Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sterling Truffle Bars: Double Hazelnut Caramel Truffle & Cappuccino with a Twist

Sterling Confections Truffle BarsSterling Confections truly thinks outside the chocolate box with their Truffle Bars.

They’re a long bar of ganache encased in a hand painted chocolate shell that’s meant to be sliced instead of popped in the mouth whole.

The bars come in two sizes, a four inch long/six ounce bar and an eight inch long/twelve ounce bar. Though $14 for the small one sounded like a lot at first, when I thought about it, that’s a little over $37 per pound, which is pretty good for a box of fine chocolates. The small version makes 10 servings.

I got a hold of two bars from a media event called Food Fete (great writeup here): Double Hazelnut Caramel Truffle and Cappuccino with a Twist.

Sterling Confections Truffle Bar - Double Hazelnut CaramelThe Double Hazelnut Caramel Bar is A striking, hand-painted truffle with contrasting tiers of milk chocolate flavored with rich hazelnut puree, white chocolate infused with caramel, dark chocolate and a hint of ground hazelnut.

The bar has a simple construction. It’s a rounded prism shape, as described on the package, it’s about four inches long and 2 inches wide/high.

The shell is banded with colored white chocolate and milk chocolate. Inside are three layers of ganache.

Sterling Confections - Double Hazelnut Caramel Truffle Bar

First, I have to say, it’s an amazing construction and it looks just like it’s supposed to. I liked the banded coloring, it was appetizing and made an excellent presentation. Slicing the product was pretty easy, I had no trouble at all with the above knife, which I wiped after each slice (they suggest warming it in hot water and then wiping it dry). The bar was at room temp, which may have been a little colder than normal (about 62 F).

I made my initial slices rather thin, about a quarter of an inch is pictured. After a little math later on I realized they should have been over a third of an inch. You can gauge it yourself for the number of guests & how much they want to eat. thicker provides both a good portion and makes it easier to pick up, even if you cut them in half, especially if it gets a little warmer upon serving.

The ganache center was smooth and soft, a little fudgy. The flavors were light but pleasant. The center layer definitely had the caramel notes and the toasted hazelnut flavors while the top and bottom layers were more of the straight chocolate variety.

Personally I might have preferred more hazelnut to it or at least more of a punch of flavors, but it was definitely a decadent little treat.

Sterling Confections Truffle Bar - Cappuccino with a Twist

The second bar was Cappuccino with a Twist. The little tag described it like this: An artfully hand-painted truffle filled with the mingling flavors of milk chocolate, coffee-infused white chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee liqueur and a subtle finish of lemon.

I didn’t care much for the design on the outside of this one, though once cut up it didn’t matter much. But then again, with less design on the outside I wasn’t eating as much food coloring.

The three layers here worked excellently. The bottom was a dark chocolate that had just a hint of strong coffee. The middle layer was softer, sweeter and less intense. The top was a white chocolate with a strong note of lemon zest. Towards the end of it all there’s a slight alcoholic punch.

I liked the layering on all of them, they were distinct and made eating them a bit of an adventure.

Sterling Confections Truffle Bar - Cappuccino with a TwistThe interesting part of all of this is that the ganache is the star here. Once sliced, there’s very little chocolate shell, far less than most truffles, so it’s all about the cream and chocolate concoction.

They make a really nice presentation piece, the only drawback when serving to a small number of people is the lack of variety. So if you’re serving 20 people, two or three of the small bars would mean only two or three choices instead of the wide variety you could do with regular truffles.

However, the ability to control the portion size and the sheer novelty of seeing a huge log of chocolate that you can have a slice of is pretty spectacular.

I took this to an Oscar viewing party and it was part of a buffet of desserts. In the future though I think it would be an interesting bar of a dessert cheese plate, served along with some cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, honey and crackers.

The drawback is mostly that this is a bar for sharing. I can’t see popping this out of the sleeve and chomping into it, well, maybe in some sort of 30 Rock scene with Liz Lemon on a crazed depression-fueled-chocolate-binge. So it’s a special occasion sort of purchase. I’ve only seen them in specialty stores (it might have been Bloomingdales), so web-ordering is probably a necessity. However, it would make an incredible hostess gift or finish to a meal. With economic pressures, this sort of splurge might actually be good - it feels decadent but isn’t as expensive as some artisan chocolates or even upscale bakery products and brings people together, which is part of the magical quality of food.

Watch them being made on this segment from Unwrapped (the company is under new ownership since that was shot). Here’s another review too, before you take the plunge with your bucks from Food Gal.

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Name: Sterling Truffle Bars: Double Hazelnut Caramel Truffle & Cappuccino with a Twist
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Sterling Confections
Place Purchased: samples from Sterling Confections
Price: $14
Size: 6 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, Nuts, coffee, Chocolatier, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:18 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I love the colours…they are so pretty! Though that second bar reminds me more of mint than coffee.

    Comment by Sweet Pursuit on 2/24/09 at 11:34 am #
  2. OMG these are BEAUTIFUL!  I need. 

    I am such a sucker for product and package design.

    Comment by Elise on 2/24/09 at 2:55 pm #
  3. ETA:  Just bought the Rocky Road bar.  I have GOT to stop reading your site lol   smile  smile

    Comment by Elise on 2/24/09 at 3:00 pm #
  4. Sera's avatar

    Oh wow those are gorgeous Cybele!

    Comment by Sera on 2/25/09 at 3:07 am #
  5. this looks so good. i found this website with links to lots of gourmet candy like it for anyone interested: http://www.foodsoftheweb.com

    Comment by JesseABD on 2/25/09 at 5:20 am #
  6. The inside after slicing looks like high end candy-corn!

    I like the ganache coating and slicing concept.

    Comment by miss bliss on 2/25/09 at 12:21 pm #
  7. These are really innovative.

    I think they would make a nice present.

    Comment by Emmy on 2/25/09 at 4:26 pm #
  8. Wow!!!  Thanks for reviewing these, Cybele!  They look amazing!

    Comment by Denise on 2/26/09 at 2:13 pm #
  9. Great .... sounds like a wonderful candy.

    Comment by Laurie on 3/02/09 at 7:18 am #

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