Do you have to bring a hostess gift to dinners or parties? No! And your true friends will accept you empty-handed. But sometimes, when you'd like to contribute to the meal but the hostess won't let you, an edible hostess gift is a good idea.
I visited Soma Chocolate at The Distillery this week (during the Toronto Christmas Market) and noticed many options that would be just perfect as hostess gifts. (Update: This post was written in 2014. In 2015, the Christmas Market goes on from Nov. 20 to Dec. 20.)
They look very pretty. They're top quality. They're decadent. Your hostess will either offer them as a fabulous finish to her great meal, or she will put them away, to be savoured on a special occasion. Either way, she's bound to be pleased.
TOP-10 hostess gifts at Soma
(in no particular order)
1) Wild fennel chocolate twig
This intriguing dark chocolate treat does include wild fennel! A definite conversation piece at $12.
2) The Birch chocolate branch
My favourite! It looks beautiful! Soma had a custom mould sculpted to capture the birch details. It is filled with a Pistachio Crisp filling (whatever that is, must be good) and costs $25.
3) A bowl of Sospiri (flavoured meringues)
Sospiri means "little sighs". The $10 assortment of meringues comes in four flavours (beet, sweet corn, walnuts and raspberry), and is served in a bowl of papier maché.
Don't they look pretty? The Xmas Cake Bar includes cranberries, orange peel, hazelnuts and warm spices. The slice of dried pineapple looks amazing. The 100g bars are $8 each.
5) Wild cherries in Peruvian chocolate
Yum! You can't go wrong at $7.50 for a bag. Better take two.
6) Roasted white chocolate bar
They say each bar was torched individually. And the packaging is really cute. They're $8 for a 100g chocolate bar. (They could be combined with Soma's gingerbread animal-shaped cookies.)
7) Mix for very thick and spicy hot chocolate
This is the Mayan mix to recreate at home the thick hot chocolate Soma serves in its store. Big kids hot chocolate at $26 a 500g bag.
8) Sculptural chocolate truffles
They're $2 a piece. My favourite shape is this cone infused with natural Douglas Fir oil. On Soma's website, they write: "Think eating chocolate in a Canadian Pine forest". I think it is a good idea to buy one for each guest at the dinner so everyone can experience the same taste.
9) Mixed box of chocolate truffles
The Spicy Mayan Dome is gorgeous, but then, there's the Aged 8 Years Balsamic Vinegar Truffle, the Caramel Kiss Truffle, the Bergamot Truffle, the... (all $2 a piece).
The pretty $30 box contains six different chocolate bars: dark chocolate with slow roasted almonds, with Seville orange, with Australian ginger, and milk chocolate with candied lemon, with wild cherries and with slow roasted hazelnuts. (Are you hungry yet?)