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Food and Drink Features
 

Chocolove


Whether it’s dark, milk or white, we love chocolate.

Jenny Coon Peterson February 9th, 2011

In ancient Mexico, its beans were used as currency. And in 17th century England, it was a rare delicacy. Today, chocolate still inspires us, from the traveling exhibit dedicated to it that recently visited the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to the rows of truffles available at 42nd Street Candy Company.

“It’s the food of the gods,” said Teresa Wall, owner of 42nd Street, 4200 N. Western. “I don’t know what it is in chocolate that really does stimulate your brain and give you a sense of pleasure.”

In a glass case, Wall carries a range of decadent chocolates, including truffles from Lake Champlain Chocolates in Vermont — “They are probably some of the creamiest truffles I’ve ever had,” Wall said — and Michel Cluizel from Paris.

One of the newer lines Wall has started carrying is La Bouchée. These cake balls have been popular at the candy shop, and three new flavors are now available: Italian cream, Mexican chocolate and cinnamon (called a Firecracker) and a strawberry-flavored cake dipped in dark chocolate.

“They’re such a fun size because you can just eat a couple of bites of them and you’re satisfied, as opposed to eating a whole slice of cake and then you feel guilty,” she said.

Another new line at 42nd Street are the edible glitter bonbons by Bedazzled Bonbons. With the bright colors and glitter, Wall said they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day. And just in time for the holiday, there are nine new colors and five flavors in the shop.

“They’ll be in all the fun Valentine’s colors,” Wall said. “They look so pretty if you come in and make up your own box of chocolates. Those glitter bonbons really dress up the box.”

Chocolate gets a lot of love at the family-owned Cuppies & Joe, 727 N.W. 23rd, as well. The popular dessert and drinks cafe is usually closed on Sunday and Monday, but Elizabeth Diefenderfer said it will be open Valentine’s Day and will offer holiday treats, like heart-shaped sugar cookies and special cupcakes.

To get your chocolate fix, she suggested trying the popular Boom Boom Pow, a vanilla bean cake with caramel at the center and topped with chocolate butter cream and a dash of sea salt. For a Valentine’s Day-approved treat, look for All That Razz, a chocolate cupcake with a truffle baked inside and topped with a raspberry cream cheese frosting.

We take that decadent chocolate and make it gorgeous.

—Lilli Taylor

Cuppies & Joe has all the usual, delicious suspects when it comes to chocolaty drinks, but for something unique, try the frozen hot chocolate. Yeah, frozen. But hot. It’s a tasty mystery.

“It tastes like a hot chocolate, but in frozen form,” Diefenderfer said. “It’s really good, really rich.”

Drinking and chocolate get together at Bin 73, 7312 N. Western, too, but in a different form.

Owner Beau Stevenson recommended the wine bar’s truffles, which are rolled daily. Look for fun flavors like crushed toffee, pistachios or cayenne and cinnamon. Pair it with wine or coffee for the perfect dessert.

“You can never go wrong with a Cab or a Zinfandel,” Stephenson said. “A big, red Zin, something with a little bit of heat to it to offset the chocolate.”

In Bricktown, artisan chocolate is the star at CocoFlow, 100 E. Main. This specialty chocolate shop, which relocated to Bricktown not too long ago, hand-makes all of its chocolates in small batches, like traditional chocolateries in Europe.

Lilli Taylor, a chocolatier and pastry chef at CocoFlow, said the shop makes bonbons with different colored cocoa butters and handmade rolled truffles that can be topped with colored sugars, nuts or chocolate curls.

“It’s just so decadent,” Taylor said of the sweets. “You don’t get special chocolates all the time. What we do here at CocoFlow is we take that decadent chocolate and make it gorgeous.”

And it’s especially gorgeous just in time for Valentine’s Day, with special treats available like dark or milk chocolate hearts and a raspberry truffle coated in pink sugar.

“It’s perfect for the one you love,” she said.

If you’re looking for Valentine’s date ideas, CocoFlow also has a party space above the shop. Each Friday and Saturday, the shop hosts chocolate parties, where guests learn about the history of chocolate and how it became the beloved sweet we know today. Of course, there’s chocolate to try during the parties, plus an opportunity to try your hand at rolling your own truffles.

CocoFlow’s chocolate parties can hold up to 12 guests, so call to make a reservation.

There’s really no end in sight for the popularity of chocolate, especially with all the new flavors and unique combinations popping up (bacon and chocolate, anyone?). And with these metro shops and cafes turning out such decadent treats, there’s really no excuse for that tired old box of assembly line chocolate.

It makes old-hat roses and heartshaped boxes seem a little lame, doesn’t it?

 
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