One thing I love about Italian chocolates is the ubiquity of hazelnuts. Here, in America, our fondness for these rustic, meaty little orbs is often limited to Nutella. Baruzzo’s Piemontese hazelnuts are lightly roasted, coated in gianduja (chocolate hazelnut paste) and dusted in cocoa powder. Each sphere is a little planet of delight: crunchy, rich, and creamy.
Lest you be misled, Baruzzo is Italian chocolate made in the United Kingdom. Raffaella Baruzzo, the founder, says: “Chocolate represents to me a universe where history, philosophy, chemistry, art and sensuality can meet. I seek to offer everyone an experience of an appreciation of beauty with every enticing bite.” Raffaella achieves her goal. Each of her chocolates melds artistry and high quality ingredients into a sensuous experience for the true chocophile. The texture of her diminutive pralines and truffles is the apotheosis of silkiness, and the flavors balance at the fulcrum between gentle and intense. Couverture is applied with a light touch.
I also sampled her Cape Gooseberries from Ecuador coated in white chocolate. The super creamy white is a good choice for the sight astringency of the chewy berries. A new marriage of flavors that could easily stand the test of time.