January 21, 2014
Royce' Chocolate: Tasting Japanese confections on Bleecker Street
ROYCE' does chocolate very well! Last week I ate 13 pieces of chocolate and chocolate products from collections of Nama, Truffles, Prafeuille, Marshmallow, Potatochip, Baton Cookies, Amande, and Pure Chocolate. And there is more chocolate on offer.
The signature flavor profile of the Royce' chocolate is creamy and smooth yet rich, which derives from the Hokkaido cream used in the production process. Hokkaido cream based chocolates require refrigeration though not all of the confections are made with the cream.
So, which specific chocolates did I taste?
The tasting began with Nama which means raw of fresh and is soft ganache coated with chocolate powder. The Mild Cacao is surprisingly rich. The Maccha - white chocolate with green tea - is also rich but the cream tempers the vegetable astringency of the matcha which you taste at the end. I did not try the Champagne but it is the top selling Nama.
Next was the Praline Truffle with milk chocolate, almonds, and hazelnuts. A brilliant combination of nuts! The Kirsch is the most of the truffles.
I ate three flavors of Prafeuille or chocolate thins: Caramel, Maccha, and "Berry Cube." The berry trio was surprisingly good. The fruit filling was subtle, not overwhelmingly sweet or overly fruity. I felt this way about the flavors in the Fruit Bar Chocolate.
I also ate three flavors of the Potatochip: Caramel, White Chocolate, and Mild Bitter. The caramel was my favorite. The mild bitter is a new product and was created in response to the U.S. demand for dark(er) chocolate products. The chips were followed by the Coconut Baton Cookies. Who could dislike coconut after eating these?! Baton Cookies, Nama, and Wafer and recommended to pair with tea or coffee.
When I buy chocolate, I almost always buy dark chocolates, but not too dark. The Pure Chocolate Ghana 60% is perfection and I would like to try the Venezuela 68%. The 90% would be good in a cake or hot cocoa.
The final confection I ate was the Maccha Almond Chocolate. Nut and matcha fans will delight in this chocolate (and you won't crack a tooth on the soft almonds).
I would be remiss if I did not showcase the gorgeous packaging of ROYCE' chocolates.
My thanks to Kathy YL Chan and Lucia Santiago at ROYCE' for a nice experience on Bleecker Street.
The tea towel shown in the last two photographs is courtesy of Ippodo Tea New York.