Sunday, December 16, 2007

Vosges Haute Chocolat

OK, so Vosges Haute Chocolat is old news. Particularly if you are at all tapped into the food world... Even so, I've not yet had a chance to sample the unusual truffles that people have raving about . Today I happened to be in Soho doing some Christmas shopping and as I was aimlessly walking, waiting for something to catch my eye and draw me in, I happened to walk by Vosges. BINGO! Eye caught and officially sucked in!

This is no ordinary store. Naive little me decided what I wanted and then brought a box from the display into line with me. Oops! Just a dummy box. I'm sure I'm not the first, but come on... Wouldn't you assume that, just like any other store, you bring what you want to buy up to the register with you?

Anyway, I decided on a 16-pc dark chocolate truffle sampler made with 65% cacao chocolate. I prefer dark to milk chocolate (and so do most foodies...) and I would have gotten the 32-pc box, but it's $73. As it was, 16-pcs cost $39... Did I mention these are "haute" chocolates? (Merry Christmas to me!)

In the box are a selection of exotic truffles that, trust me, Hershey's could never dream of:

2-pc Tlan Nacu - Mexican vanilla bean
1-pc Balsamico - 12-year aged balsamic vinegar with Sicilian hazelnuts
2-pc Black Pearl - ginger, wasabi and black sesame seeds
1-pc Absinthe - Chinese star anise, fennel and pastis
1-pc Polline di Finocchio - wild Tuscan fennel pollen and floral anise
2-pc Budapest - sweet Hungarian paprika
2-pc Red Fire - Mexican ancho chilies and Ceylon cinnamon
1-pc Chef Pascal - kirsch and dried Michigan cherry
1-pc Oaxaca - guajilla and pasilla chilies and organic pumpkin seeds
2-pc Rap - horseradish, lemon zest, praline and cocoa nibs
1-pc Jazz - Cafe du Monde chicory coffee

OK, I couldn't make that stuff up. Well, I could, but I'm not nearly skilled enough with my truffle making that I could replicate the quality. So far I've only tried the Tlan Nacu (vanilla). I figured it would be best to start with the most basic and work my way to something more adventurous. Honestly, it was pretty basic, but the chocolate shell had a nice crisp texture and the inner ganache was sinfully smooth. Vanilla isn't the most adventurous flavor, but it's a good baseline for the more adventurous combinations to come.

I also snagged one of their new chocolate bars: Mo's Bacon Bar.

Yeah, you read that right! Bacon! To be more specific: applewood smoked bacon, Alder wood smoked salt and 41% cacao milk chocolate. It was inspired by the founder's memory of eating chocolate chip pancakes and bacon as a child. I'll have to get back to you with my review of that one...


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