Serious Chocolate

As a chocolatier, I take different kinds of chocolate and add things like cream and sugar and natural flavors and turn it all into tasty confections.

A different kind of chocolate maker takes raw dried cacao beans and turns them into chocolate. These “bean-to-bar” producers are few and far between — of the small-batch individual chocolate producers, there are probably not more than a dozen in the U.S.

It’s a true art, and with the right techniques can produce chocolate beyond exquisite. Which is exactly what Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate does at his shop in Columbia, Missouri. His chocolate bars have only two ingredients — cacao beans and sugar — and are magical in their deep, complex flavors of coffee, citrus, nuts and berries.

Alan and I have been collaborating, and just this week used some of his 70% Madagascar chocolate in one of my truffles. Because his chocolate is so pure, I wanted to add as little as possible so I wouldn’t alter the flavors. I made the ganache with only cream, sugar and butter, and dipped the truffle in a blend of Patric chocolate and another neutral-flavor chocolate. Nothing on top, just straight chocolate coating.

The result is a truffle for serious chocolate aficionados. The deep Patric flavors come through the creamy ganache center beautifully, all bound together with the wonderfully rich Patric chocolate coating. It tastes kind of like magic.

To showcase the Patric flavor, Kakao is packaging the truffles with a bar of Patric 70% Madagascar chocolate. We’ll be selling the packages at the Maplewood Market (which starts its weekly Wednesday run today, April 1) and at the Kakao Open House this Saturday.

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