Hot Chocolate

Most people’s private dream of paradise includes palm trees, a luminous blue sea and pristine beaches. Okay, so we’re already there.

What to do now? Raid the garden and start creating your own Eden.

Master chocolatier Melanie Boudar took her piece of Volcano paradise, plus 28 years experience as a traveling gemologist, and mixed in the finest Venezuelan, Belgian, French and Hawaiian chocolate to invent the divine chocolate jewels she now makes as Sweet Paradise Chocolates.

www.leichic.comHer confections combine luxurious local flavors like lilikoi, strawberry guava, lychee, starfruit, and even ginger and Hawaiian chili pepper with different flavors and concentrations of locally-grown cacao – she’s partnered with several Big Island growers.  

Among the artful bon bons she creates are an orchard of fruit-flavored truffles; caramels strewn with macadamia nut bits, drenched in Waialua chocolate then dusted with red alae; and a solid French chocolate fashioned into a honu complete with a shell.

These jewels might even be better than those in the little blue box www.leichic.comthis Valentine’s Day.

In fact, this paradise of sweets is so exquisitely delicious, you’ll have to, like Eve, resist the temptation to gobble them all at once.

Available online at, and occasionally at the Sunday farmer’s market in Volcano.