When I first heard of Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, it was through Rosa over at ZOMG! Candy. She reviewed a sampling of their truffles, and I recognized the name of where Hedonist is located, as my Aunt lived in Rochester, NY. A few weeks ago I was contacted by Hedonist asking if I’d like some free samples of their work to review on the blog. I recalled Rosa’s glowing review and gladly accepted their offer.
I was sent a box of their Holiday Truffle collection and two packages of bark. Everything arrived safely in colorful tissue paper, with the chocolate works of art as pristine as if I had just carried them out of their store.
Let’s get to the tasting, shall we?
Holiday Truffle Collection
Champagne Pomegranate: Dark with a dusting of sugar crystals on top. The shell is of medium thickness, it took me a moment to sink my teeth into it. Flavor is chocolatey and smooth, with a nice tart fruitiness to it. Pomegranate is a bit of a ethereal flavor to capture, as is champagne, but the overall fruitiness of both elements show and balance with the dark chocolate.
Egg Nog: Topped with a sprinkling of nutmeg. The center of this one is a speckled white chocolate. The texture is very buttery and smooth, and you taste the creaminess of the white chocolate, mixed with gentle notes of the spices. It’s a very authentic eggnog, minus the intense burn of rum. It’s extremely tasty and I really enjoyed it.
Fig: Accented with a dried slice of fig, this one seemed much darker and denser than the others. The texture is very moist, smooth and creamy, You do taste the fig, with this sweet rich flavors and it really complements the chocolate. There’s even bits of the seeds in there which adds to the wonderful texture contrast. While you might seeds in a ganache would detract from the ganache’s smooth center, this actually works well and make it feel more fresh and authentic.
Ginger Molasses: I found the description of this one every enticing. Topped with a slice of candied ginger, the shell is a nice thickness again and the interior ganache is milker colored than the others. The flavor is beautiful, you get the spice of the ginger, which isn’t too strong. the molasses is very prominent, giving this wonderful earthy rich flavor to the chocolate. It’s like a ginger snap in a chocolate truffle. It’s delicious and I really loved it.
Orange Clove: Decorated with a slice of candied orange peel. The orange flavor is present immediately, and it’s a delicate flavor that’s still second place to the chocolate. the clove takes a moment to show, but when it does appear, it’s very pronounced and earthy. it really reminds me of Wassil, very fruity and full of spice. It tastes of the holidays.
Milk Chocolate Sesame Bark: Creamy looking milk chocolate studded with white and black sesame seeds. It smells very nutty and sweet. The milk chocolate is smooth and buttery, with nice notes of caramel, cream and cocoa. The sesame adds a slightly crunchy texture and a wonderful toasted nutty flavor. The seeds are also salty, and that really enhances the flavors of the milk chocolate. It’s lovely.
Pistachio Ginger Bark: Beautiful dark colored semi-sweet chocolate with whole pistachios and chunks of crystallized gingers with a touch of salt. Yum! The chocolate is about 1/4 inch thick, so it’s a perfect size for biting into; it’s not too thick and not too thin. The melt of the chocolate is smooth and buttery and rich with flavors that aren’t too acidic, but carry nice notes of coffee and cocoa. The pistachios are wonderfully fresh and salty and really add depth and substance to the chocolate base. The ginger gives it a nice chew, with it’s thick and slightly sticky texture. It adds a nice warmth to the chocolate and all three ingredients go together beautifully.
The well designed and beautifully executed flavors of these chocolates really wow-ed me. Usually most artisan chocolates make something “ho-hum”, something ordinary but extremely tasty, something overly unique to shock you, and I find myself unimpressed afterward. These fall into all the right niches of creating a tasty and indulgent experience. Despite all the additions to the bark and the flavors of the chocolate, Hedonist still lets the chocolate shine over all the other ingredients. Which, is what a good chocolatier does in my opinion.
Rating: Will Buy Again