Food: A Taste Of Designer Chocolate

For those looking to send a personal message with chocolate, M&M's will print sweet nothings on 600 grams of their candy for €23, or portraits for €29 (mymms.com). But now luxury chocolatiers are taking personalization to a whole new level. The Sir Hans Sloane Chocolate and Champagne House in London offers a set of chocolates by award-winning master chocolatier Bill McCarrick, who consults with each client for four to six weeks before creating a confection with the perfect taste, texture and aroma. For €1,500, customers receive their chocolates in a hand-made box with rosewood stringing and ripple sycamore inlays. The company even promises to keep recipes under lock and key so no one can duplicate them (sirhanssloane.com). But for more immed-iate gratification, the special-order Marie-Belle Chocolate Picnic Steamer Trunk, made of textured leather and antiqued brass hardware, is filled with more than 13 kilos of gourmet chocolate; a teapot and tea infuser, and even a hand-bound chocolate journal for filling with memories of chocolate-induced delirium (€9,490; mariebelle.com). Now that's something even Willy Wonka would appreciate.

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