Existing for centuries, chocolates are one of the best crowd-pleasing desserts that can be moulded into unimaginable forms.
Expressing love for your beloved or a munching snack to satiate your sweet craving, chocolates serve various purposes and there is an array of options to choose from. And, if you are an aficionado who wants to walk the extra mile to savour a bite of exquisite dark chocolate or tuck into gourmet milk chocolate bars, then some of the most expensive chocolate brands have a lot to offer and are worth the price indeed.
As it is, the very thought of rich aromatic cocoa beans tempered to perfection for creating luscious chocolate bars is enough to tempt us, adding exotic elements takes it a notch higher. Chocolates are gustatory delights any which way, add to it an edible gold leaf, stunning sugar pearls or truffle oil. Taking things further, a Swarovski chocolate box for packaging adds an opulent touch. These among others constitute some of the reasons behind expensive chocolate creations.
Such is the global popularity of chocolates that 7 July is celebrated as World Chocolate Day to commemorate the entry of chocolates into Europe in the 1550s. And, to celebrate a delicious day like this, we have created an interesting list which is sure to make you feel like Charlie lost in a chocolate factory.
Here are some of the most expensive chocolate brands and their creations
House of Knipschildt
The premium chocolate brand was established by Danish chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt in 1999. Its Café Chocopologie in Norwalk is probably the best place to treat your taste buds to the rich decadent dark chocolate bar and truffle creations the premium brand has to offer.
The house’s La Madeline au Truffe is one of its most sought-after and expensive chocolates. It was titled the ‘most expensive chocolate in the world’ by Forbes in 2009, as per its official website. The gorgeous chocolate ganache is made of 70 percent Valrhona dark chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, truffle oil and vanilla. A rare French Perigord truffle (a rare mushroom) is enveloped by this rich ganache and then rolled in cocoa powder.
Each La Madeline au Truffe is made to order and has a shelf life of seven days. It is presented on a bed of sugar pearls encased in a gold box tied with a ribbon. If you have a liking for dark chocolate ganache then this creation is the one to try. It comes at a price tag of USD 250 a piece.
DeLafée of Switzerland
If you want to taste luxury, nothing gets better than indulging in some fine Swiss pralines wrapped in edible gold leaf.
DeLafée is a Swiss brand known for its unique and delightful mix of chocolate and edible gold. The house’s golden truffles are made of cocoa beans, coconut oil, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and milk powder. They also have 24-karat gold leaf as a special ingredient, which elevates the desserts and reinvents traditional chocolate products with a touch of extravaganza.
The DeLafée gold chocolate box is a coveted luxury gift box comprising eight fine Swiss pralines topped with 24-karat edible gold. Additionally, the box comes with an antique Swiss gold coin dating back to the 1910s to 1920s.
This chocolate box is priced at 470 CHF which is about USD 490.
A renowned Belgian luxury chocolate brand, Guylian is known for its unique chocolate creations, especially the iconic chocolate sea shells and sea horses.
The house makes these delicious creations using 100 percent pure cocoa butter and hazelnut praline filling made of caramelised and roasted hazelnuts, simply elevating these chocolate marine elements to another level.
One bite into the Guylian sea shells is enough to know why the brand is considered among the most luxurious chocolate brands in the world. Founded by Guy Foubert in 1958, the company uses fine Belgian chocolate made from a blend of exquisite West African cocoa beans. These cocoa beans are sourced ethically and makers try to improve the lives of cocoa bean farmers in various ways too.
It is not an exaggeration to call this Ecuadorian chocolate brand one of the most valued chocolate houses in the world.
One of their signature products is the To’ak Art series Guayasamín. Priced at USD 450, this dark chocolate creation is a homage to Oswaldo Guayasamín, one of Ecuador’s most celebrated artists.
Regarding the Art series, the website mentions, “two vintage editions of To’ak chocolate with totally different personalities [are] carefully blended into a beautiful and exceptionally well-balanced expression of Ecuadorian dark chocolate.”
The chocolate maker ages its rare cacao beans in a French oak cognac cask for four years to get the rustic earthy notes, just how whisky brands age their drams in special wooden casks for enhanced flavours.
For chocolate lovers willing to push boundaries and experiment with its taste, Maison Richart is one of the best brands in the world. Characterised with tropical citrus fruity notes, scintillating flavours and aromas, Richart chocolates are a treat like no other.
Their iconic creation Palets d’Or is simply brilliant. A bite of the crisp dark chocolate coating of these small square delights unearths a smooth creamy ganache centre made of Bresse and single-origin cocoa from Peru. Taking things further is the edible gold which is the perfect aesthetic topping for these chocolate squares. Not to mention the hint of tartness and heavenly aroma that sets it apart from the other expensive chocolates in the world.
Maison Richart has been making some of the finest and most wonderful chocolates in the world since 1925. Try their Palets d’Or gift basket collection priced at USD 122, or an 81 piece sampler called Infuzely, comprising an assortment of milk chocolates and fruit fillings priced at USD 185 for layered flavours.
You may have heard of artisanal chocolates quite often but Amedei creates some of the most delicious and lavish chocolates in the world. With a 50g Amedei Porcelana chocolate bar priced at approximately USD 12, this luxury brand is all about premium products and traditional techniques.
Based out of Pontedera in Tuscany, Italy, the company controls all aspects of production including sourcing the raw materials to shipping the final chocolate bars to doorsteps. Amedei Toscana has received 92 national and international accolades for its divine creations. It has also received the ‘Golden Beans’ award from the Academy of Chocolate in London the highest number of times.
The Porcelana chocolate is one of the most expensive chocolates produced by the brand and the chocolate tablets are priced at about USD 11 for 50g. It owes its name to the delicate, white and translucent texture of the genetically pure cocoa bean called Criollo. The rare bean is processed and coupled with cane sugar, cocoa butter, hazelnuts, fruits and walnuts. The Porcelana chocolate has also bagged accolades like ‘Best Bean to Bar’ and ‘Best Dark Chocolate Bar’ from the Academy of Chocolates. The praline truffles, made of bitter cocoa, grappa, vin santo, rum and gianduia are priced at about USD 18 for 80g.
Vosges Haut Chocolat
Another luxury chocolate brand known for experimenting and infusing rather unusual flavours into chocolates is this Chicago-based chocolate shop owned by chef Katrina Markoff.
Who would’ve thought that mouth-watering luscious chocolates can have bacon, wasabi, Indian curry, chilli and sesame as flavours? But Vosges Haut Chocolat does it and the creations are a crowd favourite. In fact, their smoky bacon truffles are something you wouldn’t want to miss. Their range of gourmet artisanal chocolates including Dulce de Leche bonbons, machengo and cherry dark chocolate bars, caramel and chocolate ganache truffles and ginger turmeric milk chocolate are sure to enliven your taste buds.
Any order is priced around USD 69 and one of their popular gifting options is the luxury gift box, priced at USD 325, which comprises the brand’s exotic truffle collection as well as a bottle of Krug Champagne. All the items are elegantly packed in an iconic purple box.
MarieBelle New York
“Life is all about the pleasure and happiness we find in food, art and beauty,” says MarieBelle New York founder Maribel Lieberman.
The Honduras-born chocolatier imbibes art into each of her items. Untie the cocoa-coloured ribbon of the blue box and step into a world of artistic chocolates. The Ganache Cien Blue Box comprises 100 pieces of handcrafted scrumptious ganaches that are extremely pleasing to the eyes. Priced at USD 290, these are nothing short of art pieces and are made from fine single-origin chocolate and other intriguing ingredients.
Such is fame and popularity, that the chocolate brand has won the hearts of several celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez, Whoopi Goldberg, Kirsten Dunst, Ralph Fiennes and Susan Sarandon.
Recipient of innumerable awards over the years from the Academy of Chocolates, Hotel Chocolat is a leading name in the British chocolate sector. The house was opened to the public in 2004 in North London, and since then has been redefining the shape, taste and texture of traditional British chocolates.
A must-try item is the Billionaire’s Shortbread Giant Slab. Priced at approximately USD 5 for 77g, it is a delicious blend of caramel, 50 percent milk chocolate, generous amounts of cookies and hazelnuts. The house also uses more cocoa than sugar in all its products and so is a healthier option than most other chocolatiers.
The Everything Chocolate gift box is the best gift for those who cannot decide what to take from the endless options offered by this luxury brand. Priced at about USD 35 for 444 g, it has the best of every chocolate bar, salted caramel slabs and truffles available.
(Main image credit: Luiz Paulo R Santos/ @lp_fotographia/ Unsplash; Feature image credit-Food Photographer| Jennifer Pallian/ @foodess/ Unsplash)