We have developed a small ritual in our house, which consists of the fire being lit at 4pm, so it has been roaring for a good 30 minutes before my bambine get home from school. And then we drink tea, talk about our day and dunk a biscuit or two.
It acts as a break to propel me away from my desk and stops me becoming saddle sore and walking like a cowboy (I sit on a perching stool).
Recently, I made some hobnobs, throwing in a handful of Guittard milk chocolate chips right at the end. The results were life enhancing and, basically, got me through the long, dark days of February.
So, too, did these following bars. First, Cocoa Retreat’s Gianduja, £6.25/45g, which is a darkish milk with rich, roasted hazelnuts in cacao from Peruvian Fortunato beans. Its Coffee Milk, £6.25/45, 60% Ecuadorian cocoa, was also gorgeous and both had what I can only describe as a fulsome mouthfeel, very satisfying, and rather too easy to eat.
For something more fragrant and unusual, try Salcombe Dairy’s marriage of Rose and Milk chocolate, £6.50/80g, 48% cocoa. It’s super creamy with a wonderful, delicate hint of rose – if that’s your thing you’ll love this.
Finally, Latitude’s Semuliki, £4.95/70g is a serious, grown-up, punchy bar from Uganda with great credentials – 50% of the farmers are women, a beautiful wrapper and a seriously interesting taste.
Follow Annalisa on Twitter @AnnalisaB