Monday, September 20, 2010

The Chocolate Soldier: Another Fist-Sized Truffle

Even though I wasn’t too happy with the first two truffles out of my box from The Chocolate Soldier, I’m not one to waste chocolate unless it is truly terrible, so I gave the pecan praline truffle a chance.

The milk chocolate shell is pretty thick on this truffle, and is creamy with a hint of nuttiness. It reminds me quite a bit of the El Rey 41% cocoa milk chocolate that I like to use in recipes.

The ganache center is smooth and sufficiently dense to hold up to the thick shell, which is a welcome change from the two substandard truffles I tried first. However, I taste nothing but milk chocolate and cream. While I love a good plain milk chocolate truffle, it’s disappointing that I didn’t detect any of the pecan praline flavor that is supposed to be in this truffle. It’s a decent truffle, but it isn’t worth $3, and I’m generally disappointed by the truffles from The Chocolate Soldier.

This left me with the dark chocolate salted caramel. It had to be better than the truffles, right?

This caramel is even topped with salt for an added sweet-salty contrast opportunity.

The dark chocolate exterior is very smooth and creamy for a dark chocolate, with an earthy taste and a slight coffee undertone. The caramel inside is also well-balanced, with a little sugar, a little salt, and a definite hint of butter. Unfortunately, it misses the mark on texture, as it is a bit clumpy, though it is at least not runny or chewy like many other subpar caramels. Even with the less-than-perfect texture, it is at least substantial enough to pair well with the thick dark chocolate coating. The overall effect is quite nice, though perhaps not quite worth $1.50.

Though I enjoyed the E. Guittard bar I picked up there, I wasn’t too impressed with The Chocolate Solider. If you have a trip planned in that area, I’d suggest driving up to the Newport Beach Teuscher store instead.


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