Sunday, April 29, 2012

Koko Chocolates Review: For Mother's Day and beyond.

Jen is a mom, and a chocolatier.
Officially, she knows what moms want!


Our good friend Jen Winter, owner and chocolatier at Koko Chocolates, asked us to review two of her new spring/summer flavours. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we figured many of you might be looking for something traditional to gift—but with a little twist. Why pick up the usual box of big-brand chocolates for Mama when we have scrumptious truffles handmade by a local artisan just around the corner? And make no mistake, Koko chocolates are probably closer to you than you realize: they are now being carried at various retailers including The Candy Store in Westboro, and other great shops (or online).

Koko’s two newest flavours are described here, as taste-tested by yours truly (Jordan), who is a chocolate fanatic, and by Brian, who has been formally trained in tasting wine, beer, and coffees; his clever palette picks up all sorts of nuances that you, 
the reader, can then strive to pick up, too.


Features jam from michaelsdolce with a layer of star anise-infused dark chocolate ganache.

This adorable little truffle with its swish of sparkly pink is deceptively lighthearted in appearance compared to its rich, bold flavour. When first bitten, notes of strong dark coffee hit the tongue before the liquorice bite of the star anise sets in. The smooth anise-scented dark chocolate ganache is complemented by a bubble of tart, juicy plum jam that sits in the middle. There’s a complex spiciness to this truffle that keeps you coming back for more. Brian also noted that the flavours pair well with a Bridgehead Costa Rican Cloudforest black coffee; so perhaps make Mom a breakfast in bed with some fairly-traded coffee and this truffle on the side.


A creamy white chocolate ganache infused with dried lavender. 

This truffle is a real treat, and way too easy to eat. The chocolate shell of this truffle manages to be rich but not overpowering, as your teeth sink down into the white chocolate centre. This creamy ganache has a distinctive “cheesecakey-ness”, with a rich denseness to it. The taste of lavender is subtle in this chocolate, which Brian liked, but I—a seasoned lavender-chocolate muncher—would have been happy to have amplified. It was delicious, however, and a pleasant introduction to the almost rosemary-like taste of lavender that would be a new experience for many chocolate eaters. Brian felt that with its floral, bright, yet calming flavour notes, this chocolate should be eaten on its own. I added, yes: in large quantities.

If you’re sick of the teasing sunny-but-cold spring weather, and you’re yearning to slip on some flipflops and shorts, we heartily suggest picking up a few of Koko Chocolate’s bright new flavours. It may be a frosty spring day, but it doesn’t have to taste like one. Treat yourself, and amaze your mother with true artisanal quality treats that are truly worth the indulgence.

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