<b>DINING OUT | </b>By Mina Williams Herald writer
When one spies a heart-shaped box this time of year, there is no mystery. It has to be filled with chocolate.
Creative cupids have expanded their Valentine’s Day selection to reflect the broadening palate of chocolate offerings. From single-origin bars and molten drinking chocolate, to chewy brownies and lighter-than-air soufflés, chocolate has found its place in a variety of sweets.
It is even creeping into savory specialties – as an addition to Italian-style polenta, as an ingredient in Mexican-inspired mole, or the pinch of cocoa stirred in at the end of creating coq au vin.
Seattle’s own Fran’s Chocolates is credited with straddling the salt-sweet worlds, pairing chocolate with sea salt.
Pat McKee, owner of Nama’s Candy, in Edmonds, predicts that this will be the year of the sea salt-chocolate combo. He is stocking up on carmels and truffles that blend the savory and sweet sensations.
Another Seattle company, Theo Chocolate, is on the cutting edge of organics. Expressly for Valentine’s Day, Theo blends herbs and spices recognized for their aphrodisiac qualities into their confections and adds rose oil and ginger into their featured chocolate bar.
International favorite Godiva introduces parfait chocolates this season. A chocolate cup is lovingly filled with layers of ganache, mousse, glaze and custard. These confections are available online and at the retail outlet at Alderwood mall.
Also in Lynnwood, See’s Candies stuffs confections into a variety of heart shaped boxes. One will surely please your sweetie.
Restaurants also chime in with choco-centric desserts. Flourless cake, takeoffs on s’mores, soufflés, layer cakes and even Japanese-style mochi balls are being given the sweet chocolate treatment this season.
What chocolate treat – sweet or savory – do you intend to imbibe this Valentine’s Day? Where do you find the selection?
Ferrero Rocher. I wouldn’t want to do a holiday without them.
My new favorite is chocolate with sea salt. Oh wow…
Frango Mints, Fran’s Chocolate Caramels with sea salt, Posh chocolates from Missoula, Mt.
Hot Cakes, the cute little glass jars of batter you take home from the Ballard Farmers Market and cook at home. You get a gooey, warm chocolate cake. Now Zaw pizza has them, but just for February.
June, Mountlake Terrace
Anything from Nama’s Candy in Edmonds … but my heart belongs to Jos. Schmidt, the former chocolatier in San Francisco.