I'm sorry. It's the 4th of January, and I know from Facebook and Twitter (not from real life obviously, as I've not been out my pyjamas for at least a week) that many of you are a short, painful way into a healthy eating phase or - even worse - a dry January. How any of you find this possible is beyond me - I am still living in an eerie parallel universe where one has a fridge full of cheese and eats smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast every day, with a Toblerone at tea time and a handful of After Eights before bed just for good measure.
And if you are one of the many currently enjoying a nice cup of chamomile and a couple of dry Ryvitas, then I'm afraid I'm quite possibly going to compound your woes by writing about the nicest chocolates I have ever had. I've been lucky enough to sample a box of Drop Dead Chocolates before, and as chief chocolate honcho Jonathan Danby (or JD as we so wittily call him, revealing our alcoholic tendencies at every turn) is one of the nicest men around he kindly suggested I try another box containing some of his brand new flavours (reasoning, no doubt, that the house of an exceptionally greedy food blogger always has room for a few more goodies at this most gluttonous time of the year).
Now to be fair, I'm quite a hard sell when it comes to chocolate. I do not have a naturally sweet tooth - a fact for which I thank my lucky stars on a daily basis, for it is all that keeps me from being the size of a comfortable family bungalow. I would often honestly rather have a sprout than a chocolate, and find most confectionery too sweet - but one of the joys of Drop Dead Chocolates is that you can make up your own selection by filling a box with only the ones that you like (ergo, no unwanted orange creams or Turkish Delight ever again). If I were to make up my own box it would consist almost entirely of Salted Caramels - the box JD gave me included four of each of the new flavours, and these four were wolfed within the space of approximately 30 seconds. For some, they would perhaps be too salty, but for me the combination of dark chocolate, salt crystals and soft sweet caramel was pretty much as good as it gets. You can see one of these fine fellows here in its sultry death throes:
Other highlights included the Tequila Slammer - every bit as decadently boozy as you would hope, and once again benefitting from a few choice grains of salt - and the Dark Chocolate Praline with Caramelised Nuts, a sexy, sturdy bullet of thick dark chocolate studded with sweet, crunchy shards. JD has also introduced a number of unbearably cute chocolates shaped like mini macarons - I found these a fraction too sweet for my tastes but did admire how each actually tasted of the fruit it was flavoured with and particularly enjoyed the Green Apple Ganache variety.
Good chocolates don't come cheap, but I would treat myself to a box of these any day over a bagful of mass-produced nonsense. The boxes look beautiful and fit perfectly through the letterbox, and the company (and JD in particular) is lovely to deal with - professional, friendly, and always happy to talk rubbish on Twitter. Have a look at the Drop Dead Chocolates website here; if you can resist buying the lot, you're a better person than me. JD gave me this box for review purposes, but I bought loads of stuff from him for Christmas presents and can offer no higher recommendation than this! And to be fair, after a dry January of cabbage soup and green tea, you know you'll deserve a big fat box of these...