Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chocolate Ecstasy

The Chocolate Fetish is not messing around with their Ecstasy Truffles. (And since you know about my love life, this is the closest to any type of ecstasy I'll be getting any time soon). These truffles are simply amazing!

The brochure says that Ecstasy Truffles are European style in taste and texture. They have a lighter center than the typical American truffle, are more complex, subtly flavored and are enrobed with a blend of outstanding European chocolates. Well, snap!

I hate to say this (since I do worship all things American), but I like these better. Most truffles are so heavy, these are much lighter (thick fluffier). I wish I had gotten more of these, but some of the weird flavors scared me off. I am, in retrospect, an idiot. But, I can learn from my mistakes and will be in Asheville again in my lifetime.

Chai Moon (if you know Asheville, this is a suitably flaky name for a truffle to make it big there) is the white truffle in the bottom row with cinnamon on top. This was my favorite of all the truffles. Here's the official description: The 14 spices commonly used in Chai (Indian tea) are blended into the milk chocolate ganache then enrobed in white chocolate. You experience the flavors of Chai and a rich full mouth chocolate taste. I say - oh hell yeah! I was wary of the whole tea/chocolate combo but this is more about subtle, delicious spices. A+++

See the inside here:

Ecstasy Blossom - this one is in the second row - far left. See that bit of purple on top? It is garnished with a crystallized violet petal. Cool. This was another I wasn't sure I would like - the description: the rich dark chocolate center is delicately flavored with lemon zest, a touch of ginger, and a hint of saffron then encased in a dark chocolate coverture. I'm not big on lemon and ginger in chocolate, so I was sure I wouldn't like it, but it was also delicious. This is because these are made with the touch of a master. The flavors compliment rather than overwhelm the chocolate. They are subtle. Some chocolate with lemon leaves a Lemon Pledge taste in your mouth. Not this - it is also amazing - a wonderful palette of flavors.

You have to love the names - I also tried Velvet Sin (dark) and French Kiss (milk). I don't think I have the power to adequately describe these. Think rich, smooth, melt in your mouth chocolate. Almost fluffy blends of the highest quality. Wow! But after trying the others with their exotic flavors, these seemed boring! Believe me, they were not, but I'm just showing how quickly I got spoiled.

Wine and Roses - second row, third from the left, has a crystallized rose petal on top. How beautifully these are all made! This one has a deep, dark chocolate ganache infused with red wine and an essence of rose. Holy smokes!! I think if you wanted to seduce someone, this would be the one to choose. So sexy!

Hazelnut Gianduia was the only one I thought could actually use a little more flavor. I really like hazelnut and would have enjoyed a stronger flavor here.

That said, there was one truffle not listed in my brochure. It's the top right one - pistachio. Look at the autopsy photo. While fluffy, this one was way too strong for me. To much pistachio. Go figure. Some people are never happy.

Overall, these truffles were like works of art. I think this is why chocolate snobs look down their noses at Hershey and Mars. But these Hershey and Mars are meant to be affordable and for the masses. These are a completely different thing. Sometimes I just want a Mr. Goodbar - I don't want a Chai Moon truffle. I just want simple and cheap, not expensive and complex. I'm just thankful we have the whole range - how lucky are we? Life is good!

Motivational lesson - you don't always know what you do and do not like - try what the experts recommend. The more things you try, the more you learn about what YOU really like. This doesn't just apply to chocolate - it applies to life. Meet different people, travel different places - taste it all! The journey is what it's all about.

Share your sense of enthusiasm. I was so excited about the chocolate, that the kids working in the shop wanted to share their favorites. They were a joy to be with and they made my experience so much more fun. And when the owner, Bill Foley, came in and gave me a tour - well, it just doesn't get any better than that. You can do the same thing in your local drugstore! Once a retail store owner told me "You bring joy wherever you go." I always want to live up to that description of me. That is when I am at my best. What description of yourself do you want to live up to? Have you lost your best self lately?

This recession (or a break up or anything else) cannot take your best self from you - unless you let it.

May all your truffles be ecstatic.


Heidi said...

I LOVE this post! It really boosted me today.

By the way, when you open up those chocolates, are you biting them open or cutting them open?

If you're biting them, I hate you. It's not fair for one person to have so much awesomeness in one helping.

Keep up the blogging! Love these motivational tips!

Denise Ryan said...

Ha, ha, ha - I cut them with a knife - I tried biting them in the beginning, but sometimes the bite smushed them! And sometimes that's why it takes a few days for an entry - I have to pace the tasting!

Anonymous said...

You got me with the wine and roses one....mmmmmmmmmm -- it sounds so decadent and so amazing -- I could just taste all of them with your wonderful descriptions! Thanks Denise and keep looking Mr. Perfect is right around the most unlikely corner....-Mia

Denise Ryan said...

Mia - thanks so much for reading!!! And you are right - that truffle is incredible - like you!