Scotland loves sweet things and thankfully is home to many talented chocolatiers. Here's our pick of the best

Ok, so it’s no big secret that we Scots have a bit of a sweet tooth.

This passion for sweet products, be they classics like Tablet and Crannachan through to more modern inventions like Irn-Bru and Highland Toffee, knows no bounds.

 

But it’s chocolate that is top of most people’s favourite treat lists. So we ask, who are the best producers of chocolate in Scotland?

Charlotte Flower Chocolates

(The Old Schoolhouse, Acharn, Nr Aberfeldy, Perthshire PH15 2HS, tel: 01887 830307)

Picture: Charlotte Flowers

Picture: Charlotte Flower

With a love of seasonal flavours and great chocolate, Charlotte set up her business in 2007 with the aim of combining wild natural ingredients with the best quality chocolates.

Based on the southern shore of Loch Tay, Charlotte forages for seasonal produce to make unusual fillings and infuse the chocolate with. She uses these natural products to hand-craft her delicious chocolates, all the while highlighting the unsung heroes in Scotland’s natural larder such as meadowsweet and Scots pine.

This passion for sustainability and her desire to use local, ethical and organic produce where possible has participated in her winning many awards, most recently ‘Product of the Year’ for her Meadowsweet Thins at the prestigious Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2015.

One of her most interesting products are her chocolate thins, these decorated discs of chocolate come in a variety of flavours including Scots pine flavoured Madagascan 66% couverture and meadowsweet flavoured Venezuelan white chocolate.

 

Stuart & Swan Chocolatiers

(131 Garvock Hill, Dunfermline, KY11 4JU, tel: 0131 628 8233)

Picture: Stuart & Swan

Picture: Stuart & Swan

Providing what has to be one of the most unique concepts on this list, Stuart & Swan focus more on providing a bespoke range for businesses and clients. They will make their customised collections to order and allow customers to have their own branding placed on the packaging.

Perhaps  of most interest is the jewel Collection (pictured), a range of artisan chocolates provided in ‘jewellery boxes’.

Stuart & Swan have shown their creativity over a range of projects and have created unique chocolates with flavours that have included Haggis, pink lemonade, lavender and  beetroot.

 

Chocolate Tree

(123 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4EQ, tel: 0131 228 3144)

Picture: Chocolate Tree

Picture: Chocolate Tree

Chocolate Tree is Edinburgh’s only chocolatiers who make the chocolate – whose flavours include honey & thyme and tequila & chilli – right in the shop straight from the bean. And you can’t get any fresher than that.

In an effort to connect their customers to the origin of chocolate, they create an authentic bar, with full transparency behind the scenes.

Having visited the small cacao bean plantation himself, owner Alistair Gower strives to bring in the best quality chocolate, with the added assurance that the beans are ethically sourced and organic, and offer impoverished farmers better profits as well as preserving biodiversity.

The best part about eating their delicious chocolate is it will leave you feeling virtually guilt free.

Coco

(174 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4ER and 71 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3RJ, tel: 0131 228 4526)

Picture: Coco

Picture: Coco

“Give them something different and they’ll always remember you.”

Well  they don’t come more unique and unforgettable than Coco.

The ethically traded and organic chocolatiers is based in Edinburgh and has been since 2004 – making it one of Scotland’s first chocolatiers.

With its kitchen in Summerhall and outlets at both the Waverley and Tron Kirk markets, the company is turning heads with its range of unusual tastes.

Chocolate bar flavours include gin & tonic, haggis spice and apple crumble. Don’t forget the Easter special chocolate – hot cross bun.

Coco also work with customers at their kitchen to custom make a flavour for any person or event.

Lime Tree Larder

(Lime Tree Larder, Auchencloigh Farm, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire KA25 7LJ, tel: 01505 685258)

Picture: LTL

Picture: LTL

When Alex Wilson realised how much repair a redundant stable on his farm needed, he decided to seize the opportunity to create the Lime Tree Larder.

At the end of a lime tree lined avenue – planted in 1927 by “Grampa Wilson” – this small, family run production unit opened in May 2004.

Overlooking the surrounding countryside, the Wilson family have perfected the production of chocolate and ice cream, which only friends and family were previously lucky enough to experience.

With business going well, the family renovated the Byre, giving the cows a new home, and the family a place to expand their business, now able to host workshops, parties and group visits.

Committed to producing high quality products, they only use natural ingredients to produce small batches – helping to keep the products as fresh as possible.

While this slow method will mean they’ll never become an empire, their tasty products definitely makes up for the wait.

Highland Chocolatier

(Grandtully PH9 0PL, tel: 01887 840775)

Picture: The Highland Chocolatier

Picture: The Highland Chocolatier

Iain Burnett has had extensive training in the art of chocolatiering, studying at schools in Belgium, Switzerland and France and now is sharing this with the nation at his Highland Chocolatier store.

There is very little he doesn’t know about how to make a good chocolate – which includes his multiple award winning Velvet Truffle as well as internationally renowned range of fresh cream truffles and spiced pralines.

His small dedicated team of chocolatiers are all trained in-house to maintain the meticulous quality that has come to be expected.

Using a single-origin cocoa from the volcanic island of São Tomé, the bean was carefully selected for its full range of characteristics. The chocolate is then made with an unblended fresh Scottish Cream from a particular herd of cows – with no additives or preservatives.

 

James of Arran

( Brodick, Isle of Arran, KA27 8AJ, tel: 01770 302 873

Picture: James of Arran

No trip to Arran would be complete without picking up some Arran cheese and some chocolates from James of Arran. The shop, located by the sea front, is a charming place to see and buy the range of treats, flavours of which include champagne and ginger, mandarin marzipan or passion-fruit crème.

Made in the Arran Chocolate Factory, which has been creating chocolates for 12 years, James of Arran prides itself on high quality ingredients from around the world.

 

Stacy Hannah Chocolates

(10, 42 Walkinshaw Street, Glasgow G40 3PG, tel: 07984 378565)

Picture: Stacy Hannah Chocolates

Fusing artisan natural Scottish produce with fine chocolate, Stacy produces a range of different but delicious flavour combinations in her stylish chocolates. We recently discovered her creations at Scotland’s Street Food Festival, and went back for more!

Flavours range from rose and hibiscus to salted caramels with whisky and cognac (not to mention a Cabernet Sauvignon selection) options for the spirited among us.

All are beautifully decorated, making them an ideal gift for a budding foodie or chocolate lover.

The Pittenweem Chocolate Company

(9 High Street, Pittenweem KY10 2LA, tel: 01333 311495)

Picture: The Pittenweem Chocolate Company

Anyone who has visited the annual Pittenweem Arts Festival will have enjoyed a sweet treat at this central shop and adjoining Cocoa Tree cafe.

This family-run chocolatier sources speciality chocolates from Scotland, Belgium and around the world, including single origin chocolates from hand-selected plantations.

Owner, Sophie Latinis, is passionate about showcasing fair trade, responsibly grown and unusual, exquisite flavours.

Sophie also recently launched her own bespoke chocolate range – handmade in Pittenweem – including her exclusive series of single malt liqueur chocolates, presented in attractive, wooden gift boxes.

Luxury hot chocolate, part of the handmade collection, is available to buy, and in packs ready to enjoy at home. Flavours include hazelnut, ginger chocolate, chocolate orange and dark chocolate.

The Chocolate Library

(40 Pefer Place, Edinburgh EH16 4BB, tel: 0131 337 8359)

Picture: The Chocolate Library

If you like your gifts to be personal, fun and edible, then Edinburgh’s Chocolate Library is the place to go.

Now part of the Quirky Gift Library, the Chocolate Library was established in 2008 and has been creating personalised bars ever since.

If you want to say thanks, well done, I’m sorry or I love you then check out over 800 quirky, stylish designs and eight flavours available on the site.

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