"To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower," the poem goes. As we know, great things come in small packages, chocolates among them. Keepitcoming Love bought me a sampler of some beautiful truffles from Richart, and we shared three of their Petits selections on a warm day this summer. Richart makes a number of truffle collections off a singular theme- citrus, fruits, and flowers among them.
These are roughly the diameter of a dime, about as thick as a miniature marshmallow with a thin, dark chocolate shell and a patterned top. Very visually appealing, especially before they are taken from their box. Packaged, they resemble a small piece of art with all of the flavors differently patterned and set on a soft, matte white background box. The chocolate shell and ganache on its own is par excellence, with a dark, complex yet unobtrusive flavor that seamlessly interacts with the additional essences, yet doesn't contrast or stand out too much. A team player in its own right. I'd have been happy to savor petit pallets of this chocolate. It is cool, with a slow, creamy melt. The size is perfect to grab a small bite of chocolate when the whim strikes.
In three different boxes there were anywhere from six to eight different flavors, with a flavor guide of twelve different types of chocolate for each flavor set. There were quite a few doubles, and it seemed like the boxes were chosen randomly. All the more fun! Although the patterns designated the flavors, we played a guessing game with each one, trying to discern which spice was what. It was easier for some, harder for others. We sampled a spicy set, a floral set, and an herbal set, all with delicious results.
Of the florals, we particularly enjoyed the herbal bouquet and lavender truffles. The lavender had a subtle hint of lavender oil and blended well with the chocolate, and the herbal bouquet (though which herbs, we could not say) tasted like a chocolate covered Ricola with a deep headiness. Some of the others were hit or miss, especially the ones that centered around more of a conceptual flavor, like alpine, than a more centralized flower. The sweeter ones, like violet and chamomile, were particularly pleasurable, striking a delicious balance between bitter and perfumey. These were the most fragrant truffles of the three.
The herbal set had the most wild cards in it, with beautifully executed flavors like rosemary praline and a mystery flavor that tasted like pine and verbena. Keepitcoming Love recognized most of these immediately, with her green thumb. I didn't expect this to be the crowd favorite, and yet we ate most of these up immediately. Anise and fennel was one of the ones we loved the most- it was spicy, sweet, and earthy all at the same time, the natural tanginess emboldened by the chocolate coating. The rosemary praline was my personal favorite of this set, with strong herbal sweetness and a light, crispy crunch from the feuilletine center. Others included a bittersweet matcha with a gritty, bright green center and eldertree flower, another one we didn't quite associate with its namesake. The last box contained a selection of flavors centering around a spicy theme. These were less spicy than they were spiced, though I would definitely say some of them had a kick to them. These were definitely sassy truffles, with aromatic selections of spices that really brought out the natural spices of the chocolate. It made me wonder if this was the same percentage of dark chocolate used in all of the truffles, because each flavor seemed to elicit a different reaction in the outer coating. It was very unique. Some of these were more aromatic than they were flavorful, some vice versa. All delightful. Curry praline was the most unusual of these, with the same crunch as the aforementioned rosemary praline and a pungent bite. Cardamom was the most potently flavored and nearly overwhelmed the chocolate, but had a clean, persistent bite. Pink and red peppercorn and ginger were uniform, but strong with a lingering finish. All of these made phenomenal palate cleansers with a glass of wine after a long day. I particularly enjoyed the fruitiness some of these had, and this collection was a close contender for the overall favorite. This may have been the most whimsical of the patterns, veering toward less of an abstract vision for leopard spots and kissy lips!
Labels: 9, chocolate, dessert