I Won Chocolate!!
|'kay so this was a very stressful, hectic week and I didn't do much in the "new recipe - never been blogged about before" category. Although I did make one helluva tasty and super easy pork tenderloin a couple nights ago - which I fully intend on sharing with yous, but I'm sorry - chocolate takes precedence above everything else. Especially expensive and exotic gourmet truffles, that were FREE because YOU WON THEM! Oh. Yeah. Baby.|
So it all started one day as I was perusing blogs and checking out various blog rolls, when I came about a blogger in Columbus. Columbus is about 3 hours south of us. I've visited Columbus once, but very briefly. Actually - I was only there for the state fair because Ted "Uncle Tedly Von Nugentberger" Nugent was playing with his fellow band members in a lil 80's rock band called The Damn Yankees. I believe that was concert No. 5 of the summer - more specifically The Damn Yankees 5th concert that I attended that summer, as a friend and I followed them all over the tri-state area like sad lil puppies. Good times. Good times.
Anyhoo.. where was I?
Ahh yes! Columbus! Home of Becke who is the author of a great blog called Columbus Foodie. Becke's blog features quite a few restaurant reviews as well as some tasty dishes she whips up in her kitchen. As per my usual ritual when I find a new blog that I like, I started going through the archives to get a better idea of the person behind the drool-worthy pictures and recipes. It didn't take me long to find a post she'd written about a local chocolatier, who happens to be a good friend of hers. His name is Daniel Cooper and he's the Master Chocolatier of Pure Imagination Chocolatier. The post was an introduction, of sorts, to encourage her readers to try some of Daniel's confections. After reading about how he started creating his chocolates (in his basement by reading books!) I was amazed and more than curious. Further reading led to her announcement of how she believes in Daniel and his chocolate creations so much, that she was offering a free box of 9 handmade truffles of your choice - all you had to do was leave a comment! Hell, I was already going to comment on how in awe I was that this man now owned a thriving shop, has more than a few celebrities as clients AND provides custom made truffles for the awards season in Hollywood.. and it all started in his basement. Fabulous. So I left my comment and read a lil more into her archives before moving on. I went back a few times to read her current posts, and quite frankly, forgot all about the truffle contest.
Until last Friday night when I checked e-mail before going to bed and there was the notice from Becke that I had won the contest! WOO!! I've never won anything before. So this was quite exciting for me. =) Becke asked me to check out Pure Imagination's website to get an idea of what kinds of truffles they offer, pick 9 of them and send her a list with my address. I'm sure you can guess what I did into the wee hours of the night, eh? So I picked my 9 sinfully droolicious truffle flavors, wrote her back and yesterday I received my box. Be still my heart. =)
Aren't they gorgeous? Oh I had such glorious plans for this post.. I wanted so badly to review each truffle just like Cybele does on her Candy Blog that I heart so very much! I spent a good hour, before sitting here to write this post, photographing each truffle and then groups of truffles and then each truffle carefully cut in half so you could see the creamy wonderous insides.. I had planned on tasting each and every one so that I could write up something fabulous that would make every person on the face of the planet flock to Pure Imagination to clean him out of his truffles!! Ohhh I had plans!!!
Fifty blurry pictures later - and that one above, in all it's explosive flash beauty is the only flippin picture that was not so distorted that you couldn't recognize what I was trying to capture. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the crap cam? *sigh* I even set the damn camera on the counter and just touched the freakin' button to avoid my shaky hands = blurry picture results! My crap cam sucks. And I suck too. Ya wanna know why? I'm gonna tell ya.
After seeing that all my pictures were useless and knowing I couldn't really go back because I had cut all my lil truffles in half, I decided I'd review them anyway - on taste alone if I had too! So what is my next brilliant move? I don't take the time to get Pure Imagination's website up in front of me so I'd know what truffle I was tasting - I just dive right in and the first one I taste is the The Theobroma Truffle. This is how the truffle is described on their website:
"This wonderful flavor combination was featured in the movie “Chocolat” and contains nutmeg, clove, and cayenne pepper. We enrobe ours in our signature dark chocolate."
Notice the words in bold? Mmm hmm.. yes, this lil truffle packs a mighty punch. It is truly delicious, but it's firey hot. The burn starts on the top of your tongue and trickles down the back of your throat. A lovely sensation, actually. I thoroughly enjoyed it. BUT, the firey stuff? Yeah, it kinda killed all known living taste buds on my tongue - therefore each and every half-a-truffle I had after, was pretty close to creamy tastelessness. It's amazing I don't get paid for reviewing products, isn't it?
Forging on.. I can confidently say that these are very smooth and creamy truffles as well as simply gorgeous to look at. Although I thought that the Midnight Extra Dark Truffle, and the Mousse Au Chocolat Dark Truffle were very similar in taste although very different in appearance.
The Cappuccino Truffle and the Tiramisu Truffle did not have very prominent coffee flavors, actually I did not taste coffee notes at all - keep in mind my burnt tongue though.
The Key Lime Truffle had a nice lime flavor, although I wish it were a bit stronger. It's almost in the background as opposed to the nice zing of lime that I had hoped for.
I had asked for the Blood Orange Mimosa Truffle but they were out of them, so Becke chose to replace it with The Relic Truffle and I'm glad she chose this one. I love the look of it and the crunch of the roasted cocoa nibs was fabulous.
The Fresh Spiced Cinnamon Truffle was the perfect combination of cinnamon and dark chocolate ganache. The cinnamon had a warm flavor but wasn't over-powering. I loved it.
Finally, the Pearls of Pure Imagination Truffle was the prettiest of the bunch, had a wonderful crunch due to the assorted chocolate pearls laid on top of the creamy dark chocolate ganache. If you haven't guessed by the name, this is one of their most popular in their signature line. I can see why.
I'll be trying the 2nd half of these lil chocolate treats another night and have already marked the Theobroma truffle to enjoy LAST. hee! But from first impressions, I'd say The Relic, the Fresh Cinnamon, the Pearls of Pure Imagination and the Theobroma are my favorites in this box. =)
Thank you Becke for sending me delicious truffles! And thank you, Daniel, for reading those books and experimenting in your basement all those years ago! I thoroughly enjoyed this lil taste test (admittedly unorganized and unprofessional as it were) and I look forward to trying other flavors in the future. :D
Labels: Rantings and Ravings