Monday, March 05, 2012

Chocolates from Neo Cocoa

If you have been following my weekly chocolate reviews, you already know that Neo Cocoa is one of my favorite chocolatiers.  They make mostly truffles, but are somewhat different from a traditional truffle in that they are just the creamy center, or "heart", of the truffle, and are not coated in a chocolate layer on the outside.  The ganache that makes up these truffles is creamy and just so delicious, with a strong dark chocolate flavor.  I've tried all of their truffles many, many times over the past year.  This is a compilation of my tasting notes, with separate tastings denoted by brackets.

My favorites: crushed cocoa nib, toasted coconut, and pumpkin spice.

You can find these at the La Cocina stand in the Ferry Building daily, or at the Saturday Ferry Building Farmer's market.
Signature 10 Piece Box, with Handy Guide.  $24.
  • Truffles (in my order of preference):
    • Almond Butter with Smoked Sea Salt: Tasting notes: This one doesn't actually do it for me, even though it totally should.  The ganache in this one just isn't as awesome as usual. [ Agreed. ] [ Meh, not interesting, sounds better than it is. ] [ Don't taste almond, ganache isn't as creamy, smoked salt is awesome, but there isn't enough. Don't want to try this one anymore! ]
    • Cool Peppermint: Tasting notes: solid. good ganache with nice mint flavor infused. [agreed]  [nice mint flavor, a little subtle, delicious ganache] [ agreed ] [ nice to slowly let dissolve ] [ nice mint flavor, really nice ganache ] [ too subtle, not enough mint flavor ]
    • Crushed Cocoa Nib:  Smooth ganache truffle, topped with nibs.  Tasting notes: Great ganache, love the crunch from the nibs. [ great ganache ] [ nice!  lovely ganache and then nice crunch on top] [ crunch from nibs on top, love it ] [ Nice crunch from nibs, great smooth ganache ] [ The ganche is delicious and I love the textural crunch from the nibs.] [ Nibs just add such a fun crunch. Love this one! ] [ Smooth, creamy ganache. The nibs then add a layer of bitter complexity and crunch. Finish stays bitter from the nibs, which is really nice. ] [ I think I like this less than I used to. The ganche is still smooth and creamy, and I like the crunch from the nibs, but overall, I want more flavor. I think perhaps the zesty lime ruined me, as now I find myself yearning for a bit more complexity. ]
    • Mocha Cinnamon: Mocha flavored truffle, rolled in cinnamon powder.  Tasting notes: This is my least favorite flavor. [ Not one of my favorites, chocolate truffle isn’t as flavorful, I don’t like the powdery outside]  [ Agreed, don’t like powder outside. ] [ Do not like powder ] [ Really don't like.  The cinnamon powder doesn't go well with the chocolate and it adds a horrible mouthfeel. ] [ The ganache is creamy and great, although I don't taste mocha. But I just don't like the cinnamon on the outside. It makes it chalky.
    • Pumpkin Spice: Milk chocolate, with pumpkin pie spicing. No actual pumpkin in it. Tasting notes: Creamy, smooth, delicious chocolate, with excellent spicing. Strong enough that you really knew it was pumpkin pie inspired, but not overwhelming. Went amazingly well with the chocolate. Love it!
    • Toasted Coconut: Nice smooth chocolate ganache with coconut flakes throughout, infused with coconut oil. Tasting notes: Coconut adds nice texture, standard delicious, smooth, flavorful Neococoa ganache. [ Delicious ganache with coconut flakes ] [ Agreed ] [ Shredded coconut throughout is nice ] [ Nice coconut flavors, noms ] [ Super creamy ganache from coconut oil inside, lovely toasted coconut on top.  One of my favorites. ] [solid. good ganche ] [ Super creamy ganche infused with coconut oil? Rich, chocolatey, good coconut flavor. Strangely I didn't like the flakes this time, the texture was a bit off for me. ] [ Nice coconut flavor, I like this one again. ]
    • Warm Ginger Root: Tasting notes: Ginger flavor not strong enough. [lovely ginger flavor, delicious ganache]
    • Wild Cherry Dark Chocolate:  Tasting notes: Great neococoa ganache with added complexity of cherry flavor.  Loved it, cherries and chocolate go together so well! [no real cherry flavor ] [ cherry flavor not very strong ] [ Not very strong cherry flavor]
    • Zested Lime: Tasting notes: very subtle lime flavor is in the ganache itself. [ Too subtle for my taste.] [ Lime flavor too subtle, not enough flavor ] [ Really nice.  Ganache is perfect, lime is nice touch. ] [ Really, really creamy ganache. That part is really quite nice. You can't really taste the lime much though. I want more lime flavor! But overall, this is a top pick for me, just based on how good the ganache is. ]
  • Marshmallows
    • Cherry Marshmallow: Tasting notes: Nice gooey marshmallow, with cherry ganache chocolate on both sides. [ This is a case where the whole is less than the sum of the parts. I love neococoa truffles. I love marshmallows. I love chocolate and marshmallow. But, these just didn’t really do it for me. ] [ Nice fluffy marshmallow, but chocolate not very standout like this. ]
    • Espresso Marshmallow: Tasting notes: Nice gooey marshmallow, espresso ganache on both sides, but not much espresso flavor.

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