by Julie Wolfson
In an L.A. neighborhood between Koreatown, Silverlake and just west of downtown, you'll find the tiny haven Valerie Confections where chocolatiers make some of the best artisanal chocolates in Southern California.
What Valerie Gordon and her partner Stan Weightman Jr. began in 2004 as a few types of hand-crafted toffee since has blossomed into a full service confectioner. In addition to her signature toffee, Valerie makes truffles, nougats, caramels, and gorgeous lemon, rose petal, orange, and ginger petit fours.
The finely crafted treats expertly balance bitter and sweet. Then there's the cakes with flavors like gianduja hazelnut, Earl Grey and lemon, bittersweet chocolate almond, and the famous Blum's coffee crunch cake.
This holiday, new gift boxes come filled with chocolate, candied fruit, toffee, and jam. They also offer mint mendiants, holiday nougat, salt-and-pepper truffles, and fresh jams. With an upcoming holiday gift set collaboration with Heath Ceramics and Patz & Hall Winery, Valerie confections may just be the perfect gift to impress the chocolate lover on your list. That is, if the candy makes it to the recipient.