Elaine Hsieh (pronounced SEE-ya) received her training as a professional chef through the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as a professional chocolatier through Ecole Chocolat in Vancouver, BC. Catharine Sweeney, a world traveler and chocolate lover, sought out chocolatiers in her travels across the globe. More recently, she took classes with Boston’s various chocolatiers and the French Master Pastry Chef at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The women met about a decade ago to collaborate on a friend’s wedding cake and have been crafting chocolates in Somerville, MA ever since.
Using some of my favorite couvertures from Michel Cluizel, Valrhona, E. Guittard, and El Rey, this dynamic duo skillfully create beautiful, hand-made, elegant truffles, caramels, and other confections.
Let’s start with the truffles. I sampled two encasing dark ganaches and one based on white chocolate. Each was subtle, rich, perfectly textured, and adorned with delicate transfer designs, perfectly highlighting these sophisticated wares.
The caramel I tried was enrobed in dark chocolate and held a softer, almost runny, velvety center with an exquisite balance of almost-burnt sugar and cream. Just sublime.
The partners also make a Rocher with caramelized cornflakes and roasted candied almonds drenched in milk chocolate drizzled with dark chocolate. If you love Rocher and crave that classic crunch of sweet nuttiness, this is an obvious choice.
Pecan clusters are a pretty ubiquitous treat in America, and I, for one, have a hard time resisting them. EHChocolatier takes fresh pecans roasted in maple syrup, blankets them with soft Knob Creek Bourbon caramel, tops this with E. Guittard’s 65% dark chocolate, and finishes the fantasy with a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Even though you have had Turtles before, these are not to be missed. That Bourbon caramel maple roasted pecan combo is etched in my memory.
Catherine and Elaine also make Ancho Bars. These 3″ long treats are a heady mix of spiced nuts, pretzels, Balvenie Scotch caramel, and 65% single varietal chocolate. In one amazing bar you get crunchy, chewy textures, gentle heat, and excellent dark chocolate. Irresistible.
If all that isn’t tempting enough, they offer the following three caramels: bourbon, wildflower honey, and sea salt.