Valentine's Day 2013: Chocolate Haul!

February 17, 2013

Hmm... I wonder what is inside?
Just wanted to do a quick post about the lovely chocolates I got to eat on Valentine's Day this year!

The past few weeks have been extremely hectic, so A. and I didn't have plans to celebrate. Instead, we each bought a box of chocolates and ended our February 14th with some long-awaited sweets.

The consummate crowd-pleaser for people with different tastes (from top going left to right): Earl Grey, Raspberry, Coconut, Lavender, Black Sesame, Blood Orange, Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Yuzu, Ginger, Green Tea and Champagne
Knowing that A. has a penchant for interesting flavors, I stopped by Kee's Chocolates in Midtown to pick up a box of 12 truffles. Kee's is well known for using smooth, fruity dark chocolate and creating truffles with thin, delicate shells. The confections here are perfect for a loved one that has an open mind.

When a store offers truffles flavored with Yuzu, Earl Grey, Cayenne and Lavender, you know your taste buds are in for an adventure. For me, some highlights in my box of delights were the Champagne, Black Sesame and Dark Chocolate. These flavors were balanced and not too sweet. The Black Sesame, in particular, was very aromatic. As I chewed, the roasted seeds broke apart and melded with the soft ganache within - it was quite pleasant and reminded me a lot of fresh nut butter.

Utterly scrumptious.
I also picked up a couple of Kee's famous Creme Brulee Truffles as a special Day-Before-Valentine's treat. As soon as I sank my teeth into these sizable hexagons, I immediately understood where all the hype was coming from. They were an one-bite affair filled with an impossibly creamy vanilla custard. The truffle broke apart in my mouth very much like a real bite of creme brulee except with dark chocolate standing in for burnt sugar. Out of all the Kee's confections I've had, the Creme Brulee Truffle definitely reigns as my favorite.

A.'s present for me came from Neuhaus. A two-tier combination of dark and milk truffles, the box also featured an hidden ingredient that was present in almost all of the chocolates: hazelnut.

From top to bottom: hazelnut, hazelnut, hazelnut, hazelnut, hazelnut. Did I mention there was hazelnut? 
Milky, nutty and very sweet, each piece melted in my mouth without much effort. I loved the Nutella-esque flavor and while it got a little monotonous, I found the overall Neuhaus box much more enjoyable than the Kee's box. Among the bunch, I especially loved the ones that had a Gianduja filling (milk chocolate containing 30%+ hazelnut paste) with crunchy cereal bits.

This Valentine's Day was actually one of the best I've ever had. Sampling so many chocolates and unwinding after a long day's work was just what I needed. It just goes to show you that even the fanciest dinners and the wildest parties can't beat simply being with the people you love.

Kee's Chocolates
Multiple Locations
New York, NY

Multiple Locations
New York, NY

Valentine's Day 2013: Chocolate Haul!

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

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