Sunday, March 27, 2011

Salted Bourbon Caramel

Salted Bourbon Caramel
Snake & Butterfly, $6/4

Generally speaking, the chocolate world is divided into two camps: chocolate makers, who turn cacao into edible chocolate, and chocolatiers, who turn pre-made chocolate into confections or bars. California-based Snake & Butterfly is a rare breed, an artisan "bean-to-bar" chocolate maker that also crafts exquisite confections (a "bean-to-bonbon" maker?).

One of the annual rituals of my childhood was biting into a neighbor's homemade bourbon balls, then opting to eat only the chocolate shell; every year, I tried again, hoping I would have matured enough to appreciate the candy's boozy center, but no dice.

I guess I must be a full-on grown-up now, because I could happily eat one of Snake & Butterfly's salted bourbon caramels every day of the week. The bitter chocolate shell encapsulates a core of creamy liquid caramel as salty as barroom banter and potent enough to knock me a few inches sideways. Think of it as an all-in-one dessert shot.

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