4 Dec 2017

Chocolatiers Christmas Gift Ideas

Drawing on originality: Jolly new kids’ chocolates with real Christmas character.

What better way to explore the wonder of Christmas than to view it imagined by a child? From that first falling flake, to dashing out to a garden white out with one snatched mitten to roll a fresh blanket of snow…

This magical perspective inspired Rhona, our chocolate sculptress, to shape and create our new Jolly Snowman, Penguin and Santa. Her starting point is never off-the-shelf moulds – every hollow shape is an original.

We sketch out where Rhona started her journey…

What would our snowman look like?

I looked at cartoons, kids’ drawings and real snowmen. It needed a little ‘imperfection’ to make it perfect. Imagine a child rolling a snowman, there are lumps, bumps, nothing is slick, that’s what makes it endearing.

Can you spot the odd glove?

From watercolour sketches, the next step was sculpting in chocolate, the perfect medium to capture imperfect details. All of his accessories are those odds and ends gathered in a hurry when it finally snows. Spot some original little quirks, including one mitten and a mismatched glove.

Making headlines…

…and the making of Jolly Santa: as featured The Telegraph’s Gourmet Gift Guide

Santa with Rhona’s red specs

Beyond the grinning, waving, expected Santa, I wanted one with real personality, a character that looked familiar and wise. Colour was used sparingly, I didn’t go for a glowing red jacket, as it detracts from the detail of the mould. I did add a personal little quirk of red glasses, I happen to have a pair!

Penguins with personality

Our penguin looks like he’s up to mischief. He’s slouchy and wears his bobble hat slightly skew-whiff. Instead of opting for the obvious flash of white on the chest, I picked out smaller details, his beak and black eyes. I wanted the character, not the colour to come through.

Tag hide and seek – find them all…

Every detail was hand modelled, except the logo for our tags. Artwork had to be exact for this, so we used digital printing. To find each tag, it’s a little like hide and seek, as they’ve become part of the character. Santa might be sporting his coat inside out, also check labels on penguin’s bobble hat and snowman’s scarf.

Handcrafted detail, 3D-captured

Each carved character was 3D-scanned to make a two-part hollow mould. They’re spun, or rotated very slowly in a giant cylinder so the chocolate reaches every part. Spinning sounds fast, but it’s actually quite slow. The result? Every lump, bump and detail, first hand modelled, is captured.

Kids’ chocolate with more imagination – and less sugar

We always start from a higher cocoa ratio. You’ll spot that in our Jolly Chocolate Santa in vegan-friendly 70% dark and Caramel, Jolly Chocolate Snowman in high-cocoa white and Jolly Chocolate Penguin in 40% milk.

Look out for our Posse of Penguins too, mini-me versions of our mischievous original.

New Chocolate Coins

Did you know Aztecs venerated cocoa so highly they counted it as currency and used bags of beans to barter? This Christmas, so do we! Our new chocolate coins in 40% milk is counted in cocoa beans, sketched, then sculpted by Rhona, based on aged treasure you’d find in an old casket with all of its worn character.

See our coins come to life…


Meet the man who made Her Majesty

Our coins are in good company. In a real working mint, production of chocolate and real coins whirs and stamps at a steady pace. Raphael Maklouf, owner, and sculptor in his own right, shaped the portrait you might find on coins in your pocket of Her Majesty The Queen (1985 to 1997).

Sketched, sculpted, then stamped in a real working mint

Raphael helped Rhona realise, and foil-wrap her vision. Tower Mint were one of the first in this country to stamp coins with real prestige, from palaces to museums, and the only mint in the UK still working in chocolate today.

We also presented a first, using our own 40% milk chocolate ‘blanks’, so we shape and make the coins lining stockings. Rhona’s sculpture was translated, cast and die-cut (two negative impressions, front and back or ‘dies’ are used to strike a coin on each side).

The result is a positive, the coins you’ll see bagged up and foil-wrapped ready to be placed on tip toes in Christmas stockings everywhere.

We love originals. Share your Christmas crafty moments or even freshly rolled snowmen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter #imagination

From imagination to creation, explore our new Christmas range with real character.

Happy Christmas!