Posts Tagged ‘fleur de sel caramel’

Recchiuti Fleur de Sel and Cardamom Nougat

February 22, 2009

Recchiuti Confections (smushed)

Whenever I’m near the Ferry Building in San Francisco, I have to avoid going inside unless I’m prepared to buy a few pieces from Recchiuti Confections.  Take, for example, a couple of weekends ago when I had gone downtown to buy some chocolate from TCHO (review coming soon!), and had some time to kill before a movie.  Since I’d just spent money on chocolate, I thought I wouldn’t end up buying more, but of course I was incorrect…

I picked out two pieces, which got a little smushed in my bag:

Fleur de Sel Caramel: Dark chocolate encases a dense, chewy caramel. As the caramel is flavored with salt, it comes out in small bursts.  Small, but complex in flavor.

Cardamom Nougat: Delicious chocolate ganache with subtle cardamom flavoring. I didn’t really taste the cacao nib nougat.  Looks like my piece didn’t get much dripped on top?  I still enjoyed it, though.

Both were solid pieces, what I expect from Recchiuti.

What really drove me to stop and purchase something at Recchiuti rather than stopping and checking out new products, like I did at the Scharffen Berger store, was the great customer service.  As soon we approached Recchiuti, we were offered hot chocolate, and the employees seemed friendly and approachable.  If I hadn’t been planning on buying Tcho chocolate, I probably wouldn’t have gotten any, because the employee there didn’t even look up from her computer when we were in the otherwise empty store.  I really appreciate how Recchiuti employees are always friendly, no matter how busy they are – chocolate and good feelings should always go hand in hand!

Christopher Elbow & J Chocolatier

January 26, 2009

Biagio Chocolate Box

Having missed good chocolate while I was in India, I was thrilled to receive this 4-piece box when I returned.  Riley’s sister Meghan picked these pieces at Biagio Fine Chocolate, a store in Washington, D.C.  They carry a range of bars and filled chocolates, and it looks like they host events like chocolate tastings.

The box contained one piece from Christopher Elbow and three pieces from J Chocolatier.

Banana Curry (Christopher Elbow): The chocolate covering was very delicate and smooth.  At first bite, I thought the piece might taste too sweet, but the banana flavor wasn’t overwhelming.  The curry spices came out and tempered the banana.  Nicely done.

Warm Clove (J Chocolatier): Very fragrant.  Tiny flecks of clove in the ganache make the filling a little granier than I would like, but not something that I would dislike.  I tasted black tea.

Ugly Butter (J Chocolatier): I had no idea what this piece would be like.  Based on the name, I guessed that it would contain butter, but I wasn’t sure why it had that bumpy shape.  It looked like it could contain a whole nut, like an almond.  It turned out that it contained a buttery ganache in the center.  Nothing really special, but I like the odd shape.

Fleur de Sel Caramel (J Chocolatier): Flakes of salt on the top of the piece gave it an immediate shock of saltiness.  The caramel within was nice and runny, and melded well with the salt and chocolate shell.  The dark chocolate complemented the caramel and salt.  After eating, the saltiness lingered on the tongue.

I enjoyed all of the pieces, but the ugly butter wasn’t as interesting flavor-wise as the others.  It’s not that a simple ganache isn’t good enough, but the subtle flavor combinations in the three pieces really worked for me.