Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cocoa Nymph Tiny Truffles are a Treat

Cocoa Nymph Chocolates & Confections sent us three samples of their products back in February, and after a crazy March and April of multiple pre-written Sacraments and reviews your Chocolate Priestess is finally able to share one of these products with you.  8 samples of truffles came in their signature silver box.  You can also get truffles in boxes of 18 or 32, and the website shows photos of all 13 varieties of truffles, so you can make a good decision about what you want.  Let me help you with a full sensory review of 8 of these flavors.

Here you can see the truffles in the box as they arrived.  They also came with a little booklet of photos and descriptions of the truffles that matches what you can find online.  As you know, I like being informed about what I'm about to taste, smell and describe to you all so we aren't playing a guessing game, so I'm very pleased that Cocoa Nymph does this.  Each truffle is a one inch cube, so I won't keep describing the measurements for you all.  I'm going to describe these two at a time, starting at the top and working my way down, so get comfortable and relax, Sisters and Brothers, and enjoy it with me.  Remember, take your Saturday Sacrament slowly and enjoy each bite, just as I try to do for you all.

Our first piece is the "Barnabas the Tortoise," which is a milk chocolate truffle with a glazed pecan on top of it.  Primarily there is a nice chocolate scent, but also a hint of sweetness from maple glazing.  The nut crunches when I take a bite, but the rest of the truffle is silent.  The center is semi-solid, and I can indeed taste the sweet caramel, the creamy milk chocolate, and a strong brandy essence.  I've never had such a combination of flavors, a total of four, but they blend well, fading happily into the chocolate itself.

The next piece has crystals of sea salt on top of dark chocolate ganache and is called "Illa (Fleur de Sel)."  This has a dark chocolate scent with a bit of salt from the crystals when I breathe it in.  The shell over a semi-soft center breaks when I take a bite. Inside I taste some tangy sweetness and the chocolate, but the salt really lingers in this truffle regardless of whether you eat around the top crystals or not. Salty chocolate can be done well or not so well, and sadly this is a bit too salty for your Chocolate Priestess's preference.

The "Papillon (Raspberry)" has a white chocolate and raspberry square design on the top of a dark chocolate truffle.  This has a lighter chocolate scent than I expected.  Inside is a semi-solid center that starts off very chocolatey but turns a bit sour as I keep chewing before returning to a dark cocoa bitterness as I finish it off in my mouth.  A very unexpected twist on the common raspberry truffles I've revealed to you all in the past, Sisters and Brothers.

I think the other cube with a deep green decoration is the "Fresh" flavor, which is a green tea and fresh mint combination with both dark and milk chocolates.  This has a definite tea and mint scent with the dark cocoa when I breathe it in.  The shell makes a very soft crack when I take a bite to find a sharply green tea flavored semi-solid center.  The mint is not so much a flavor as it is a rush of coolness in my mouth that swirls with the cocoa and tea to create a different aftertaste that isn't unpleasant but is certainly different than what I've had before with mint or green tea chocolates in the past.

"The Liz" has a garnish of gold on it's dark chocolate ganache, and I wonder if it might be named for actress Elizabeth Taylor.  The fragrance is simply dark cocoa, so I take a bite to find a solid white center that has a creamy and vanilla taste, which becomes more intense with each chew but does not overpower the bitterness of the ganache over it.

"Lucy in the Chai" is clearly a play on a Beatles song and refers to the the spice flavor under the dark ganache, which has a crosshatched pattern over the top.  This has a spicy scent, adding a kick to the dark chocolate when I take a whiff of this truffle.  Inside is a semi-solid center of dark chocolate with the heat of chai but only a hint of black tea. This wasn't a flavor I thought I'd like, but I'm pleased it isn't as hot as I was worried it could be, and the chocolate is the primary flavor.

I'm not really sure what this second to last truffle is, since it doesn't look like any of the photos in the booklet or online.  This has a slightly sweet scent to it, so I consider the listing of varieties as I take a bite.  Inside is a crispy, crunchy center that tastes like honey and hazelnuts, so I now know what this is: "Melissa (Honey Crunch)."  I like the different texture in this piece compared to the other truffles, but the sweetness and nut slightly overwhelms the milk chocolate.

The final piece, though, is the "Glinda," perhaps referring to "The Wizard of Oz" and identifiable by an eye-shaped piece of candy on the top.  This is odd, because no matter how deeply I breathe the aroma of this piece in, I'm not getting much of a scent.  Intrigued, I take a bite, which makes a medium crunch because of the thickness of the ganache.  Inside are two layers, a top jelly-like blackberry layer and a bottom semi-solid chocolate layer.  Normally I'm not a blackberry fan, but this blends wonderfully with the two chocolates, and I have to say that this sort of truffle makes blackberries tasty to me.

These flavors are all unique, and some I liked more than others, which is very common as you know for assorted reviews, Sisters and Brothers.  I've tried to describe what I actually felt, saw, tasted, smelled and heard so that you can make your own decision.  For quality chocolate taste and unique combinations with fun names, Cocoa Nymph scores high marks for their truffles.  Come back later in 2010 for more reviews of Cocoa Nymph products, including a chocolate bar and their chocolate-glazed nuts.

Sisters and Brothers, may you, too, take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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