I was in Rochester, NY last week and came across a delightful little chocolate shop called Hedonist Artisan Chocolates. While there I struck up a nice conversation with one their chocolate makers (perhaps the proprietor?) and partook of their generous free samples of just-made rolled champagne truffles and some bits of chocolate bark. The great samples convinced me to buy two of their ever-changing selection of handmade truffles: molasses ginger and peanut butter cayenne.
The molasses ginger (left) was a square of molasses ginger flavored ganache covered in dark Valhrona and topped with a tiny piece of candied ginger. It was fresh and tasted amazing. The ganache was creamy but not greasy and had a distinct fresh ginger flavor without the less pleasant bite that real ginger has. I didn’t get any direct molasses notes, but there’s a mellow sweetness that permeates throughout. The little dab of candied ginger was a wonderful touch that again, brought ginger flavor without any bitter notes. All this was nicely juxtaposed against the snappy shell of good quality dark couverture.
Peanut butter cayenne was topped with a little half peanut. The filling in this was stiffer and slightly gritty. It initially starts with a roasty fresh nuttiness before giving way to a lingering cayenne burn. The heat is more intense than other chili chocolates, so it may not be for the faint of heart, but I loved it.
Both truffles were great, if not exactly cheap at $2 a bite. Still, they get a ZOMG! for their high quality and wonderful flavors. There were other interesting sounding flavors that I didn’t try (like raspberry wasabi and lapsang souchong), so I’m sure that I’ll revisit Hedonist Chocolates again and again once I move to Rochester.
That’s right – I’m moving to Rochester! I get my BA in psychology/neuroscience at the end of May, and sometime during the summer, I’m starting a two-year stint as a research assistant/lab manager at the University of Rochester. The decision to move there wasn’t an easy one to make, especially since my other option was a fully funded, generously stipended year in a Master’s program at Cambridge University (back in England, with British accents and Cadbury and Haribo…), but Rochester made me a great offer full of great opportunity. Besides, it’s close to Canada, so I’ll still get to explore an international candy scene while there!