Bubble Wrap Chocolate at Delessio Market
At this point in time, it's probably becoming clear that I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas. I really love artisan ice cream, buttery pastries, a simple chocolate chip cookie -- and of course, chocolate. While I don't dabble with chocolate that contains lots of fillers or funky ingredients, for the most part I'll eat pretty much anything. From Ritter Sport Bars to Trader Joe's dark chocolate to an occasional Toblerone, my apartment is like a rotating door of chocolate consumption. I buy new bars and somehow they magically disappear.
But lately, I've discovered three new small-batch companies that are so special I've actually been savoring them. Yes, they've lasted for more than a day--even two, actually. I've fallen hard for each of these treats and I'm excited to take a moment to share them with you.
Bubble-Wrap Chocolate from Delessio Market
Delessio Bakery is attached to Falletti Foods. This is my neighborhood market although it's not the kind of spot where you do all of your grocery shopping; it's the perfect place to pop in for a quick bottle of wine, some fruit for your morning cereal or some pasta for dinner. However, I often find myself at Delessio Bakery for one of their lovely mini cupcakes or for a piece of bubble-wrap chocolate. Yes, I'll admit it: I first bought it because it was kind of a novelty and I haven't outgrown my love for stomping on bubble wrap and annoying friends and family near and far. But after the novelty wore off, I realized this is some darn good chocolate. They start with Felchin Swiss chocolate and melt it down, temper it, and then pour and cool it over a bubble wrap. They add in simple spices or inclusions chosen wisely so as not to mask the true flavor of the chocolate. While I generally prefer dark chocolate, the milk chocolate with macadamia nut brittle is amazing. And the bittersweet with cocoa nibs is a classic at my place. Delessio is remodeling this week and it's a little chaotic in there--but thankfully they've put the bubble-wrap in plain sight right by the entrance. In my opinion, this is really where it should always remain.
Hooker's Sweet Treats
I can't stop talking about these salted caramels. I know, I know. Maybe you feel like you're 'salted caramel-ed' out--we've certainly seen restaurants and bakeries all around the city grabbing a piece of the trend. But David "Hooker" Williams is here to stay with his Hooker's Sweet Treats, trend or not. You haven't tried a rich, buttery, complex salted caramel until you've tried one of his treats. The caramels are enrobed in 72 percent bittersweet chocolate and sprinkled with smokey Welsh sea salt.
They're packaged in a sweet craft box and currently you can only get them at two spots in town: Sightglass Coffee and The Perish Trust. But the Gods are in our favor on this one and Williams is slated to open his storefront at 442 Hyde (Between Ellis and O'Farrell) sometime this month. In addition to his infamous caramels, he'll also stock the caramel corn that has started to earn a following, and a few other treats such as Bread Pudding. For now, I'm hoofing it over to the Perish Trust and crossing my fingers they'll be in stock. Then I'm savoring each one slowly.
Based out of Southern California, ChocoVivo is doing really cool things with chocolate. This is another company that I can't stop talking about. The first word that comes to mind in describing this chocolate to friends is "rustic." It's stone-ground (how the Mayans used to do it over 2000 years ago), untempered (the process that makes chocolate shiny and pretty), and contains very few ingredients. On their website, they note: "“We eat whole fruits and vegetables, why not whole bean chocolate?” It's a good point. Next time you're at the market, take a look at the label of your favorite chocolate bar. I'd be willing to guess it has many more ingredients than you would've thought. My favorite ChocoVivo bar is the Almonds and Sea Salt and the ingredient list reads: cacao Nibs, dry roasted almonds, unrefined cane sugar, salt. That's it. Simple. Tasty. You'll be talking about this chocolate, too. I guarantee it.