Monday, February 20, 2023

Alter Eco: Truffle Thins -- Silk Velvet and Classic Dark

When taking a look at the Peppermint Creme Truffles from Alter Eco this past December, I mentioned my excitement to try their new Truffle Thins chocolate bars. The comparison for the mint version will, of course, be to Andes Mints--but those will come next. First we're taking a look at the plain versions, the Silk Velvet and the Classic Dark, which correspond to existing Alter Eco truffles.

The basic concept is the same as with their truffles: coconut oil is used in place of fresh cream so that the chocolates can have a long shelf life in order to be on grocery store shelves. You may want to note that both of these chocolates do still have milk in them, so the purpose of the coconut oil isn't to make them non-dairy. The difference in having the ganache as a layer inside of squares of chocolate versus inside truffle-sized spheres is significant. 

You get more chocolate this way and less ganache. This is preferable to hide the ultra smooth texture. What do you mean hide the smooth texture, you ask? I realize that coconut oil is a preferable oil to use than others--but is still gives a slightly different texture than cream does. So when you have a smaller proportion and thickness of the ganache, you're going to notice that texture difference less, if at all. If you really enjoy that extra smoothness, that might be a downside. But if you prefer having more chocolate, then this format may be your preference. Generally, a rounder texture feels smoother and more luxurious because it has to melt in your mouth more. (Think about the difference eating a Hershey's Kiss versus a square of a Hershey's bar.) So the overall feel of the Truffle Thins versus the truffles is a little darker--with the ganache as an element rather than the main focus.

The Classic Dark is described as dark chocolate with a chocolate creme filling, whereas the Silk Velvet is supposed to be a blend of milk and dark chocolate--I believe it's still just dark chocolate on the outside, but with a milk creme filling. Both fillings still contain whole milk. There is a subtle difference, though perhaps not the one you would expect. I find I prefer the Classic Dark because it feels more, well, classic and straightforward. Whereas the Silk Velvet, though somewhat milkier, feels somehow darker, as well. It does have more of a contrast between the idea of milk chocolate and dark chocolate. 

While perhaps I should be advocating to eat more plain chocolate versus chocolate with added ingredients, like the coconut oil here, I do really like the idea of these chocolate bars. It would be nice to see them in a smaller size, as well--sort of a more candy bar like style. They're an everyday indulgence type of chocolate. I'd much rather reach for Alter Eco cocoa than many other brands--and the coconut oil is the "worst" ingredient. As a halfway place between a chocolate bar and a truffle, this is a satisfyingly indulgent product. 

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