A few weeks ago, CBC Chocolates sent me two samples of their products. Normally I'd split these into two "Saturday Sacraments," but their chocolates have an expiration date that is next week, so I need to do them both now. Your Chocolate Priestess isn't fond of expiration dates that force her to reveal products to you ahead of other companies' offerings, but I hope those other companies understand and can wait an extra week.
The thing to note about CBC is that their chocolates are almost always combined with alcohol, so if that is a concern for you, look elsewhere. Their founder wasn't even an adult when he created this company, and given that both offerings are wine or ale truffles, that surprised me. The company has been around a few years, so they are a new player in the world of chocolate creations.
Let's start with the "Fat Scotch Ale Truffles," which are in the first picture above. They come in a little box with a handle; the box itself seemed about twice the size needed for the six truffles inside, since each measures about 0.75 inches in diameter with a height of 1 inch. Each piece is a unique shape, indicating that these are indeed hand dipped as the store information claims. When I bring a truffle to my nose and breathe its scent, I get only bittersweet chocolate. The ingredient list on the box shows nothing artificial in these, so I bite, hoping it will be an amazing taste. The dark ganache breaks easily to reveal the softer truffle inside. The bitterness of ale is immediate and results in a very bitter candy that is excellent if you like your chocolate with such a kick. Surprisingly it takes a while for the second bite to melt in my mouth, but this increases the ale taste I get until it overcomes the chocolate. If you want more cocoa flavor, just chew it slowly; if you want more of the ale, let it melt.
The second offering from CBC was their "Assorted Wine Truffles," which come in a box of 5 truffles of the same dimensions as the brew series above. Three of these truffles are almost identical in appearance aside from the slight difference in shape that comes from being hand dipped. They are all milk chocolate, so I'm going to have to use my sadly lacking knowledge of wines to try to determine which flavor these are. In terms of scent, they all smell like milk chocolate with an undertone of bitterness, which the ingredients for the "Syrah," the "Port," and the "Malbec" all indicate they should have.
The first piece I try has a sort of fruity sweet taste that is very smooth in the soft dark center. The second piece has a stronger tannin taste. The final one of this trio has a firmer center and almost no wine taste that I can determine over the cocoa. I consult several online sources for information about what each of these should ideally taste like. None of these have the peppery essence I'd expect from a Syrah, but I'm guessing it's the second one because of the tannin content. Since Port is more of a dessert wine, I'm going to guess that is the first I tried, which leaves the last the Malbec, though I don't get a "yammy" sort of taste from it. Regardless, the dominant flavor for all three is the bittersweet chocolate center that increases in intensity when you let the outer milk chocolate shell melt.
I thoroughly cleanse my palate then look to the two unique wine series truffles -- a white one and a dark one with a white curlicue on the top. According to the ingredients list, the white one should be a "White Port" and the other "Champagne." The white one has an alcoholic scent to it when I take a deep whiff of it. Inside it has an equally white soft center with a light fruity flavor that strongly suggests my milk chocolate guess for the "Port" was correct. As I expect from white chocolate, this is smooth and provides no cocoa buzz. In fact, after about five minutes, my stomach rebels a bit at the overall sweetness of this piece, so consider it best for those of you who really love white chocolate and a lot of sweetness in your truffles.
I take another break then pick up the last piece. The "Champagne" truffle smells only of bittersweet chocolate when I breathe it in. Biting in reveals an equally dark semi-soft center that is very bitter with a hint of champagne, which I personally think of as only slightly sweet with a hint of spice to it and whose quality can vary widely -- sometimes I dislike champagne, but sometimes I like it. Letting the second bite melt at first gives a strong cocoa rush followed by a more intense champagne flavor, so make sure you like both sensations in your mouth and on your tongue. This and the "Port" milk chocolate were my two favorites of the wine series of truffles.
CBC Chocolates has a nice range of alcoholic and coffee chocolates on their website. I do think that for the size and quantity of chocolates they are a bit expensive compared to other companies who have submitted offerings to The Chocolate Cult. The "Fat Scotch Ale Truffles" were excellent and unique, while the wine series could use more variation in both the external decorations to label their type and some more intensity on some of the flavors.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.
If you are reading in the eastern half of the Midwest, don't forget The Chocolate Cult's first CONTEST.