Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best chocolate makers
We've consulted the experts to bring you the best Northern Ireland has to offer - the places, the food, the music, the craic.
Michele Shirlow is the chief executive of Taste of Ulster/Food NI. Since she took up the position six years ago,membership has grown to more than 200 restaurants, cafes, hotels and producers. She is also a never-recovering chocaholic.
Asked to name Northern Ireland's five best chocolate makers, she recommends...
La Coquine, Holywood, 028 9560 8065
Brenda Fraser makes mini works of chocolate art almost too beautiful to eat. She's not afraid of experimenting with big flavours, and even bacon (yes!). They're made in small batches so they're as fresh as can be. You can find her at Victoria Square monthly food market and she runs a mail order service.
Norr and Brown, Todd's Hill, Saintfield, 07921 846468
Ann McCandless and her grandson Jack are gifted with chocolate work. I love popping into their cafe at Todd's Hill in Saintfield for a coffee and a little sweet treat. I think everyone should taste their ganaches and honeycomb covered in the best quality chocolate at least once in their lives (I do it much more than that). If you stay overnight there'll be a chocolate on your pillow.
Foster's Chocolates, Divinity Drive, Portadown, 028 3835 0869
Foster's have decades of experience in chocolate making. No doubt you'll have come across the distinctive boat-shaped company design. They come with marshmallow, peanuts and even Rice Krispies. Their best-seller happens to be my favourite Chocolate Honeycomb. When I'm feeling less sophisticated, I munch on the chocolate animals. Their big chocolate boxes are full of retro classics such as uber-popular truffles. www.fosters chocolate.com
Julie Snoddy at the Lavender Room and Frou Frou, Townhall St, Enniskillen, 028 6632 7366
Julie Snoddy's shabby chic cafes are the place to find all manner of chocolate delights. She's a master baker. The best quality cooking chocolate finds its way into the best-selling Flourless Chocolate Gateau and brownies. Her son worked at the famous Rococo Chocolates in London and found he was brilliant at chocolate truffles. You know where to get your fix.
Flossie's Fudge, Drumahoe, 07843 776423
Ok, fudge isn't strictly speaking chocolate, but they use so much of it at Flossie's that I just had to put it in. Debbie Leslie's buttery recipes just love the chocolate she puts in. The dark is complemented by zesty orange. Raspberry makes good friends with the white chocolate, and you get the best of all worlds with the marbled variety. They're just so moreish.
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