I must confess, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates had me at hello. Their Spice Truffle collection was like taking a space ship to a chocolate galaxy, far, far away. All five flavors beguiled with their names and seduced with their flavors. Each was enrobed in a delicious dark chocolate shell, neither too thin nor too thick.
Lemon Pepper was redolent of lemon, which can be tricky with dark chocolate, so the truffle was made with white chocolate and spiked with pepper. The tang of citrus and the pungency of pepper went remarkably well against the dark chocolate couverture.
Coconut Curry, also made with white chocolate and sun-colored, presumably from some turmeric in the mix, was a revelation. Chewy, spicy, complex, and creamy, quite a chocolate trip.
The dark ganache-filled Orange Chipotle packed some heat, but not too much. Smoky chipotle peppers catalyzed the creamy texture into its own little endorphin reverie.
Raspberry Wasabi felt tame, by comparison. What was particularly fetching about this cocoa dusted truffle was the balance of raspberry with a touch of wasabi. First one flavor would predominate, then the next; utterly sublime.
Peanut Butter Cayenne was another wild ride. Wow! This was one fantastically intense experience. I wouldn’t want a whole box of them, but in this creative selection they were perfectly appropriate and challenging.
If you are like me, and welcome opportunities to try inspired combinations of flavors and textures, these truffles really deliver.
I also sampled their Classic Truffles, the perfect accompaniment for the Spice Truffle box. After the Cayenne I was ready for a Milk Truffle and it definitely calmed my taste buds. I have come to love hazelnuts in dark chocolate and their Hazelnut Truffle was an excellent, creamy concoction with crunchy roasted nuts on top. Bittersweet was a super dark ganache with just the right amount of sugar, while Espresso’s mocha profile was earthy and multi-layered. The Mint Truffle tasted fresh and gentle, a welcome change from some Altoid-like mint chocolates out there.
The packaging is simple and elegant. Dark brown boxes set off with with either pink or leaf green raffia.
In addition to truffles, Hedonist Chocolates also makes barks. I sampled one with ginger and pistachios. This was a keeper. Dark chocolate, roasted pistachios, a hint of salt, vanilla, and remarkably fresh, chewy crystalized ginger all came together to party. Luckily, I was a guest.
While I didn’t try these, I thought I’d mention them: Pecan/Cranberry, and Milk Chocolate/Sesame barks; and, a fruit and nut collection designed in a unique way: little chocolate domes with open tops revealing nuts and fruit.