Charles Chocolates – Part II

Here’s the review of the rest of the box of Charles Chocolates that was introduced on Wednesday. We did the top row then, so today we’re going over the bottom row.

First up, bottom right, the bittersweet chocolate fleur de sel caramel. It was goooood. You can buy a box of 10 or 20 of just these, and I can see why. It’s a “a fleur de sel caramel with bittersweet chocolate and enrobed in 65% bittersweet chocolate.” The caramel was chewy and just slightly sticky with wonderous burnt notes, making it dark and salty and delectable, with the whole thing mellowed a bit by the chocolate coating. I could eat a whole box of these.

Next are the two square ones, the blood orange Yankee (why Yankee? I have no idea), which contains a blood orange marmalade ganache in a dark shell, and the meyer lemon Yankee, with a Meyer lemon marmalade in a dark and milk shell. If it’s made with lemons, does it still count as marmalade?

Orange and chocolate are a pretty common combination, but lemon, and chocolate, not so much. The Meyer lemon Yankee was good – it had a slight citrus finish with just a hint of zest, so its lemon-y-ness was not at all overpowering. The blood orange was similarly lightly citrusy, but with a sweeter, rounder flavor profile. In both, the ganache was smooth, silky, and lightly greasy, but not unpleasantly so.

The scalloped oval one in the middle is the espresso caramel, “rich caramel with real espresso and Kahlua in a? 65% bittersweet oval.” The filling inside was soft and creamy, which surprised me, as I expected a stickiness due to the caramel moniker. I got a slight hint of the Kahlua flavor but didn’t pick up any espresso notes in the filling.

And last, and in this case least, the bottom left lemon marzipan: “Marzipan made with fresh, organic Meyer lemons and organic California almonds are coated in our rich 65% bittersweet chocolate.” I think one should always become a bit suspicious when one is being sold to with so many enthusiastic adjectives. Why is the same chocolate enrobing “rich” here, and the Meyer lemons “fresh, organic”? I didn’t taste any lemon in my marzipan, and I was just not a fan of the taste or the texture. I didn’t even finish my first one, and the second one is still sitting alone in the box, the only one left (I didn’t eat the entire box myself, by the way; I did share some with friends).

The marzipan alone gets an O, the espresso caramel and the Yankees get an OM, and the bittersweet fleur de sel gets a ZOMG! At around $2 a truffle, these are not exactly cheap indulgences. I wouldn’t buy the assorted box for myself (though I would happily accept one), but I would buy them by weight if I got to pick and choose which ones I wanted. I think that’s an option at their store/cafe. And I would buy these for gift-giving for special occasions.