Long time readers know that chocolate isn’t my favorite thing in the world, and close friends know that if I’ve been eating chocolate, it’s a good idea to run very, very far away… and even closer friends know how to handle such a situation. So an entire post dedicated to chocolate might alarm some… but the fact is, I do enjoy chocolate – occasionally – and I still get invited to lots of events featuring the darling of the dessert world. I’ve been a bit remiss in my reporting duties, so I wanted to combine three fun events I went to about two months ago and bring you the latest in what’s what.
…with photos from my phone.
I had the pleasure of meeting Duff Goldman (the second such time, for those of you counting at home) as he introduced the brand new line of “cake truffles” from Godiva. No, I am not abusing quotation marks without understanding what it means – these are cake truffles that have no actual cake in them, but simply taste like they do. Birthday cake, hummingbird cake (a Carolina tradition, I’m told), and more – these were on the sweet side, and those I shared with seemed to really like them. Available now at Godiva stores everywhere. Listening to Duff explain his inspiration… I don’t know how old he is, but he’s just like a kid, seriously. It’s endearing.
At the same event – we were set loose on goodies to play with! An entire bowl of truffles for us to decorate, so I dipped mine in dark chocolate and sprinkled stuff on top of them. That was fun, but even more fun? the blank white fondant-covered cake with decorating tools everywhere! There were tubes of icing that you could screw tips onto and practice piping, so I did – the top concentric circles of green and hot pink are mine. I’m never allowed to pipe at my sister’s house (I won’t tell you who hogs the piping tools, and no it’s not her)! I was fascinated with how… well, I thought it’d be much harder, but making the little stars was actually quite easy. That made me happy! I didn’t try anything more complicated at that moment though. Oh, and these icing tools and all are available through Duff’s company or something. I didn’t look into it since I don’t plan on decorating cakes.
A week later found me at La Maison du Chocolat for an event previewing the next few months of new flavors. Also being unveiled were these incredible bespoke gifts… see what’s behind my cup of amazing hot cocoa? It’s a bag, made from the ribbons that normally enclose the boxes of some of the best chocolate ever.
I had the absolute pleasure of sampling nearly every single one of these flavors… you should sample them to find your own favorite. My guided tasting started off with full pieces until I begged to be given only half – there are worse problems to have, no? – I cannot imagine eating so many chocolates… However, each flavor was beautifully constructed, carefully thought out, and really quite tasty. Some definitely spoke to my tastebuds more than others, but that’s personal taste and preference. And while you may think some of these pieces are small – with large price tags – you really don’t need to eat more than the piece to feel sated, chocolate-wise. Seriously. I’m sure some chocoholic will pipe up and disagree, but each piece is so rich, so luxurious… sigh. I wish I had some right now.
That chess board is so awesome – made entirely from materials like the ribbons, boxes, bags of La Maison du Chocolat products. No chocolate – the pieces are not chocolate (I thought they were!). And the tree is gorgeous too – for purchasing information, visit the store or call. The chess board, bags, and makeup cases (not pictured) are made to order, I believe, so they need to be discussed as opposed to simply ordered. All hand made… quite amazing. I would love a chess set like that!
Last chronologically but certainly not least, the annual launch party of the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure contest – you should all enter, first place is $25,000!!! We were treated to a peek at the Momofuku Milk Bar headquarters – the actual bakery where the magic happens – and some yummy treats. The first plate – my heart! – savory items. The right was a ham and cheese flaky pastry… but the left was what amounted to a bagel bomb, inside was cream cheese and I believe bacon – so freaking good, I was ecstatic eating these (and took a bunch home, they were great heated in a toaster oven, omg).
But then we were treated to listening to Christina Tosi explain what she’d made for the contest this year (not as an entry, don’t worry, you’re not up against her). Two different sandwich cookies – this year’s theme – a banana one that was awesome, and a coconut one that I passed on sampling as I’m allergic. The texture of the banana one was really great – perfectly chewy, but soft enough… and just awesome. Oh, and in the cup? Adult milkshakes 😉
Seriously, go enter. What do you have to lose?
Holidays are coming up, so the first two items I mentioned are great gift ideas … while the third, seriously, just enter. You’re probably making cookies for the holiday season anyway, so tweak a few recipes and toss them in the ring! Why not?
What do you look forward to trying most?
Please note that I attended all three of these events as press. I received no monetary compensation to post about them, nor was I under any obligation to do so – sheesh, if I was, it’s been around two months, I’m terrible. All opinions expressed are my own… and before you get all freaked out that I’d include three chocolate companies of such varying quality in the same post, I contend that each of them are good in their own context. Each has their own demographic and own application… and price point, let’s be honest. Enjoy!