Monday, February 14, 2022

Black Butterfly: Valentine's Day Selection

Whatever one's thoughts on Valentine's Day, most any holiday makes for a good excuse for some Black Butterfly chocolate, right? While last year's Valentine's offerings were quite tempting, I didn't get any then because I had just ordered quite a bit for Christmas (and because I wasn't going to be in Prescott in February). But this year I was already going to be in town and I didn't do any Christmas orders this winter. So I went ahead and did a pre-order of three of this year's Valentine's Day offerings. 

If you are going to do special occasion or gift chocolate, this is the way to go. All three are absolutely beautiful. The two smaller hearts (which were $10 each) are about three and a half inches tall, while the large, 3D heart is around five and a half inches (and came in at $25). 

The Diamond Cut Heart is classic in both its look and flavor, which is Peanut Butter Sizzle. The multi-faceted, red surface does indeed resemble a giant gem, smooth and enticing. The shell is neither thick nor thin and houses a familiar peanut butter filling. As Americans, we all think first of Reese's Cups when it comes to peanut butter chocolate. And Reese's Cups are most notable for their saltiness, which is recreated here as well as I have ever seen it done. 

Not to say that this is a recreation of a Reese's Cup, though: I simply mean to say that it acknowledges what our palates automatically expect from a peanut butter chocolate. After that, it's in a completely different range. The roasted peanut flavor is stronger and fresher, and the filling is a dash creamier and less crumbly than with Reese's. So you get some of those familiar notes but in an elevated and therefore completely different way. The effect of this filling is more like a truffle's ganache.

The Pistachio Rose White Chocolate Heart is in a bark style. That is, it's a more flat piece of white chocolate with the pistachios, rose petals, and rose crystals sprinkled on top. The rose aroma spreads in your mouth when you begin biting in, then the creamy white chocolate takes over. The rose sugar creates a delicate and flavorful crunch, and the rose petals leave a floral aftertaste. Pistachios of course add in the nutty element that gives the earthiness to ground all of the sweet and floral flavors.

And third we have the Smashable Heart, which came in four styles. Mine is the Butterfly Love, so it's in Black Butterfly's signature purple. It's a beautiful look, like a celebration of all we love about Black Butterfly chocolate. Perhaps, though, someone choosing to give to their sweetheart might prefer one of the red styles. But I like that there are options besides the standard reds and pinks. 

Yes, you did read that right that this is a Smashable Heart, hence the little wooden mallet that comes in the box. Inside are various chocolate treats. Taking a mallet to a Valentine's Day heart can take on all sorts of levels of meaning, and I'm kind of loving that. You can simply break in to find the buried treasure inside to share with your loved one--you can even make up some sort of game about taking turns to break into it or to choose what to eat from inside. Or you can smash it to smash away painful memories of an ex. Or you can just take charge of the pure delight of opening it up and treating your single self to a chocolate feast inside. 

The chocolate does have to be thick enough to stay stable, but it's thin enough that you only need a medium tapping with the mallet to start it breaking. If it's a shame to eat Black Butterfly chocolates for their prettiness, it felt even more a shame to break this one--that is, until I had the mallet in my hand. It's fun to have free rein for a little harmless violence, eh?

Because I didn't want to make a mess, I tapped one end and then the other and then the middle. Inside I found the delightful treasure: two milk chocolate squares, two dark chocolate squares, two pretzels, two turtles, and crispy pearls. Did I mention fun?

The milk chocolate squares have almonds and cookie pearls along with a good sprinkle of salt; the chocolate is deep/thick, so you get a good bite of sweetness. The dark chocolate squares are shallower/shorter and come with pistachio and cranberry, so you have those classic nutty and tart flavors on the sweet dark chocolate base. The turtles are big and classic in style with a good helping of caramel. You can taste the delicate vanilla notes of the caramel. All of those crispy pearls make the perfect addition to the mix: they visually fill in the empty space and add to the "treasure" feeling. Plus, chocolate pearls are just a great concept, little balls of crisp texture and simple, sweet flavor.

And after all of that, you of course will still have all of the plain dark chocolate from the heart's shell to enjoy. It's a 61% cocoa content, so it's on the sweeter side, which goes well with the playful nature of this piece. 

I can't choose a favorite from these three hearts: they're all so different and each offer something unique. Simple, floral sweetness with the Pistachio Rose. Sleek style and indulgent flavor with the Diamond Cut Heart. And a fun experience as well as a chocolate feast from the Smashable Heart. It is well worth it to order from Black Butterfly for future Valentine's Days--or holidays in general. You'll get something truly unique. 

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