Note: This is a general post all about sweets I’ve eaten within the past several weeks just to catch up before my grad school schedule gets in the way…
Several weeks ago when we’re all suffering (in New York City, at least) from the blistering heat. Desperate for relief – and wanted to try something different I picked up some pints of Chozen Ice Cream. This ice cream company started out of an idea of three Jewish women wanted to take the idea of traditional Jewish sweets and put it into a sophisticated form in ice cream (as well as being Kosher).
The three I ate through (with the help of friends and family, of course, before I become diabetic) were the Apples & Honey, Coconut Macaroon, and Ronne’s Rugleach. Apples & Honey were not too sweet and has a good amount of apples mixed into the honey ice cream and the hint of cinnamon flavor was nicely balanced. The coconut macaroon was my mother’s favorite as it’s very coconut-ty, as every spoonful had a ton of dessicated coconut flakes with the smooth almond ice cream emphasizing the nutty flavor. Personally, I liked Ronne’s Rugleach (Ronne is one of the founding women’s mother). The cinnamon ice cream was a wonderful backdrop to the large, chunky nuggets of raisin walnut rugelach that’s rolled in apricot jam.
Moving to sweets that are edible closer to room temperature… Over the weeks when I had visiting relatives from out of town they were enamored with Valrhona, as they never had their amazing chocolate before. The EQUINOXE collection consisted of a mix of premium grade nuts (almonds and hazelnuts), fig biscuit (think spheres of crisp fig accented cookie), and orange coated in milk and dark chocolate. Even some of my male relatives who are not too fond of sweets, managed to eat a good amount of them. As for the 19-piece bonbon gift box, they were sublime. The ratio of chocolate and filling were very good with great flavor (not too intense and definitely not bland). Of course, the quality of chocolate is top notch.
Valrhona U.S. Website
A few weeks ago, I gotten a gorgeous 20-piece pastel green silk box of chocolates from Jin Patisserie from California. Some of the flavors featured in this box are familiar, like a dark chocolate, sea salt caramel, and passion fruit, to some unfamiliar combinations like mango kalamansi and mango basil. They were overall delicious but some of the interesting flavored chocolates didn’t shine as well as I was hoping.
Also, I had their Yek Yek cookies and sesame peanut butter cookies, which I liked more than the chocolates. The cookies’ texture were crumbly, melt in your mouth bites of goodness. The unusually named Yek Yek cookies were divine. I found out it’s the proprietor, Kristy Choo’s family recipe (hailing across the Pacific Ocean at Singapore). It kind of explains the mind blowing texture (close to a shortbread) and the delicate sweetness of the cookies. The sesame peanut butter cookies had a similar shortbread-like texture of the Yek Yek cookies. I adore the intense toasted nutty flavors baked into this cookie as well as the light hand with the sugar.
Jin Patisserie (E-store)
Earlier this summer, I’ve stumbled across several bars of Alégio Claudio Corallo Chocolate. Corallo chocolate is based on the tiny volcanic archipelago of São Tomé. Corallo was a tropical agronomist from Florence, Italy, lives with his family. They cultivate the descendants of the first cacao plants to arrive in Africa in 1819, as well as a collection of rare coffee plants.
This chocolate brand uses the purest chocolate I’ve ever tasted. The chocolates were very clean tasting, as the brand uses 100% chocolate liqueur and start at a relatively high cacao percentage at 73% with cacao nibs. Corallo’s whole cocoa beans were a fun treat to eat if you really enjoy your intensely dark and bitter chocolate kick but it’s certainly the purest form of having chocolate. The slab of Ubric 8 reminds me of a sophisticated form of a Chunky bar. It’s filled with raisins but instead of nuts, it’s cacao nibs to maintain that chocolate flavor. Their chocolate bars were great as well; nothing was too sweet. If you are a chocolate connoisseur or purist for dark chocolate, this brand is it.
Information/How to purchase them: Alégio Chocolate (the only U.S. retailer of Claudio Corallo Chocolate) http://www.alegio.com/