What is it about opening a beautiful box of chocolates that is so enticing? When they’re from Black River, the answer is twofold. First, there’s the elegant black fabric box with its magnetic closure just begging to be repurposed as a jewelry box. Then, there’s the tempting array of chocolates made with single origin beans from Jamaica.
I sampled 16 different bonbons, including Black River’s luscious emerald pistachio with almond paste, to a natural hazelnut praline that just melted in my mouth. In between, there was a praline of burned cream reminiscent of the charred exterior of a fiery marshmallow, a praline with coffee that gently nudged the chocolate-nut mixture into mocha, and a praline with roasted whole hazelnuts. I loved the passion fruit ganache, its superbly creamy texture redolent of the tropics, and the little surprise of candied orange peel in the middle of the silky interior of praline with orange confit.
Every chocolate tasted as if it had just been made. The shells were a perfect thickness, not so thin as to have no presence, and not so thick they overwhelmed the fillings. This attention to detail made each morsel a gustatory experience to savor.
Black River Chocolate also offers a 100 gram bar and 5 gram Napolitans all made with the same Jamaican single origin beans. In their purer state, it’s easy to see how seductive this complex chocolate is. The slightly dry edge, beautiful crisp temper, earthy profile, dark fruit notes, hints of charcoal-smokiness, and creamy texture were incredibly satisfying.