The SFoodie Advent Calendar counts down the days before Christmas/Nondenominationalwinterholiday, one treat at a time.
"This might be a little bit big to fit in one of the little squares of your advent calendar," jokes Charles Chocolates owner Chuck Siegel of his winter collection edible chocolate box ($60). The 18-piece confection collection features standout favorites like the peanut butterfly (chocolate-covered peanut praline) and chocolate-covered fleur de sel caramels, but it was the latter sweet that inspired the edible container.
"A year after I started Charles Chocolates, I started working on our fleur de sel caramels and I needed a box, so I called the designer and he said, 'No problem, that'll be four or five months,' because he had just gotten a new job," Siegel remembers. "I am not a patient person, so that afternoon I went into the kitchen and poured some chocolate out on the table and started building a box with it. I sent it to a mold maker so I wouldn't have to wait for a normal box to be created.
"It's just not my style to wait for anything," he says.
The box is made with 65 percent bittersweet chocolate, while the lid is 41 percent white chocolate. The top features designs made with silk-screened colored cocoa butter; besides this snowflake motif, there are also edible boxes for other holidays, floral themes for collections of orange and lemon marzipan, a beautiful Japanese painting for a tea set with Berkeley's Teance, and bespoke options for companies and special occasions.
Charles Chocolates: Westfield San Francisco Centre, 865 Market (at Fifth St.), 348-8889; or at Charles' online store.
Dec. 1: Fruitcake from Schubert's Bakery
Dec. 2: Vegan Peppermint Joe-Joes
Dec. 7: Panettone from Dianda's
Dec. 8: Clarine's Florentines
Dec. 9: Boccalone's truffled mortadella
Dec. 10: Plum pudding from John Campbell's
Dec. 13: Buche de Noel from Les Elements
Dec. 14: Thorough Bread's gibassier