Friday, October 12, 2007

Mori Ex Cacao Gift Set

A couple of months ago I got an invitation from Valerie Confections to preview their Mori Ex Cacao gift set. It’s a set of three skull-shaped chocolates. Rather than a little flat piece of candy, these are large and three dimensional with crisp and freaky details on the skulls, which are then filled with a premium truffle ganache or caramel.

The fissures in the skull can be made out easily, as can the individual teeth and with the three-dimensions of the skull, even the back of the head continues these details down to the base and roof of the mouth.

Dean & Deluca Catalog

The Skulls were designed by Modern Alchemist Douglas Little and are about the size of a hefty plum. The design is based on DL&Co’s Memento Mori Collection, which features a similar looking skull candle and other small statuary pieces. A little bit more upscale than the traditional pumpkins and witches, this rather macabre take also features some incredible attention to detail.

First, the confections are hand “cast” with premium Felchlin Chocolate. Then each is filled with one of three centers. The chocolates are created in a three dimensional silicone mold, based on an original design by Douglas Little. After unmolding the chocolates are then airbrushed by hand with a cocoa-butter based “paint” which results in three different confections - one charcoal-black, one cocoa-brown and one bleached-bone white.

(this image was provided by Valerie Confections)

I didn’t get to eat the “real thing”, instead they created some tasting portions, which looked an awful lot like regular old chocolates (probably better for me that way). This means that my tasting notes are not based on the actual proportions of chocolate-to-filling you may get with the ultimate product, but all the other elements were the same.

Scorched Caramel
They say: Organic cream is slowly combined with sugar over an intense flame, until the deep amber confection appears. Decadent.

I had my doubts, mostly because the caramel was so dark, I was afraid it’d be bitter and though it did have some burnt tones to it, it was complex and not too sweet. It went wonderfully with the chocolate.

Bitter Brandied Cherry
They say: An exquisite and unusual confection of indulgent bitter chocolate, Kirsch-perfumed ganache and succulent sour cherries steeped in liqueur, finished in porcelain white cocoa.

I say I don’t like cherry flavor, but these were real sour cherries, not some crazy artificial extract. The deep fruit flavors went really well in the ganache, a slight bitter note which I think tied into the macabre tone of the confections quite well.

Curious Chili
They say: An eccentric array of chilies and spices are combined with the deepest chocolate into an exotic and exciting sensation, with a heat that lingers long after the chocolate is gone. An extraordinary experience.

Oh, this really lived up to its hype. The chocolate flavors were not overpowered by the spice. There was definitely a bit of throat burning going on, but again, it fit very well with the design and presentation as a whole.

Would I buy these? Certainly not for $100 a set ($40 for an individual skull of any flavor). I understand that the ingredients are premium and they’re really labor intensive. So it’s not that I don’t think they’re worth it, but the whole skull thing just isn’t really that big of a draw to me. I like my candy pretty and I never quite got how skulls and bones celebrate life. But if you are a fan of this type of design, and if you’re looking for something purely decadent to arouse all of the senses (this would be great to share as a couple) then this would be an excellent gift.

They can be purchased directly from Valerie Confections or from Dean & Deluca (they only carry the full set but also have some companion products that might complete the effect). They come in a lovely black silk box.

Related Candies

  1. Valerie Toffees & Nougats
  2. CocoaBella - The Night of the Chocolate Hangover
  3. Brain Candy! (gummi brains)
  4. Repost: CraniYUMS!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:40 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyChocolatierReviewHalloweenValerie ConfectionsCaramelChocolate7-Worth ItUnited States

  1. Those are so macabre and seem almost jarring coming from Valerie. Valerie seems more… girly to me. That said, they are stunning and I am seriously tempted. Hmmm. Chocolate or new computer?

    Does Valerie always use Felchlin? Do you know what their standard couverture is? And now I have to go see if they are carrying the Holiday Nougat. Drool.

    Comment by KateC on 10/12/07 at 1:33 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    KateC - last time I checked on their couveture it was mostly Valhrona and I think some Guittard.

    Comment by Cybele on 10/12/07 at 1:42 pm #
  3. $40 for one skull?!? Sheesh.

    Comment by Elise on 10/12/07 at 4:51 pm #
  4. Pity they didn’t give you the actual skulls. I would have liked to see some of your photos of them. It’s hard to guess what they really look like from advertising material.
    They look fabulous but I would never buy them myself, excellent present though!
    Did your samples have the “paint”? if so does it have a tastes, texture?

    Comment by leigh on 10/12/07 at 5:05 pm #
  5. This is too cool. I feel a project with kids coming on. Thanks.

    Comment by mrs g on 10/12/07 at 9:30 pm #
  6. You know, I was on the site looking at them a day or three ago and thinking how fantastic they looked.  I never bothered to look at the price.  In true Halloween spirit, that is one scary price (couldn’t resist).
    They look amazing, but wow.

    Comment by william on 10/14/07 at 1:19 pm #
  7. The detail is fantastic and the flavors sound intriguing, but skulls aren’t really my thing.  And that price.. wow.  Out of my budget at least!

    This does make me want to go out and buy some fun chocolate molds though.  I’m starting to get into the candy season spirit.

    Comment by Alicia on 10/14/07 at 3:53 pm #
  8. Yea I’d have to agree with you on that one - I would most certainly not be willing to pay $100 for three chocolate skulls. I don’t find them appealing or necessary by any means. The flavors however, did sound intriguing.

    Comment by Hillary on 10/15/07 at 8:05 am #
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