Alberta Pantry: Sweet gifts to give and get


“The holiday chocolate-covered cherries are the most special thing we do,” says Mike Freeland of Cococo. Fresh B.C. bing cherries are soaked in brandy. When ready, the cherries are dipped in fondant, followed by chocolate. During the curing the brandy dissolves the fondant, leaving the spiked cherry surrounded by sweet mellow brandy. “We actually have to create a three-legged base for each cherry so they stay suspended in the middle of the chocolate during the process.” Cococo, 10103 – 124 Street, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut Manulife Place and Pleasantview Shopping Centre.



We love Newget — its chewy texture, its not too sweet finish and the fabulous blend of flavours. There’s something for everyone in the line up: Dark Berry Blast, Xpresso, white chocolate and the surprising crunch of cocoa nibs; and our current favourite, Salted Caramel. Find Newget at the Bon Ton Bakery, Gracious Goods, Orbits5, City Hall Saturday Market, December 8, 15.

Peter Johner Swiss Chocolatier

Retirement for chef and former Pack Rat Louie owner Peter Johner may be dipped in chocolate, but not all the time. “We’re retired,” he says. “We don’t want to be so busy we don’t have time for hiking and skiing.” Peter’s chocolate of choice? Swiss of course! He uses Felchlin to craft deliciously unique wine as truffles in Amarone, Champagne, and Pinot Noir flavours, as well as nutty pralines and chocolate bark. Find at Everything Cheese, Culina Muttart and Il Forno. Or, make your own. Peter offers chocolate-making classes at his charming studio west of the city in early 2013., 780-987-0333.

Jacek Chocolate Couture

Love of fashion and chocolate in equal measure inspires Jacqueline Jacek to create three impeccable chocolate collections a year. “The winter collection Bijou d’Hiver, has rich, deep flavours, pomegranate, port, something nutty for the holidays,” says Jacqueline. Jacek bars are named for style icons: Audrey, Jackie, Frank, Stella (McArtney, we presume) and La Marguerite. “For my mother,” Jacqueline says. “As she is always perfectly accessorized. ”The Jacek Christmas ornament comes in milk and dark, sits in a clear plastic sphere, with a ribbon, under $14. Find Jacek at Café Haven, Under the High Wheel, Cally’s Teas, Bon Ton Bakery, Old Strathcona Farmers Market and at the studio: 406 Kaska Road, Sherwood Park.