There is definitely a ring to World Chocolate Day which we like the sound of… and it appears that it has been created to simply indulge in a bit of chocolate eating, which is absolutely fine by us!

Celebrated since 2009, World Chocolate Day is thought to mark the introduction of chocolate into Europe in 1550, although there has been evidence found suggesting that the cocoa bean was used to make a chocolate drink dating back as far as 1750BC!

Chocolate is now big business, with a number of heavy weight brands cornering the market. Guylian is best known for its chocolate seashells; Cadbury for its Dairy Milk, The Hershey Company for its Hershey Kisses, and not to mention Mars Incorporated and Lindt!

Whether you prefer milk, dark or white, this sumptuous sweet element can be paired with fruit (think strawberry or raspberry), spices (ginger or chilli!) and other delicious flavours to create something really quite special. Chocolate is an incredibly versatile ingredient though and can be found in a number of classic savoury dishes. The dark chocolates tang and intense flavour makes iy an excellent accompaniment to a variety of meat dishes, from beef and chicken to lamb and game. But chocolate works equally well with earthy vegetables, like mushrooms and aubergine too.

It seems we are not the only lovers of this rich and varied ingredient! To get your digestive juices following, and because we are guilty of a sweet tooth here at Stones, here are a few of our favourite chocolate desserts, complete with photos (of course!) to really get you in the mood for spoiling yourself…

Dark chocolate & ale cake, orange sorbet, chocolate soil

Aerated white chocolate, cardamom marshmallow, gold honey

Chocolate, salted caramel, hazelnut butter, sweet cheese ice cream (N)