Monday, November 25, 2013

Chocolate Wasted at the Fall Chocolate Salon

Chocolate-covered marzipan from Nuttyness
If you're going to host a chocolate festival where oozy truffles are the treat du jour, you ought to provide napkins. Nonetheless, my sticky fingers had a marvelous time nabbing salted caramels (yes, they're still trending), pรขtes de fruits, and plenty of chocolate bon bons at the Fall Luxury Chocolate Salon at Fort Mason.

Socola and Charles Chocolates went boozy with the former offering a potent cognac truffle and the latter infusing his ganache with small-batch bourbon.

Just as I was getting bored with chocolate-covered nuts, I popped a hazelnut from Feve. Each one wore a thin armor of crunchy caramel under a dark chocolate overcoat. Owner Shawn Williams dry roasts the nuts in a copper pot, swathing them in sugar which slowly caramelizes to produce a candy shell.

Fire is still hot, and the sriracha truffle from Socola blew my lips off.  The name "Socola" is Vietnamese for "chocolate," but the company's flavor palette is cosmopolitan, wandering from chai to stout beer to guava. Prepare your waistline for their new store opening in SOMA in January 2014.

Despite their dainty appearance, Cocotutti's sleek truffles punched with whatever flavor they advertised. That lineup included blood orange, lemon lavender, and Yunnan tea.  Find them at select small retail stores.

I declared my affection for Nuttyness's chocolate-covered marzipan in an earlier piece on Bay Area candy bars, but when I spotted Kristian Salvesen at the chocolate salon, I couldn't resist snatching a few soft, almondy pieces shrouded in Belgium chocolate and jazzed with coffee, ginger, or pistachio.

I saved the most unusual treat for last -- the Marakesh truffle from Quail Point Chocolate. Located in Napa, chocolatier and owner Daniel Galvin uses thirty one spices to create his version of ras el hanout, a North African blend that includes coriander, cardamom, turmeric, and ginger. The ganache is intense and familiar, savory and surprising. It compels you to take just one more bite -- and then another -- as you hopelessly try to figure out what exactly is in it.


  1. Yum! I feel like I just went on a mini tour of the Fall Chocolate Salon. And all of the chocolates sound incredibly delicious! I'm excited that we have so many great local companies making amazing treats, and I can't wait to do my own hands-on research. :)

  2. It was a fun event and it was lovely to see you there. :) Thanks so much for stopping by our table! And thanks for this great post. We didn't have as much time as we would have liked to check out all the tasty treats, but now we definitely feel "in the know." Thanks and hope to see you at another event soon!