Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Artisan Confections: Part 5

When I got to the last few chocolates in the box, two of the remaining chocolates were from the seasonal collection, which you might recall features designs by local artists. I decided to start with the edgier of the designs: the skulls that topped the dark rum chocolate.

As I said previously, I generally don’t like alcohol-flavored chocolates, but the ganache-based approach used in the aged bourbon convinced me that the dark rum was worth a try.

Inside, the ganache was thick and not at all runny, which is a nice change from other alcohol-flavored chocolates I’ve encountered in the past. Kudos to Artisan Confections for mastering this. The ganache also carries a noticeable, though not overpowering, rum flavor. Again, alcohol-flavored chocolates aren’t my favorite, so I would pass on this if picking a box for myself, but anybody who enjoys rum probably enjoy this chocolate, too.

The last seasonal chocolate in the box was the 70% bittersweet, which featured pretty blue flowers as the decorative top.

The quality of the ganache in this chocolate is especially important, since the chocolate carries no other flavoring.

Fortunately, the chocolate used was (not surprisingly) very high quality, and the ganache had an outstanding texture, especially for a 70% cacao bittersweet base. This is a solid chocolate, but not my favorite in the collection.

My favorite turned out to be the last one I ate: the glorious salted butter caramel. This chocolate even has a golden sheen to it – as if symbolizing the treasure inside.

I was expecting that the inside would be similar to the coconut and cinnamon caramels from this collection. But once I bit into it, I realized that it was something seriously special.

This caramel was, as advertised, buttery and salty, and surrounded by that outstanding dark chocolate. The whole creation blends well and dissolves on the tongue like few other chocolates can. Butter, sugar, salt, chocolate – what else does a food need? I could eat a whole box of just these.


Artisan Confections: Several good chocolates that will be worth a trip to the Arlington shop in the near future. Some of my favorites were the fresh mint, the macadamia nut, the cinnamon caramel, and most of all the awe-inspiring salted butter caramel.

Dark rum: Good use of ganache for an alcohol-flavored chocolate.

70% bittersweet: Great texture, especially for a bittersweet ganache.

Salted butter caramel: More, please. Please? Why is the box empty???


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