Looking for a vegan Valentine gift? Find out why The Independent rate our Chilli Caramels Heart one of the 10 best vegan gifts this year
The Independent Online recently published a review of the 10 Best Vegan & dairy-free gifts to melt a heart this Valentine's Day and we were chuffed to see our dark chocolate heart filled with chilli caramels win 'best award-winning chocolate' gift and receive 8.5 out of 10. Ok, so we would always prefer 10 out of 10, but we appreciate that a chilli caramel is slightly more unusual than a more classic sea salt (which we do make as well, but not in a vegan form).
The Independent had this to say about our "You Spice up my Life" heart:
"Things could heat up this Valentine’s Day with this spicy gift. Lift the lid on the thick, edible, 72 per cent Ecuador single origin dark chocolate heart-shaped gift box to reveal five splendidly designed chilli caramel gems. These award-winning morsels have a meltingly soft caramel centre that is more zingy than stingy – the perfect amount of chilli to sweetness ratio to hot things up. This product is made using a dairy-, gluten- and soya-free recipe, and we love that it comes in a plastic-free, fully recyclable gift box."
We like the idea of our caramel being more zingy than stingy and would quite agree! We dont want to frighten anyone!
Our chilli caramel is a relatively new chocolate which we created in Autumn 2021 for the Christmas season, but it has proven so popular that we have decided to keep making it year-round. We also entered it into the Academy of Chocolate Awards last autumn and it won a Bronze which we were very pleased with as this is our first vegan-friendly caramel and it took a lot of work to get both the taste & texture right. We make it with Oatly's whippable oat cream instead of dairy cream and coconut oil instead of butter. To give it the 'zing' rather than a 'sting', we blend both ground ancho & chipotle chilli into the caramel as well as vanilla & a touch of sea salt to round out the flavours.
The heart-shaped box is made of our new 72% single estate chocolate made in Ecuador for us by Martinetti Cocoa from heritage arriba cocoa beans grown on a single estate, Hacienda Zoilita in the Los Rios region. We are thrilled to be working with Martinetti, our first truly direct trade partnership and the chocolate, which has smooth mellow cocoa notes with hints of raisin & coffee, is both naturally vegan-friendly and soya-free.
Finally, in case you are wondering, we make & decorate each heart by hand, make & decorate all the chilli caramels by hand, then fill the heart and nestle it in its plastic-free packaging, of tissue inside a recyclable kraft box, by hand too. When we say handcrafted, we mean it!