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Here, Truffle Truffle

A new local confectioner puts serious savory into her sweets

Salt is an essential component of pastry. Anything beyond that--say, hand-blended curry powder, roasted pumpkin, or truffle shavings--is just a fun perk.

It's savory elements like these that make Truffle Truffle, a new line of confections from recent Chicago transplant Nicole Greene, stand out.

After nearly a decade working in government, Greene went to pastry school, and soon after began making sweets that combined her new skills with lessons in flavor learned from a lifetime of serious eating.

The result is gourmet candy, often with savory notes--like chewy caramels infused with a hand-blended curry mix that leaves a lingering heat (pictured). She cooks down Rogue chocolate stout for salty-sweet beer and pretzel brittle, and uses fresh herbs to flavor marshmallows for s'mores.

And then there are the truffles. Greene makes 26 different hand-dipped chocolate truffles, many with single-origin chocolate, like Valrhona Manjari (used in the Pinot Noir--though our favorite, and hers, is the mascarpone).

The other truffles--the black, earthy, French kind--appear at least once in each category. And we're not talking truffle oil; Greene uses fresh truffle shavings whenever she can.

We're willing to wager that her buttery, crumbly black-truffle shortbread will become your new favorite snack with tea--or maybe a bottle of earthy Côtes du Rhône wine.

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