Chocolates & Confections
Davidson Chocolate Company
You’ll find hand-dipped truffles, chocolate-dredged ginger, almond-dusted toffee, and fudgy brownies here. The Turona is big enough for two to share and boasts a hazelnut crunch base and hazelnut ganache top, enrobed in milk chocolate or dark chocolate.
The Secret Chocolatier
Every ounce of the store’s chocolate is made in the United States. The truffle menu is extensive, and for something that packs a real surprise, try the Earl Gray Truffles, which pop with a note of citrus. The dark chocolate exterior houses an Earl Gray–infused cream filling.
Bar Cocoa at the Ritz-Carlton
A six-foot, Valrhona and Cacao Barry chocolate-clad statue of Madam Cocoa greets visitors to this sweet spot. In addition to the selection of cakes and confections, the Ritz’s first-floor dessert bar hosts a daily chocolate afternoon tea and occasional five-course (all-dessert) chocolate and champagne dinners. Try the Bar Cocoa signature—a slice of chocolate cream and hazelnut dacquoise finished with a creamy hazelnut-and-chocolate glaze.
At this sweets-and-wine shop, co-owner (and Le Cordon Bleu Paris graduate) Casey Hickey will pair the perfect chocolate blend with the wine her co-owner husband, Mark, has selected. Among the fresh bonbons, look for Sweet Heat—a two-layer treat with mango and passion fruit puree blended in white chocolate ganache atop a dark chocolate ganache infused with fresh habaneros and other dried chilies. It’s perfect with the light Brachetto d’Acqui dessert wine.
Jelly beans, butterscotch, gummy bears, and gumballs abound, but this gourmet grocery store’s secret weapons are the Boca Bons—trios of truffle, fudge, and brownie that somehow land in your shopping basket, even when you came in only for bread.
SouthPark mall, 704-366-1335
Northlake Mall, 704-597-9620
Carolina Place Mall, 704-542-7821
We’ve probably all either given or received a box of Godiva chocolates, filled with flavors like crème brûlée, strawberry crème, or tiramisu, at some point in our Valentine’s pasts. But the signature candy bars, folded in shiny paper, make you feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Willy Wonka, and nothing beats the Chocolate Salted Caramel Bar.
D & D pulls out all the stops in its candy-and-confections department. Strawberry-basil aperitifs, handmade vanilla marshmallows, and bacon peanut brittle just skim the surface. Hit the sweets counter for mint thins, pecan turtles, and handcrafted truffles loaded with mocha or green tea. Or try the tiny, bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Cakes wrapped in chocolate bark, filled with Grand Marnier, and polished off with gold-dusted chocolate leaves.
14835 Ballantyne Village Way, Ste. B-130, 704-369-5250
16926 Birkdale Commons Pkwy., Ste. A, Huntersville, 704-237-4869
Kilwin’s is known and loved for the sweet, sugary aroma that spills out of the shop. A cone of hand-churned ice cream, packed with brownie bits or pralines, or a caramel apple is classic Kilwin’s, but the real treat here is the luscious Mackinac Island Fudge.
From its little Myers Park post, this confection haven offers sweets from around the world, including Irish whiskey truffles, German Marzipan Stollen, and Colombian pineapple fruit chocolate bars. The Asbach Chocolates—brandy-filled, dark chocolate bites—pack a subtle punch.
Chefs Jean Luc and Ann Marie Barrucand use classical French and contemporary methods to craft divine chocolates and other delectables, like pies, tarts, meringues, and cakes. The Barrucands pay extra attention to presentation in the plated desserts, which are adorned with extras like chocolate-covered coffee sticks, fresh raspberries, and custard drizzles. A standout is one called the Chocolate Passions. Shaped like a pair of lips, each is stuffed with passion fruit–caramel and coated in chocolate.
Ruth and Jean Paul Faure run Charlotte’s newest sweet spot. The cache here includes homemade marshmallows, caramels, and flavored truffles—but that’s just for starters. You can also pick up a bottle of wine, a box of artisanal chocolates, and a greeting card. The homemade, chocolate-covered Cake Bites come in eight yummy varieties, like “Wedding Cake” and “Carrot Cake.”