The second annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon
Anyone who attended Sunday's second annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon certainly got her chocolate fix. Chocolatiers and chocolate makers handed out samples of chocolate-covered toffee, truffles, chocolate bars, even mocha espressos....
Southern California chocolatiers had standout offerings.
Here are the highlights:
Los Angeles-based Marti Chocolatt makes chocolates in flavors such as: buko pandan (pandan in milk chocolate with bits of young coconut); mango caramel; jasmine citron; sweet Philippine banana; and durian (yes, durian!). The durian is made with a puree of the famously stinky fruit, which actually was subtle and delicious in the chocolate.
Los Angeles-based Valerie Confections has started making more ganache-filled chocolates (aside from its excellent toffees), one of which is the black pepper truffle, which Valerie says she "sort of made by accident." The cream is infused with black pepper, and the result is mildly spicy and luscious.
Christopher Michael Artisan Chocolates is based in Newport Beach -- very fresh chocolates in a lot of interesting flavors: lemongrass; Hawaiian ginger; lavender caramel; peanut praline; and marzipan, almond and cinnamon.
San Diego-based Chuao Chocolatier has become a relatively big player in chocolate, with a lot of its products (and there are a lot of them) now available in supermarkets and Whole Foods stores. "Choco Pods" are one of its latest creations -- thin, cacao bean-shaped chocolates filled with caramel, the best of which might be the passion fruit caramel.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo of Christopher Michael chocolates by Betty Hallock