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News / chocolate

How to Make Chocolate Gift Jars

How to Make Chocolate Gift Jars

Well, you've probably heard of hot chocolate in a jar, and while it's a great idea - many people find that preparing it can be a hassle. So in this post, we're going to discuss some fantastic ideas for making chocolate gift jars that everyone can enjoy. 

OK, let's dive in. 

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Your Guide to Personalised Chocolate Gifts

Your Guide to Personalised Chocolate Gifts

When it comes to gift-giving, chocolate is one of the top choices. Who doesn't love the rich and creamy treat? Whether your recipients prefer milk, white or dark chocolate, there is a range of gifts for everyone. 

In this post, we'll discuss how to choose the right presents and the things you should consider before making a purchase. Whether you want to buy for friends, family, colleagues or employees, here's your guide to personalised chocolate gifts. 

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A Guide to the Top Chocolate Brands

A Guide to the Top Chocolate Brands

Chocolate is one of those indulgences that everyone looks forward to. Regardless of your gender or age, you probably enjoy a sweet treat from time to time. In this guide, we'll reveal some of the top chocolate brands. 

Whether you're a confectioner or love stocking up on wholesale chocolate, these are the brands you need to know about.

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Chocolate Bars We'd Love to Make a Comeback

Chocolate Bars We'd Love to Make a Comeback

Ah, chocolate. It's sweet, creamy, delicious and the perfect way to unwind after a long day. Whether it's with coffee, wine, milk or even water, the majority of people in the UK enjoy treating themselves to their favourite bar. 

From long-time favourites such as Cadbury's Dairy Milk to the Snickers and Hershey's brands, so many chocolate bars have stood the test of time and are still as popular today. But unfortunately, many others failed to make the long-term impression they needed to survive. 

Let's take a look at the chocolate bars we'd love to make a comeback. 

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Why Is Storing Chocolate In The Fridge Bad?

Why Is Storing Chocolate In The Fridge Bad?

It’s no secret that we’re a nation of chocolate lovers. We're spoiled for choice from old favourites such as Dairy Milk and Nestle to Green & Black’s and luxury Belgian chocolates. Whether you’re old or young, male or female, vegan or flexitarian, one thing's for sure; you probably like chocolate. 

If you’re one of those people that can enjoy a few squares of chocolate and save the rest for later (you have our full respect), then storing your chocolate can bring up some questions. 

Should you store it in the cupboard? Wrap it in clingfilm? How about putting it in the fridge? 

There’s a common misconception that storing chocolate in the fridge will keep it fresh and make it last longer. But in this post, we’re going to reveal why that’s the last thing you should do. 

The Cons of Storing Chocolate in the Fridge

The most common reason people store chocolate in the fridge is summer. The season is renowned for melting our favourite treats, so it’s only natural that people decide to keep it in the refrigerator. 

Unfortunately, not only does the fridge alter the texture of your chocolate, but it can also change the taste. Let’s take a look at what happens when you chill your favourite bar of candy. 

Texture Issues 

Creamy, silky, deliciously indulgent; chocolate is so much more than a taste sensation. If you’ve sampled Galaxy, you’ll be aware of a smooth texture, while Green & Blacks have a rich, yet delicate surface. 

Melted chocolate tastes delicious, especially when it’s combined with marshmallows or strawberries. But when it melts naturally, you can’t control the consistency, and many people often end up with a half melted mess. 

Storing it in the fridge might seem like the ideal option, but doing this means your chocolate can develop something known as a sugar bloom. 

When your chilled chocolate comes out of the fridge, the warmer temperature will cause the sugar to crystalise, which often leaves a white surface 

The biggest problem with crystalised chocolate is that it loses its silky texture and becomes grainy or brittle. 

Taste Issues 

Let’s face it, we buy chocolate for its taste, so many people would hate to lose that aspect due to putting their favourite bar in the fridge. While some think only the texture changes, there are almost certainly going to be problems with the taste. 

Cocoa butter is known to absorb odours and flavours, so when you store your chocolate in the fridge, it can end up tasting like your leftovers! The last thing anyone wants is grab a chunk of their favourite candy and find it tastes of broccoli. 

Chilling your chocolate can also stop it from releasing the flavours, so as you can imagine - you’re basically throwing your money away. 

What Can You Do?

It’s clear that storing your chocolate in the fridge isn’t a good idea, so how can you enjoy your favourite candy at any time of the year? Here are some fantastic tips for storing your chocolate and keeping it tasting delicious. 

To ensure your chocolate stays in tact, you should aim to store it at a temperature of between 10℃ to 20℃. The best place is usually in a cool cupboard or a cellar because the sun doesn’t affect those areas. 

In some rare cases, you might need to store your chocolate in the fridge - especially if we’re in a Great British heat wave (well, we can dream). 

Use an Airtight Container 

Your best option to preserve your chocolate is to use an airtight container. They’re excellent for storing food because the containers don’t allow any air to enter, and they can protect your chocolate from absorbing other flavours. 

There are plenty of containers around, but we recommend one with locking handles. Most people use them for meal prep because they keep vegetables and fruit fresh. 

Consuming Your Chocolate 

When you decide to eat your chocolate, you’ll need to remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes before bringing it to room temperature. Don’t place the chocolate directly in the sun because you should gradually let it return to its normal state. 

Leave the chocolate in the container, and let it warm up before you serve it. Your candy will taste delicious, and you won’t have to worry about a grainy texture. 

Now you know that chocolate can be stored in the fridge; as long as you follow the proper steps, you can take advantage of the lower prices associated with wholesale chocolate

Things to Consider

In some cases, refrigerating your chocolate is necessary. For example, if you’re making chocolate covered strawberries, then you’ll need to melt it down, cover the strawberries with your chocolate and refrigerate the dessert. 

If you do decide to cook with chocolate, it’s best to use chocolate chips. They’re easier to manage, and most brands are designed for melting. You won’t have to temper the chocolate chips, and you’ll get the best results. 

Tempering is the process of slowly heating and cooling the chocolate, so it doesn’t crystalise. It’s incredibly complicated with everyday brands, but chocolate chips will give you a uniform finish without compromising taste or texture. 

The Bottom Line 

Chocolate is a delicious treat, and nobody should have to go without it. It’s one of the nations favourite indulgences, and if you do have the self control to save your candy for later, you can store it in the fridge. 

Appleton’s has a range of wholesale chocolate and confectionery available. Whether you’re a retailer, small sweet shop owner or just really love chocolate, we have some fantastic deals on big brands such as Cadbury and Nestle to craft chocolates from unique manufacturers. 

If USA candy is your thing, check out our range of Hershey’s and Reese’s pieces. The two brands are much loved worldwide, and Reese’s are packed with peanut butter for maximum flavour. 

We also have a selection of dietary sweets. Whether you’re vegan, diabetic or just on a diet, you can choose from chocolates, gummy candies and traditional boiled options. Shop today for our special offers.

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Personalised Father Day Gifts

Personalised Father Day Gifts

Father's Day is fast approaching, and on the 20th of June, we'll all be showing the main man in our lives what he means to us. For some people, choosing a Father's Day gift is easy, but others might struggle. Men can be difficult to buy for, and if you've got a picky dad, you're probably dreading what to get him. 

Have no fear, because we've got a range of personalised Fathers Day gift ideas that are sure to please. Better still, some of them are inexpensive but offer a lot of meaning. Let's dive in. 

The Meaning of Father's Day

Fathers have always played an essential role in our life, and the tradition can be traced back to the middle ages. Traditionally Father's Day was held on St Joseph's day, but in the USA, it began due to one woman's mission to celebrate the importance of Father's in our lives. 

After her father died in a mining accident in 1908, American woman Grace Golden Clayton petitioned for a day to remember lost dads and their impact on their children's lives. 

In 1972, the USA made Father's Day a national day, perhaps to honour men that lost their lives fighting for their country. 

Today, we still celebrate the special day, and it's the opportunity for people to come together and show appreciation for their loved ones. 

The idea of Father's Day is for families to spend it together and offer gifts to the main man in their life. Most people celebrate with dinner, and it's similar to Mother's Day. 

If you're wondering what gifts you should buy, there are a range of options. The most important thing to remember is you don't have to spend a fortune on expensive gifts because it's the thought that counts. 

Here are some personal gifts that any man is sure to love. 

Simple But Sweet

Some people worry about what to get men, but there's no need. Sometimes all you need is your favourite bar of chocolate, and your dad is the same! If Cadbury's is his thing, then keep it simple with a personalised bar of Dairy Milk. 

It's one of the oldest chocolate bars around, but the creamy texture and delicious taste are why we still enjoy it. You can order a unique 850g bar with his name on it, and that's a great way to show you care. 

Not to mention, he won't be short of chocolate for a long time to come. 

Cake & Chocolate Set 

Cakes and chocolate; now those are two things no mere mortal can resist. So imagine combining the two for the ultimate Father's Day gift. Whether you make the cake yourself or buy it, he'll love it. 

Choose his favourite cake, and make sure you include a personalised message. Now for the fun part; selecting the sweets. 

You can mix it up with chocolate, such as Yorkie and Mars bars, or stick to traditional boiled sweets. Place the cake in a box, and put his favourite candy on top of the cake. 

Not only does this taste great, but it also shows how much you care. 

The Football Lover

FINALLY, after waiting for a long time, we're getting ready to watch England in the Euro's. The pandemic means the event had to be delayed, but this year is the perfect time to celebrate, making it through challenging times. 

Head to your local sports shop and pick up this year's England football shirt. If you want to go all out, you can even get it personalised with his name on the back. Once you have the shirt, you can get a round container, decorate it to resemble a football and fill it with his favourite sweets. 

Some great choices include chocolate footballs and traditional pick n mix sweets to enjoy watching the game. 

Retro Sweet Jar 

A long time favourite and sure to please, the retro sweet jar is a nostalgic surprise that takes people back to their childhood, from fan favourites such as lemon sherberts and humbugs to clove sweets, violet creams and chilli strawberries. 

You can choose any sweets you want and fill the jar to the brim. Add your dad's name to make it more personal, and we guarantee he'll love the gesture. 

Haribo Sweet Jar 

As the company says themselves, 'Kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo.' Everyone loves the gummy sweets that come in a range of flavours, so regardless of how old your father is, we guarantee he'll be happy with the surprise. 

Here are some of the most popular Haribo options: 

Gold bears: One of the oldest offerings from Haribo, these small jelly bears pack a whole lot of flavour in each mouthful. 

Starmix: The most popular Haribo choice, Starmix has a range of jelly sweets, including foam eggs and hearts. 

Tangfastic: Like Starmix but with one significant difference - Tangfastics are sour sweets with a huge flavour. 

The Hobbyist 

If your parent enjoys a particular hobby, then the best way to celebrate Father's Day is to show him that you do notice he's a human being too. Gwynedd Confectioners stock a range of themed gift sets, including a chocolate football box. 

We particularly like their golf set, which features chocolate clubs and a golfer. You can keep it simple by choosing a gift related to your dad's favourite hobby and adding some of your favourite sweets too. 

Whatever you choose, there are some excellent chocolate gift sets that won't break the bank and will be sure to please him. 

The Wrap Up

Father's Day is a cause for celebration, and while the day symbolises much more than gifts, it's always a good idea to get something special. Money isn't important, but small gestures often show how much you care, and it's the thought that counts. 

With so many gifts to choose from, it's crucial to think about what you can afford and the meaning behind the present you select. Appleton's has a range of candy for all tastes, and with our speedy delivery times, you can show your dad how much he means to you.

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The Best Easter Candy 2021

The Best Easter Candy 2021

Easter is the one time of year when we can all make excuses for the excessive amounts of chocolate we consume. Whether you're religious or not, Easter is about giving and receiving chocolate eggs, gifts, candy and spending time with your loved ones. 

With so many choices available, it's hard to know which easter candy is best to celebrate the occasion. This post will reveal how a religious holiday came to involve chocolate and discuss the best Easter candy for adults and children. 

The Significance of Easter

Children Egg Hunting

As a religious holiday, Easter is meant to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. While most Christians celebrate it by attending a church service and spending time with their family and friends, the British public as a whole celebrate the day by giving and receiving chocolate eggs and other gifts. 

Many years ago, church leaders would not let people eat eggs during the lead up to Easter. For a week each year, people would collect eggs laid, decorate them, and give them to children as a gift during the holy lead up to Easter. 

Victorians changed the tradition from real eggs to cardboard versions covered with satin, which then developed into the chocolate eggs we know and love today. 

In the 19th Century, France and Germany introduced chocolate eggs, but they were bitter to taste, which meant the chocolate was overwhelming for people. As confectioners improved their methodology and new technology became available, easter eggs developed into hollow shells filled with delicious treats. 

While there were many chocolate eggs in the late 1800s, the modern egg can be attributed to Cadbury's, which launched their dairy milk chocolate in 1905. Today, most Easter eggs are made from milk chocolate. 

What Role Does Confectionery Play?

Easter eggs are a staple, but many forms of confectionery are used to celebrate the holiday. While people give large chocolate eggs as gifts, confectioners create a range of treats to suit people of all ages and taste preferences. 

Easter Parties 

Easter is a popular time to gather people together, so it's common to serve a range of sweet treats for guests to enjoy. While offering everyone a large egg isn't practical (or cheap), purchasing Easter sweets is a cost-effective alternative, and everybody loves to indulge in a delicious treat. 

Easter Egg Hunts 

If you've ever taken part in an Easter egg hunt, then you'll know how fun they can be. Both adults and children love adventure, and it's an excellent way to bring people together to enjoy a special day. 

Small chocolate eggs and sweets are hidden in different areas, and there are usually clues that point people to various locations to find the eggs. 

Top Choices for Easter Candy

Chocolate eggs in the basket

With so much to offer, Easter is one of the most loved holidays in the world. When it comes to candy, there are plenty of choices available to people of all ages. Let's take a look at some of our top picks. 

Candy for Children

Children are probably the most prominent demographic for candy stores to focus on, and they love Easter. If you want to stock a wide selection of chocolate, it's best to focus on smaller items that parents can use for parties and egg hunts. 

Most people will buy large eggs from their local Supermarket but look to confectioners for wholesale Easter candy. Let's take a look at some of the best choices for children. 

Chocolate Foiled Eggs 

Taking inspiration from the solid chocolate eggs of the 19th century, chocolate foiled eggs are similar but made out of milk chocolate. They're small, easy to transport and perfect for parties and Easter egg hunts. 

Speckled Eggs 

A favourite among many, speckled eggs have a hard outer shell and are filled with delicious chocolate. Popular brands include Cadbury's Mini Eggs, but wholesale candy eggs have the same rich taste, with a much lower price tag. 

The only thing you need to think about with these eggs is they don't come with individual wrappers, so they might not be ideal for hunts. They are, however, great as gifts and for parties. 

Foam Eggs 

Foam eggs are one of the best candy inventions around, and there aren't many that would willingly say no to a bag of them. While there are Haribo mixes that include fried eggs, you can buy Easter sweets from confectioners, including tubs of eggs and other jelly sweets. 

Easter Treats For Adults

Adults love Easter too and often use the day as an excuse to indulge in their favourite treats. While adults might not necessarily enjoy children's confectionery, there are still plenty of options available. 

Beech's Chocolate Boxes 

Creamy, indulgent and delicious, Beech's is a favourite among adults. Their boxes of chocolate creams come in a range of flavours, including ginger, orange, coffee, rose, mint and strawberry. 

You can also buy wholesale boxes of Beech's chocolate covered nuts, which are ideal for giving as a gift, or used to create a homemade Easter hamper. 

Retro Chocolate 

Nostalgic gifts are timeless and take people back to a time where there were no work or childcare commitments. With old-time favourites such as jazzies, chocolate mice, fish n chips and chocolate coins, an Easter pick and mix bag is a thoughtful treat that's sure to please. 

USA Gifts 

The USA is home to many wonderful things, but their chocolate is always popular with people in the UK. Let's take a look at which US offerings are perfect as Easter gifts. 

Hershey's 

The American equivalent to Cadbury's, Hershey's is renowned in its native country, and we love it in the UK too. Flavours include:

  • Milk chocolate.
  • Cookies and cream.
  • Cookies and chocolate.
  • Cookies and mint.
  • Strawberries and cream.
  • Sprinkles and cream.
  • Hershey's Gold (which combines peanuts and pretzels). 

Reese's 

The peanut butter giants, nobody makes chocolate like Reese's. Rich and creamy treats include peanut butter cups, sticks, bars and pieces. Most peanut butter treats from Reese's are also available in dark and white chocolate. 

Now you know which Easter treats are the most popular choices; you can stock your store or cupboards for the special occasion. Don't forget to check out our other posts, including fun facts about American soda.

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Does Chocolate Go Bad?

Does Chocolate Go Bad?

One of the greatest pleasures in life is enjoying a bar of chocolate. It doesn’t matter how old or young a person is, because the one thing we all have in common is our love of confectionery. With so many flavours and brands to choose from, chocolate is one of those gifts that is sure to please the recipient. 

While most people enjoy buying and consuming chocolate, many don’t know much about the ingredients, manufacturing process and how to store chocolate correctly. Most importantly, few know if chocolate goes bad or if it lasts for years. 

In this post, we’ll unearth the truth behind chocolate and expiration dates, as well as look at some techniques you can use to keep your confectionery fresh. 

What Are Expiry Dates?

To understand how long chocolate lasts, we need to explore the two most common labels you’ll find on food packets in the UK - ‘best before’ and ‘use by’. Best before and use by dates are often thought of as the same thing, but there’s one distinct difference you should be aware of. 

Best before means that the food and drink you consume is of the highest quality before the date specified on the label. But use by means you should consume the food or drink before the date, or it could result in health consequences. 

Chocolate rarely has a use by date, and most brands will display a best before label on their packaging.

How Long Does Chocolate Last?

Chocolate Candies

So you’ve been doing your annual spring clean and come across an old bag of chocolate. Can you eat it? Well, to understand if chocolate goes bad, we need to look at many factors such as the type of chocolate, how it’s stored and when it officially expired. 

In general, unopened chocolate is ok to eat past the date specified on the packaging. Storing the candy at room temperature or in the fridge doesn’t make much of a difference in your chocolate quality, but you should always try to eat it within the expiration date. 

While chocolate doesn’t necessarily go bad and consuming it past the expiration date, the taste and texture won’t be as good. 

How your chocolate tastes past its best before date depends on the type you eat. Let’s look at the different chocolates available and how long they might last. 

White Chocolate 

White chocolate is known for its creamy taste and texture, but some people find it too rich. Because of the sugar and milk content, white chocolate is the most unreliable when it comes to best before dates. 

In general, unopened white chocolate will last for around six months after the best before date, but if it’s open, then you should half that time. 

Dark Chocolate 

Dark chocolate has a distinctive taste that many might find too overpowering, but it’s a healthy way to enjoy chocolate as it’s much lower in sugar and milk. Unopened dark chocolate will keep for around two years, but if it’s opened, then you should consume it within one year. 

Milk Chocolate 

Perhaps the most popular chocolate variety, milk chocolate is renowned for its creamy texture and subtle taste. If left unopened, your Dairy Milk or Galaxy will last for around a year. You have eight months to eat it if the wrapper is removed or torn. 

Baking Chocolate 

Baking chocolate (or cooks chocolate) has less sugar than other varieties and lower dairy content. You can store it unopened for up to two years before the quality is compromised. 

Cocoa Powder 

Cocoa powder doesn’t go bad as such, but you will notice it loses quality the longer you leave it. If left unopened, your powder will last for approximately three years. Opened cocoa powder will be sufficient for a maximum of two years before it begins to taste funny. 

Chocolate Chips 

While baking chocolate has a long shelf life, chocolate chips are slightly different. They’ll last unopened for two to four months, but if you’re using them for cookie dough, they’re good for up to two years. 

Belgian Chocolate 

There’s nothing quite like Belgian chocolate, is there? It’s a high-end form of confectionery with a velvety texture. The thing about this type of chocolate is it won’t last long at all. You need to consume it within two weeks. 

If you want to make it last longer, you can freeze the chocolate for up to two months. Handmade chocolates and truffles have the same shelf life, so always be prepared to devour them or freeze them. 

How Can I Tell If Chocolate Is Going Bad?

Other than the best before date, there are some telltale signs that chocolate is losing its quality. Knowing what they are can save your tastebuds the displeasure of sampling bitter chocolate. 

Cracks or Dots: If you begin to notice cracks or dots on your chocolate, it’s a sign that you should think about throwing it away. 

White Spots/Discolouration: You should never eat chocolate that shows signs of discolouration because it’s a sign that the fat and sugar are separating from the cocoa. Sugar and fat blooming are common issues, and while the chocolate is still safe to consume, it won’t taste good. 

The Best Ways to Store Your Chocolate

Plastic containers

Now you know that chocolate doesn’t necessarily go bad, but time will impact its taste. You can make sure any chocolate you purchase lasts longer by storing it correctly. Consistency is critical here, and it’s always best to store confectionery in a cool, dry place. 

Store open chocolate in an airtight container to preserve it for longer and leave it in the wrapper instead of using clingfilm. If you choose to freeze your chocolate, you can remove it from your freezer and let it thaw before consuming it. 

The Wrap Up 

There’s no reason not to take advantage of wholesale chocolate prices, because there are so many ways to preserve your stock. Following the simple steps, we mentioned in this article means you can supply your customers with high-quality chocolate without missing out on excellent wholesale chocolate offers from the UK’s leading confectionery suppliers.

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Fry's Chocolate Cream Bar

Oldest UK Candy Bars Still Around (and still popular)

One of the nation's favourite pastimes is indulging in chocolate and sweets. Luckily, there are so many available, and we're all spoilt for choice. There are some chocolate bars we grew up with, and many new offerings hit the market each year. But, which retro sweets and chocolate bars are as old as your great-great-grandparents? Let's find out. 
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Ideas For Sweets and Chocolate Gifts

Ideas For Sweets and Chocolate Gifts

Christmas is coming, and that means it's time to think about the joy you're going to spread this year. There's no better way to show your loved ones you care than by sending them sweets and chocolate gifts. We have some fantastic ideas for you, so let's get started. 
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