Saturday, July 13, 2013

All Around Lovely Artisan Truffles

New chocolate companies come and go frequently yet of the 161 companies we have tested and featured since the end of February 2009 only three no longer exist.  Often this is because those chocolatiers brave enough to send us their samples produce quality chocolates and know their marketing and the economy. Sometimes it is because their customers are loyal and spread the word so that others try them out.  There are companies that limit themselves as well so they never get into the situation of making more chocolate than they can sell.  Newer chocolate makers arise all the time and today we're going to look at Fera'wyn's Artisan Chocolates.  I had help from three of our speciality Acolytes with this feature so I'll put their words in italics as I always try to do for you, Sisters and Brothers.

Our Chocolate and Alcohol Acolyte had the most work the evening of our testing with three truffles.  Luckily the Mocha Acolyte was willing and able to help her out some.  She began with the Bananas Foster Truffle.  Smells like banana and chocolate and has a pretty yellow/orange paint.  When she took a bite she discovered a soft rum taste, not over powering. Then as she tried it again she found that it was a nice banana/rum/chocolate compliment; nicely blended.  Final verdict: Tastes similar to the Banana Foster Dessert you may have had in restaurants or made at home.

She took a break to cleanse her palate and our Tea Acolyte tried the Spiced Tea Truffle.  He found he could smell chocolate but nothing else possibly because the bottom is very thick -- top is a very thin shell of chocolate and given the painting of them it could easily mask the scents if they are not strong.  He really liked the paint job on this truffle describing thusly: top shell is red fading to gold at the edges, spattered with white -- whitish filling inside taste of tea and anise."Tasting it a few times he says the filling is really fun -- flavor notes emerge at different times, fading to chocolate because filling dissolves in mouth faster than chocolate.  Isn't that what we want, Sisters and Brothers?  Strong chocolate finishing flavors?

Next one of our Mocha Acolytes, who will be leaving us so the other one will need to take on his duties here, tried the Iced Caramel Coffee Truffle. He describes it as pretty -- looks very appetizing/stylized coffee bean.  A breaks across the top" of one "allow nicer cocoa/coffee scent, bottom smells more of chocolate.  When he took his first bite there was a nice burst of espresso that tastes more like cappuccino; ganache is light brown like cappuccino. Reminiscent of Wether's Original candies.  Inside the cocoa nibs give a bit of dark cocoa flavor afterward and a nice grainy texture of real cocoa.  The chocolate shells adds additional flavor but the focus of the experience was the filling for this truffle.

The Limoncello Truffle was next up and our Chocolate and Alcohol Acolyte had some help at this point with her testing since we were all sitting down together to work with these but her words are our guide to the conversation we had.  She could smell chocolate, cannot smell the limoncello though she had had this liqueur in the past. Taking a bite she was hit by the strong lemon taste, not one to bite into unprepared, definite zing to it.  It has a smooth creamy filling with a nice aftertaste of dark chocolate punctuated by the limoncello.

Finally she tried the Bourbon Truffle and found it has a warm chocolate smell and a cute moon shape before she even took a bite.  Our photo does a good job of showing these with the swirls of color.  Biting into it revealed nice smooth Bourbon, chocolate layering in taste, not over powering in alcohol but she can tell the alcohol is present.  She was hunting for the vanilla taste; alcohol overpowers the vanilla in the dark cream filling.  Reminds me of a nice after dinner drink in a mall chocolate bite.

Every one of our Acolytes who helped me with the testing and writing of today's feature agreed that these truffles are Sacrament Worthy.  There is no regular set of flavors on their website so you'll need to find Fera'wyn's on Facebook to learn what is available from day to day or email/telephone them to find out. These are well worth your trying so I urge you all to do so.  You can find them currently at Lafayette Farmers Market on Sundays 9am-1pm at Lafayette BART Station in South Parking Lot off Happy Valley Road, Lafayette, CA 94546.  Sunday, July 15, 2013, they will also be donating their time and truffles to Whiskers, Tails & Ferals this Sunday 1-5pm and have a table at the fundraiser and offering free chocolates for the attendees.  You need to go check them out, Sisters and Brothers in the Lafayette California area then come back here and tell us what you thought!

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