Top Pick Of The Week

April 15, 2011


An artistic selection from Philadelphia chocolatier Marcie Blaine. From top: Canela Ancho Chile, Peanut Butter Pretzel and Crispy Hazelnut. Photography by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Artisan chocolates from six American chocolatiers.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Each chocolatier has a different approach to handcrafting chocolates.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love that American artisans make such beautiful and delicious chocolate!

.Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates


Normally, I am a stodgy traditionalist when it comes to chocolates. Not for me the exotic, cutting-edge blends of herbs and spices and other ingredients with my Theobroma cacao; I tend to stick to tried-and-true combinations.

That makes it all the more surprising that I enjoy some of Marcie Blaine’s chocolates, which feature flavors I usually wouldn’t go for.

Take her Bombay Wink chocolate: Madras curry and coconut are blended with a dark chocolate, and it’s a beautiful mix. You can taste all of the elements, but no flavor is overwhelming or gets pushed out of the way.

Then there’s her Italian Flirt, a rosemary-pine nut caramel. I don’t even like pine nuts and I didn’t think rosemary went with chocolate, so I’m at a loss to explain why this piece works; I know only that it does.

Other complex flavors include ancho chile-peanut, blood orange-olive oil, canela (cinnamon)-ancho chile, coffee-whiskey, elderflower-Champagne, strawberry balsamic and smoked bacon-infused chocolate ganache.

If “glamour” flavors aren’t your thing, don’t despair. Chef Blaine’s Fleur de Sel Caramel is an outstanding example of its kind, with enough salt (but not too much) and a caramel that’s chewy and tender simultaneously.

Or try the Love Park, with a raspberry ganache that’s almost jammy in its depth of fruit flavor.

The Philadelphia collection is both clever in its designs (the skyline, the Liberty Bell, a soft pretzel and the LOVE statue). The gift boxes, a chocolate brown lid on a chartreuse base, are handsome indeed.

— Stephanie Zonis


Next up: WR Chocolatier.



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Continue To Page 7: WR Chocolatier


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