Truffles, no matter how fancy, aren't really worth eating unless they are made that day.
That's one reason why Kee Ling Tong makes the best in New York City. After seven years in her Soho shop (and a year in her newer Midtown location), this French Culinary Institute-trained pastry chef still makes every truffle by hand with a single electric burner and makeshift chocolate-tempering machine, while the expensive enrobing machine she purchased ages ago is still in its box.
It's the only way, she says, to achieve the perfectly crisp, snappy chocolate shells that enrobe her creamy, fresh ganache.
Kee's one of those quirky pastry chefs who doesn't actually care much for sweets, so her flavors skew savory. Dark chocolate dominates, whether paved in crunchy black sesame seeds or imbued with smoked salt.
She makes only what she can sell that day, so if your favorite truffle is sold out by midday, take solace in her cookies: In the afternoon, she bakes wildly flavored macaroons (try soursop) and chocolate-chip cookies with subtle twists. And as soon as her new freezer arrives, expect gelato. Just hurry; nothing here lasts long.
Kee's Chocolates Soho, 80 Thompson St. (between Prince and Broome sts.); 212-334-3284 or keeschocolates.com
Kee's Chocolates Midtown, 452 Fifth Ave. (between 39th and 40th sts.); 212-525-6099 or keeschocolates.com
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