Charles Chocolates – Part I

January 21st, 2009 by Rosa

I’d wanted to try Charles Chocolates for ages, and I was sad to have missed the chance to go on a tour of their factory when I was in the area. When they had a free shipping sale for the holidays, I jumped at the chance to pick up a box of their classic collection (at the time, $30 for 20 pieces) without having to shell out an additional ten bucks for shipping.

I had sprung for the 20 piece box over the 10 piece one, thinking that I would get extra variety that way. Sadly, it was just two sets of the same 10 truffles, though that did mean I got two each of the ones I really liked. Today I shall review five (the top row of hearts and butterflies), and I’ll present the other five on Friday.

The butterflies are both chocolate with peanut praline fillings – “a rich homemade peanut praline mixed with 41% milk chocolate” in a milk or bittersweet shell. The praline filling was slightly crunchy, with a nice saltiness to balance out the chocolate. I could have used even more nuttiness, which I think was tempered by the milk chocolate mixed into the praline. The butterflies were quite rich and had a bit of fattiness feel to the finish. While I usually prefer dark to milk chocolate, the milk chocolate butterfly was better, as its increased sweetness paired better with the salty praline insides.

The hearts were filled with various fruit ganaches, all pleasantly silky smooth on the tongue: raspberry for the gold, passion fruit for the silver, and mojito for the chocolate. The raspberry ganache was quite fruity and bright but lacked the overarching tart and seedy notes that I expected. Passion fruit was quite spendid. Its fruitiness was super, super bright and had a wonderfully tart tang that I adored. And mojito was amazing – tart lime with a bite of fresh, not toothpastey, mint, all with a light rum finish.

I ate the passion fruit and mojito doubles of my box, so those guys get OMGs. The other three were good, made with high quality ingredients and clearly with care, but they didn’t stand out as much so they get OMs. Tune in on Friday to find out how the rest of the box fared!

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