|Chocolate-covered marzipan from Nuttyness|
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.