In celebration of a chocolate blogger's birthday, today I have an extra review. I treated myself to some truffles from Zak's Chocolate. One of the advantages of having to do curbside pickup right now is that they can add extra prep to your selection. Their website lists the flavors available for each day, so you just write in the notes of your order which ones you would like.
Normally when you're choosing from the glass case in store, that's that. But when I went to pick up my box, it came with this handy label on the inside. The pretty pink background with vines would seem to be selected especially for my box of floral truffles, no? And because I was celebrating and therefore especially admiring of beauty, I didn't cut open these truffles to take pictures of their insides. Let them be this time. Their look is classic, with minimal embellishments.
Rose Caramel - This is the soft square with some pink sugar crystals on the corner. It smells fragrant like rose even before tasting. The caramel here is a chewy caramel, which I was enjoying when I was (gently, in a ladylike manner) hit with the rose flavor. Since the thicker caramel lingers in your mouth more than a liquid caramel would, it gives you a chance to linger on the rose flavor. It reminds me more specifically of rose petals than of rose candy. Glancing back at the flavor descriptions, I saw that the caramel is infused with rose petals, so of course that would be why; ingredients and process do make quite a difference to the final product. This is fantastic, a treat for the rose-lover. While the caramel is chewy caramel, it isn't stiff, so it is still soft and flavorful and elegant. The rose flavor lingers in the mouth, too, which is nice. Because of the stronger rose flavor, I enjoyed this caramel more than the rose truffle that came in the Valentine's Day box I chose a couple years ago.
Peach Blossom - This would be the rounded dome with the pale color swirls. Here the aroma is chocolate, and inside is a deep ganache inside. First I simply tasted the ganache and then the peach. It is sweet but also slightly tart but all with the rich chocolate to act as a grounded base. The taste is fresh peach that also lingers a bit, though not so much as the rose. The effect is somehow quite decadent, though that isn't what I would have predicted from a peach truffle. I wasn't expecting to dislike it, but I'm liking it more than I'd expected.
Raspberry Rose - On that Valentine's Day selection, I had skipped the Raspberry Rose because I usually skip raspberries. But I'm giving berries a chance these days and expanding my flavor ranges. This truffle is the elegant square with the pink print. I can smell the raspberry. The bite in is soft as the chocolate isn't too thick. So you go right to ganache, which tastes of chocolate and raspberries. Like fresh, ripe raspberries in their prime and best flavor, not sour or bitter. The berry flavor goes excellent with the rich chocolate. Perhaps when I specifically seek the rose flavor, I can find it, but it's more of an accent. The raspberry is the main event, blended with the chocolate. Compared with the two previous truffles, the chocolate is most prominent in this one so far. So this truffle is also quite nice and indulgent and I'm glad I didn't keep shunning it. It was well worth the venture.
Hazelnut Crunch - I went a little off for the floral bundle by throwing a nut in there, but it was what I wanted, so there. And why not add a twist to the flowers by including a nut? Hazelnuts are a little bit of a favorite of mine. The geometric dome has a funky one next to the other more feminine truffles. Its texture is lightly crispy/crunchy accompanied by the flavor of chocolate and fresh hazelnuts. I was starting to get a certain texture in my teeth that seemed different when I once again glanced back at the flavor descriptions and saw that these are lightly caramelized hazelnuts. Interesting, I don't know if I've ever had that before. The texture is halfway between a ganache and a praline. It's a welcome effect, adding a slightly different angle to a familiar type of chocolate.
In fact, this selection is probably one of my favorites. Usually when you choose a few truffles, you'll have your stand outs and the ones you didn't love as much. But I greatly enjoyed all four of these.