January 4th, 2013 by Rosa
One of my favorite things about Hedonist Artisan Chocolates is that they shake things up a lot and trot out different truffle flavors every season or so. I’ve been so busy reviewing all of their different truffle collections that I’m only now getting to reviewing their classic truffle collection. I no longer live in Rochester, so these were free samples that they sent me.
The five classic truffles flavors are Milk, Bittersweet, Hazelnut, Espresso, and White Mint. The first four were dipped, while the White Mint was rolled.
Milk is about as classic as it gets. Hedonist’s take was smooth and creamy all over. The soft milk chocolate ganache center had a thin melt, while its milk chocolate shell had a soft break and a thicker melt.
It tasted of sweet and dusky cocoa with a great chocolatey finish. Sometimes I find pure milk chocolate truffles to be too sweet, but this had a really well-balanced sweetness level that was not at all cloying.
Bittersweet was prettily decorated with a few green leaves. Its texture and flavor was drier than the milk version. The cocoa flavor ran deep with earthy tones.
This truly lived up to its name – it teased just a hint of bitterness, but then a light sweetness came and chased that hint away. Really well balanced!
Hazelnut was sprinkled with bits of hazelnuts and salt. It tasted of dry cocoa with a gianduja nuttiness.
Chocolate and hazelnut is a classic combination for a reason – the roasted nuttiness of hazelnuts paired well with chocolate here.
Espresso was topped with a roasted coffee bean. The ganache had a light grit and astringency from the ground coffee that was mixed into it.
Its coffee flavor was really powerful, and the truffle tasted like the scent of fresh roasted coffee beans. I enjoyed the interplay between sweet chocolate and slightly bitter coffee here. Some coffee + chocolate treats go too sweet, into Mocha Frappuccino mode, but this was nicely restrained.
My one complaint was the coffee bean topper. I found it super bitter and astringent to chomp into. I’m not a coffee drinker, so my taste buds were wiped out by eating a solid coffee bean.
Finally, White Mint was a white chocolate rolled truffle dipped in milk chocolate and then dusted with cocoa powder. Its ganache was smooth and creamy with a luxurious-feeling fatty melt.
The center ganache had the creamy vanilla undertones of white chocolate scented with mint. That mintiness was not effervescent (a la York Peppermint Patties). Instead, it reminded me more of mint leaves, with a slight herbal note.
I thought these were a solid set of classic flavors (though the white mint was a bit more out of the ordinary). Personally, I like Hedonists’s adventurous flavors more – part of why I love them so much is that they’re not afraid of unexpected truffle flavors, like goat cheese!
Still, these were quality truffles that were clearly made with care. An OM (and a great gift idea for your more culinarily unadventurous loved ones!).