Pudding is elevated to hero status at Bubó, the urban dessert bar set up by pastry chef Carles Mampel. This grown-up sweet shop has won a cluster of international awards for its extraordinary confections, which span from savoury bonbons and neat squares of sponge cake to raspberry and sesame seed thins. You’ll wonder at the mascarpone mousse, topped with a strip of violet gel.
Bubo, Carrer de les Caputxes 10, 08003 Barcelona, +34 93 268 7224
The search for perfection ends here. Almadecacao opened its first shop in Bilbao in 2005 with a view to heightening the sensual pleasure of chocolate. Today, the minimalist chocolate gallery continues to delight with its brilliantly innovative creations, which summon flavours as disparate as popcorn and black liquorice. Leave with a tray of fuchsia-dusted truffles.
Almadecacao, Calle de Velázquez, 28001 Madrid, +34 91 435 0057
Oriol Balaguer, Barcelona
Confectionary is in Oriol Balaguer’s blood, and his Barcelona boutique encapsulates his vision as a supreme sweet-maker. The rule-breaking pâtissier, described as ‘one of the most rounded professionals in the world of gastronomy’, serves up ice-cream, sweet cocktails and pod-shaped chocolates revamped with wasabi, roast chestnut, saffron and olive oil. Much is made of the flavours, but the pleasure is also in the process of unwrapping the ultra-sleek packaging.
Oriol Balaguer, Plaça de Sant Gregori Taumaturg 2, 08021 Barcelona, +34 93 201 1846
Enric Rovira, Barcelona
Beloved by locals for its conceptual collections and moreish bombolas (nut kernels daubed with chocolate), Enric Rovira is truly a proponent of chocolate as art. The Artist collection showcases edible creations by Catalonia’s leading sculptors and furniture designers, including Andreu Alfaro, Emili Padrós and Ana Mir. The planet-inspired bonbons, a solar system of indulgence, are equally good.
Enric Rovira, Avinguda de Josep Tarradellas i Joan 113, 08029 Barcelona, +34 93 419 25 47
Chocolat Factory, Madrid
Under the direction of Belgian-born Michel Laline, whose design philosophy is that ‘any object, even a plastic bowl, can be used as an inspiration to create or design chocolate’, Madrid’s Chocolat Factory produces garlands, tablets, jams, fondues and liqueur-filled bonbons of chocolate. Hardly a stone is left unturned. Admire the avant-garde presentation boxes, designed by art studio Ruiz + Company.
Chocolat Factory, Centro Comercial Príncipe Pío, Paseo de la Florida, 28008 Madrid, +34 91 541 4535