Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Winter is the season to celebrate love and replenishment. Brighten up these dark months and bring a little cariad into your life by sharing the best sweet treats on offer from our Welsh artisans and bakers. Think relaxed cosy suppers made that little bit sweeter after bracing winter walks. Vicky North discovers just how sweet life can be.
Edible Flower Lolly Pops, Eat My Flowers
If you’re planning your nuptials and looking for wedding favours with a real sense of place, Eat my Flowers has just the thing – edible flower lolly pops. As unique as snowflakes and a quirky addition to any top table, check out Sarah Hughes’ floral creations made on her Cae Mawr family farm in Corwen. Own-grown petals from miniature violets, primroses and roses suspended in a set sugar candy, this is a little lick of Denbighshire on a stick.
Samples start at £3.50
Milk Chocolate & Orange bar, The Sunshine One, The Little Welsh Chocolate Company
Who doesn’t need a ray of sunshine on a winter’s day? Mother and daughter team Glynis and Alison Pope carefully combine organic candy oranges with organic orange oil and luscious 40% organic milk chocolate. With an emphasis on quality ingredients, the chocolate bars are free from soy and palm oil and these tasty bars of bliss are made by hand in their ‘bijou’ Cwmbrân kitchen in Monmouthshire. The packaging is super smart with a modern feel and great to gift around Hen Galan (Welsh New Year, January 14th).
Espresso & Peanut Butter bar, Heist Chocolate
Hand-made from bean to bar by Mikey Lewis, Heist is a true chocolate experience. From his tiny, city centre factory in Cardiff, Mikey roasts, grinds, tempers and wraps Heist small batch chocolate. Once you’ve negotiated the hand-sewn packaging, which only adds to a delicious sense of anticipation, the first thing that hits you is the aroma – rich, heady cocoa. The bar amps up the concept of chocolate-coated coffee beans with the addition of salted peanuts to make the flavours sing. Treat yourself, it’s almost too good to share.
Mulled Wine Chocolate Buttons, Coco Pzazz
Embrace the Welsh winter season of Plygain carol singing with this delicious non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine. Caersws chocolatiers Coco Pzazz in mid-Wales, have paired festive red berry flavours with mulling spices and dark chocolate to create these warming hand-poured buttons. Thoughtfully packed in portions of two, these giant drops are vegan and made from ethically sourced ingredients.
Pembrokeshire Sea Salted Caramel, Crwst
Celebrate Dydd Santes Dwynwen on 25th January over dinner with your loved one or instead, fast track straight to dessert with a pot of salted caramel from Aberteifi’s much loved bakery, Crwst. Serve gently warmed in the jar over ice cream or fold through a baked cheese cake for extra depth of flavour. Made with Welsh cream, Welsh butter and Pembrokeshire Sea Salt, this is a hugely versatile product with salty, sweet and buttery flavours all rolled into one.
Double Chocolate, Siocled
Aberystwyth-based company Siocled has rethought our much loved, frosty day tipple and created an outstanding hot chocolate blend to enjoy at home. Made from a double dose of Belgian chocolate flakes and chunks, and enhanced by a touch of brown sugar, this is hot chocolate in its purest form. Simply boil fresh milk in a small pan and combine with Double Chocolate to serve, or reduce further over a low heat to create a thicker, more dessert-like drink. You’ll never want to return to cocoa again. Available on-line via food network Discover Delicious Wales.
‘Hynibyns’ recipe, Paned a Chacen baking book by Elliw Gwawr, Y Lolfa Press
Wales has a rich baking heritage with much more to offer than Bara Brith alone. Discover the ‘Hynibyn’ (honey bun), traditionally made by long established Popty’r Dref bakery in Dolgellau, Gwynedd. Made with enriched, yeasted dough with a sweet, gooey centre, Honey Buns were traditionally exchanged by sweethearts on special occasions. BBC political correspondent and baking buff Elliw Gwawr has now brought the buns to a wider audience in her cookery book, Paned a Chacen. Originally from Dolgellau, Elliw has tracked down the original, secret recipe to share with her readers. Visit the bakery at the heart of this Meirionnydd market town, or gift your time to someone special and bake these honey buns together.
Coffee and Dark Chocolate Liqueur, Aber Falls Distillery
This elegant liqueur from Aber Falls distillery in Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd, is inspired by the classic Espresso Martini cocktail. Bitter-sweet chocolate is combined with rich, fruity coffee notes and distilled with water filtered through Snowdonia granite rock. Smooth and sweet, enjoy neat over ice or try your hand at the ultimate after-dinner drink. Simply add a generous dose of Coffee and Dark Chocolate Liqueur with a spoonful of brown sugar to a cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee. With a steady hand, carefully pour lightly whipped double cream over the back of a dessert spoon onto the coffee surface, keeping the coffee and the cream separate. Enjoy straight away with good conversation.
Macaron, Cocorico Patisserie Cafe
Breton Laurian Veaudour’s French patisserie in Cardiff is just the place to toast your Mam over afternoon tea with a pot of fragrant brew and a jewel-like macaron. The almond delicacies are outstanding, made with thoughtful ingredients and crafted by artisans at the top of their game. The bakery regularly update their selections, keeping the macaron creative with flavours to choose from such as Tonka Bean and Hazelnut, and Lychee, Rose and Strawberry. The colours alone will bring sparkle to a gray winter day.
Rhubarb Fudge, Sarah Bunton Chocolates
Take a trip from Aberystwyth on the Vale of Rheidol Steam Railway to popular tourist destination Pontarfynach (Devil’s Bridge) and you’ll be greeted not only by spectacular views, but also by multiple award-winning Sarah Bunton’s Welsh Chocolate Shop, just a stone’s throw from the station platform. It’s worth the trip for the Rhubarb Fudge alone, handmade with Welsh ingredients and a buttery balance between tart and sweet. Sarah’s fudge is popular with fans worldwide and as far flung as Japan. Good taste travels.
Chocolate Marble Take Me, Bake Me Cake Mix, Siwgr a Sbeis
A super innovative idea from long established Llanrwst bakery Siwgr a Sbeis in Llanrwst, the Chocolate Marble Cake Mix offers the pleasure of home baking with the convenience of pre-prepared ingredients. The kit includes a mixing bowl and wooden spoon and is made with carefully weighed dry ingredients. Simply add butter and eggs for perfect results without the waste - even the packaging is reusable, doubling up as a cake tin for fuss-free bakes.
£8.50 gift set
Ginger Cake, Popty Bakery
Ginger cake is perfect for Winter when we crave rich, dense treats to fuel us through the colder days. Enjoy with a steaming cup of tea or possibly a tot of rum when you really need warming through. Look no further than third-generation Popty bakery, run by husband and wife team Marian and Gwyn Williams, for their award-winning bakes. Made in Llanllechid in the mountains of Snowdonia, their ginger cake is sweet, sticky and balanced with spice. Equally delicious served warm with rum butter sauce for a memorable finale to Sunday lunch.