We combed Columbus for gifts to satisfy your sweet tooth or that of your sweetheart.
Whether you view chocolate as an aphrodisiac or a heart-healthy companion to your favorite glass of red wine, the indulgence is undeniably linked to expressions of love. To satisfy your sweet tooth or that of your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, we gathered together gift ideas from around Columbus for the chocolate-lover in your life.
1. Raspberry Cassis Flourless Torte from Pistacia Vera
You may already be familiar with Pistacia Vera’s showstopping Chocolate Bombe, but equally impressive is this decadent nut- and gluten-free torte topped with mirror glaze. The introduction of cassis, a black currant liqueur, helps slice through the rich layers of chocolate ganache and mousse.
Details: Available year-round; $6 mini; $24 terrine (pictured); $39 large
2. Chocolate Madeleines from Laughlin’s Bakery
Bakery owner Jonas Laughlin takes pride in each of his creations, but especially the madeleines, which he describes as “delicate and rich, beautiful and elegant, refined and simple.” Alongside a signature lemon version, Laughlin’s features a seasonal specialty each month, such as February’s dark chocolate offering, glazed in a house-made chocolate cocoa syrup.
Details: Available every Saturday in February; $1.50 each
3. Chocolate Truffles from Pure Imagination Chocolatier
Pure Imagination’s handcrafted truffles, made in Switzerland using a custom chocolate blend, showcase the “time, patience and love” that go into making each one, says owner Daniel Cooper. As a signature item for 23 years, Cooper takes pride in every truffle he decorates, using what he calls the “finest of the finest ingredients.”
Details: Available daily, with holiday specials; $7.95–$28.95 based on the size of the box
4. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from Chocolate Café
A classic for a reason, hand-dipped white, milk and dark chocolate strawberries are sold year-round at the Grandview-area café, but last Valentine’s Day set a new record, with more than 2,000 bought in one day. Owner Lisa Boyle says her chocolate, which is melted down in 10-pound blocks, sets Chocolate Café’s berries apart from any you might try to make at home.
Details: Available year-round; $39.99 per dozen
5. King Dongs from Bake Me Happy
For the nostalgic Valentine, treat them to a taste of childhood with this gluten-free take on the classic Ding Dong from the Merion Village bakery. Featuring a dense, fudgy cake filled with marshmallow crème and dipped in dark chocolate, Bake Me Happy co-owner Wendy Miller Pugh says, “It does not taste anything close to the original ... in a good way!”
Details: Available daily; $3.50 each
6. Chocolate Jam and Chocolate Bars from Mmelo Boutique Confections
The modern confectionery Mmelo offers an all-natural, organic and whole-food approach to its artisanal confections and pastries. Owner Michelle Allen’s chocolate jam recipe offers a creamy, rich chocolate made with healthy fats, no dairy and half the sugar—it’s also vegan. Allen recommends spreading the jam on fresh focaccia. Also, don’t miss Mmelo’s Instagram-worthy White Chocolate Splendor or Dark Chocolate Blueberry and Mango bars.
Details: Available year-round; $8 per 200-gram jar, $8 per bar
7. Chocolate-Covered Wine Bottles from Winans Chocolates + Coffees
For a two-in-one gift, consider having your Valentine’s favorite wine bottle dipped in milk, dark or white chocolate at Winans’ Downtown or German Village locations. The Piqua-based confectioner and coffee roaster carries a range of pre-dipped bottle options from $10 to $150. You also can bring in your own bottle and have it dipped (with 48 hours’ notice).
Details: Open on Valentine’s Day from 7 a.m.–8 p.m. in German Village and 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Downtown; price of the bottle plus $20 for dipping
Food styling by Betsy Becker and Lauren Reinhard