February 17th, 2010 by Rosa
I have awesome timing – I just recycled my empty box of Trader Joe’s “The Art of Chocolate” truffles last weekend, and I’m noticing now, as I write this review, that I forgot to photograph the box. Oops. Photos of the box can be found on other sites here and here.
At least I nabbed photos of all the truffles! They come 9 to a box, and though they’re small, the whole box is just $1.99.
Three of the nine were filled with “praline, nougat”. One was covered in all milk (above); the other two had shells that were part milk and part white. The praline was slightly dry and gritty and tasted of sweet chocolate with a light undertone of nuttiness. It worked well with the milk chocolate, which had a nice cocoa finish, but it was too sweet when paired with the white.
Another two had a mocha praline truffle filling. One was coated in dark chocolate while the other had a dark chocolate base and a white chocolate top (above). The mocha praline had a pleasantly bitter coffee undertone that was lovely with the dark chocolate but again, too sweet with the white.
A milk chocolate covered cream and vanilla truffle (above; looks far lighter in this shot) had a thick milk chocolate shell with an overly sweet vanilla cream filling. The cloying sweetness made my throat itch.
Crisp hazelnutpaste (sic) had my favorite molding, a pretty little triangle of a hazelnut, complete with veiny leaves. Its filling had a light, fine grit of ground up hazelnuts that I could hear against my teeth more than I could actually feel on my tongue. It was thick and nutty. It was also super sweet, but I could handle the sweetness here because it was tempered by the nuttiness.
Cream and pistachio was an interesting and unexpected flavor combination for such a generic box. The dark chocolate shell was nice, and its filling was a dry white ganache flecked with light green. Despite the pistachio colors, I didn’t get any pistachio nut flavors. It did at least have a nice dusky caramel finish.
And finally, the crisp chocolate truffle cream was a pyramid of deliciousness – a caramel colored upper layer topping a crisp chocolate truffle bottom that tasted like milk chocolate buttery toffee notes.
The Art of Chocolate was all about permutations: three types of chocolate (milk, dark, and white) and six different fillings, mixed and matched. Sounds like a candy math problem for Carl at Candy Dish Blog!
While not all of the combinations were stellar, this little box was a fantastic deal at just $1.99 (nice truffles can cost that much for just a single one!). The truffles are one bite indulgences that, at 3 truffles per 100 calories, are reasonable for the wallet and the waistline.
They get an OM, not because they were especially tasty in general but because they were especially tasty at the price point of 33 cents each. I’d buy them again to satisfy a sweet tooth craving or for just-because gifts.