing them all shipped out… Inline to our commitment to sustainability, each bar is wrapped in recyclable waxed brown paper.
The first flavour is our Orange & Clove Milk Chocolate Bar. A lovely melange of the two Spice Drop flavours to form a classic combination that pairs so well with the milk chocolate. With added tangy citrus pieces throughout the bar and the spicy kick of cloves, it’s a must-try.
The second bar is Rose & Raspberry Dark Chocolate. A delicious, refreshing flavour, great as pick me up at this time in the year. The delicate flavour of rose combines with tasty dried raspberries in rich dark chocolate. It’s a taste explosion!
There’s the list, it’s full of fantastic chocolates and bars, though of course, we couldn’t include everything! Now, we’re fascinated by the UK chocolate movement, read on if you’d like to know more about it and where it’s going!
What’s the deal with this whole “Bean-to-Bar” thing?
Originally a strong movement in the U.S., the bean-to-bar movement has crossed the pond and firmly settled in the UK. Bean-to-bar chocolate is a rise against the mass-produced, sugary chocolate bars of the well-known makers, it’s all about taking control of the whole making process – literary from bean to bar. These producers find the best cacao and bring it back here to do the roasting and processing, much by hand. By putting so much effort into the process, these makers are able to produce tastes that you wouldn’t know possible in chocolate. It’s incredible. There’s already a collection of chocolate makers paving the way to fantastic UK Bean-to-bar chocolate – like Lucoccoa on our list.
The artisan and craft chocolate movement
Running alongside the Bean-to-Bar movement, there’s been a notable rise in independent chocolate makers focused on making small batches of chocolate by hand. Forget Cadbury and Galaxy, these crafty folk are the salvation of our chocolate world here in the UK, with their dedication and hard work, they’re able to produce incredible tasting chocolate. Moreover, they often have strong sustainability and fairtrade values, promoting recyclable and low waste habits – something we all are very conscious of these days.
That rounds it up! We’ve just gone through some of the best craft chocolate makers int he UK right now. Do let us know which one’s you like the best – perhaps we should organise a taste session?! Thanks for reading and happy chocolate eating!