September 5th, 2007 by Rosa
Before I got busy mooching free bacon chocolate from Whole Foods, I actually bought some chocolate truffles too. The flagship Whole Foods has a chocolate bar (as in a bar that serves chocolate) with the most amazing display cases. Ginormous jars of chocolate-covered nuts and fruits and malted milk balls, tantalizing slabs of fudge, chunks of chocolate bark, and various truffles and things by the piece. And the piece de resistance: a chocolate fountain.
There were little boxes of Vosges truffles, but I couldn’t remember which ones Cybele had recommended. As the little buggers were pricey (around $11 for four, I believe), I wanted to make sure to pick the delicious ones and ended up passing on those. Instead, I picked up a Fran’s salted caramel (which I’d also read about and was thrilled to discover in my hometown; I thought I’d have to make a pilgrimage to Seattle to get my hands on them) and a Mexican chili truffle for $2 apiece. Sorry for the extra-poor photos, but I took these at Whole Foods because I just couldn’t wait until I got home to eat them.
The Fran’s salted caramel was my first taste of a salted sweet. It was gooood. I ate it upside down so that the coarse sea salt hit my tongue first. Rich, dark chocolate coated a dusky, smoky caramel, and the addition of salt brought out the lovely burnt-ness of the caramel. Delicious. For a poor college student, $2 a caramel is definitely too much for me to make this a repeat indulgence, but I now want to try salting cheap, mass produced caramels (BUY) before I eat them. Maybe the next time I add caramel syrup to an ice cream sundae I’ll finish it with a sprinkle of salt.
The Fran’s caramel was my first salty-sweet chocolate experience; the Mexican chili truffle was my first taste of spicy-sweet, in the world of chocolates, at least. This little guy was super spicy – almost too fiery to bear. Fortunately, the smooth dark chocolate was just enough to soothe the mouth and prevent the chili burn from being too painful. Still, it left a tingle that lingered on the tongue. The outer coating of the truffle was dark chocolate with a dust of spices and a sprinkle of chili seeds on top. The inner ganache was spicy as well, and its texture was surprisingly liquid, somewhere between chocolate syrup and pudding, I’d say. It oozed a little, but it wasn’t liquid enough to flow. I’m pretty sure that I tasted cinnamon in the mix of chili spices, but my palate is not refined enough to pick out anything else. There was also a familiar spice I recognized from my family’s Chinese cooking, and it still bothers me that I can’t figure out what it is.
These two truffles were a delicious splurge. They’re too expensive for me to buy for myself again (I only bought them because it was my penultimate night in Austin before I left for college, and I wanted to treat myself), but I wouldn’t refuse more as a gift!
Edit 09/05: For their deliciousness, I hereby bestow the Fran’s caramels with a ZOMG!