January 2nd, 2008 by Rosa
I’m in a quandary. On the one hand, I’d like to take advantage of my remaining 10 days of winter break to get into shape after reading and exam period (three weeks of being stressed out, getting free food at study breaks, eating through late night study sessions, and skipping the gym) and being on vacation (eating out every meal). On the other hand, I have sooo much candy deliciousness in the house, and the truffles need to be eaten soonish, as they’ll only keep for a few weeks. What’s a candy blogger to do?
Put the quest to fit back into skinny jeans on hold, of course! And enlist friends to eat my tasting leftovers. Unfortunately, when I tasted my XOX truffles, there were no leftovers… In my defense, though, they’re really small truffles, about the size of a nickel or quarter.
The XOX Truffles store is about a half mile from Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, definitely within walking distance. I expected a fancy looking boutique in the vein of Godiva. Instead, it turned out to be more of a funky coffee shop, as you can see from the picture. While I loved the chill feel, I wish the truffles had been more nicely laid out. They were arranged in mismatched bowls of different sizes, which was quirky and endearing, but the bowls were haphazardly placed, and some bowls obscured the views of others. You can see how there’s a little bowl hiding behind the big green one holding the noisette truffles. I had to crane my neck around the glass display case to see all the flavors, and I bet I still missed some.
The truffles are much cheaper if you visit the store in person than if you order online. They’re $0.75 each individually, $0.45 each if you buy 20 in a little takeout container, and continue to get cheaper the more you buy. I picked out four. Clockwise from the top left, they are liqueur de noisette (hazelnut), cinnamon, green matcha, and Earl Grey. And they were all pretty tasty.
Liqueur de noisette was rolled in sugared hazelnuts. While I liked the candied nuts, their sweetness, along with that of the liqueur, obscured the hazelnut flavor, which didn’t come through at all.
Cinnamon was dusted with ground cinnamon and tasted lightly of cinnamon sugar. A nice blend with the chocolate.
Green matcha was coated in some sort of green tea powder, rendering it slightly bitter. A light green tea bitterness in the ganache that was mostly covered by the chocolate’s sweetness.
Earl Grey was dusted with bittersweet cocoa powder. I didn’t get anything but dark chocolate flavor in the ganache, though it was still delicious.
XOX Truffles know their way around ganache. All the truffle fillings were smooth, creamy, and rich, and the surface of all the truffles had dried a bit, producing a nice, thin hard shell around the ganache. I wish that the various flavors had been stronger, however, so that the truffles would stand out more. Only the liqueur de noisette and the cinnamon obviously tasted of something other than chocolate.
I’ve made this type of truffle before, and I know how hard it is to get the ganache to take the additional flavorings. Perhaps the stronger flavors, like French roast, peanut butter, and the liqueurs would have stood out more. An OM, as the truffles are good, but no extra letters because I found the flavors to be too weak.