BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Cacao with a Kick

29 Comments

Come summer time, not only do eating habits have to change to accommodate the sweltering heat, but so do online ordering habits. Yes indeed, I’m guilty of rampant internet shopping practices, sending every wacky, interesting, and simply new food product to my virtual cart without a care in the world. With such easy access to otherwise unattainable vegan novelties, it’s hard to curb that impulse, and especially when it comes to innovative sweets. Unfortunately, mail ordering chocolate is a big no-no for me from about June through September, for fear of receiving a semi-melted, bloomed glob of cocoa butter and solids instead. Normally this isn’t such a difficult policy to follow, and the arrival of fall is always happily greeted with a big shipment of all the chocolates that had been tempting me through the summer… But I’m breaking all the rules this year. The decadent promise of Xan Confections’ vegan chocolate collection was simply too great to delay another month!

As soon as that brown cardboard box landed on my doorstep, I swooped in, tearing through plastic tape and a styrofoam cooler, eager to rescue my prize… Only to find my worst cocoa-covered fear inside. Never before had I broken the seasonal chocolate rule, and I’d be damned if I didn’t pay for it. Boxes smashed open, ice pack dripping wet and leaking all over the contents of that tiny cooler, it was enough to make a grown woman cry. And maybe it did. But regardless, through this tragedy, I discovered that the people of Xan Confection’s are understanding and caring human beings, taking pity on my situation enough to send out another package, no questions asked. Happily, this one arrived intact and looking positively mouth-watering.

There’s no way around it; These molded chocolates are absolutely stunning eye candy. The aptly named Jewel Collection consists of colorful, shimmering chocolate shells enclosing a variety of flavored caramels. Each different hue indicates a different flavor, but none are specifically marked or designated, so the element of surprise makes each bite just a little bit more exciting. Especially true if you happen to pick up the purple-tinged chocolate first, as I did… What a shock to discover a spicy, cayenne-flecked, flowing caramel sequestered inside that unassuming chocolate casing! This one really made me sit up and take notice- It was a real wake up call, with the potency to rival that of a cup of coffee!

The following flavors were somewhat less arresting, but no less tantalizing. Bright, fresh strawberry flavor, just like homemade strawberry jam, leapt out from within a pink-dusted gem to great delight. A pure caramel core with a perfect hit of salt in another truly made my tongue sing. The firm bite of a solid ganache center was another unexpected treat, incredibly rich with intense chocolate flavor.

Each new truffle kept me guessing, concealing any number of delicious flavors and textures within every last jewel. Part of the fun is that unknowable element, so instead of having me spell which each and every chocolate is, I think it’s just best if you taste these for yourself! Gem-like in every sense of the word, every little morsel is a true treasure.

Incredibly, the Saintly Sins collection packs the same punch of flavor and sublime texture, but is light in both fat and calories. I had trouble believing it myself as I bit through the perfectly tempered chocolate pieces, teeth meeting with a satisfying snap. Though the filling was runny to the point of being syrupy, and potentially quite messy, that problem is easily remedied by popping the whole truffle in your mouth at once! The fruit flavors were all fresh and intense, perfectly paired with the gently bitter chocolate exteriors.

It’s hard to find vegan chocolates of this quality, so if you’re craving a truly satisfying fix, it’s well worth the hazards of ordering Xan Confections through the internet, even in the hottest of months!

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

29 thoughts on “Cacao with a Kick

  1. They look really beautiful! You are right, stuff like that is hard to find.
    P.S. I sent you an e-mail about the matcha chocolate :)

  2. Ooh, I have been dying to try these! They sound SO good.

  3. Oooh these chokkies look so delicious. I think the only way to get good vegan chocolates must be to order online, which so far I havent been brave enough to do…plus it is quite expensive!
    Im so excited, yesterday I discovered a supermarket near my house which actually has a vegan section! Including vegan cream, cheese and sour cream! I bought some soyatoo cream, and cant wait to try it with pancakes this week :)

    Rose

  4. They look delicious. I love chocolate with surprising contents. I once did a course in making your own with a very famous chocolatier here in Holland (Kees Raat) He creates chocolates with very surprising ingredients… It’s fun to guess what is in them! (not to mention very hard.)

  5. Wow, those really are gorgeous! Almost (almost) too good-looking to eat!

  6. Wow those look incredible!

  7. Those chocolates look absolutely stunning! And so good that you managed to get a packet intact after the initial disaster!!

  8. Yum, they all looks delicious and so pretty. I’ve been putting off buying those new Go Max candy bars everyone keeps talking about because I’m sure they’ll be a melty mess by the time they reach the UK.

  9. Well, it’s not even 7:30 in the morning and I’m now craving chocolate… oh, wait – that’s not uncommon ;).

  10. Yes! Melted chocolate does make a woman cry. It is the only thing that chocolate can do!
    These chocolates look so good!! YUMMMY!
    LOVE

  11. These look amazing! And just opening a box of bejeweled sweets – exciting.

  12. they look awesome, gorgeous photos as well!

  13. Those look unbelievable. When we were kids, my grandma always had a box of pot of gold chocolates in her candy cupboard. She thought the best part was the surprise of what was inside so she would throw the little guide out. Fine for us to guess, but suspiciously, every chocolate had a little hole in the bottom. Guess she wasn’t so in to the surprises.

  14. Those are beautiful. The spicy purple one sounds like a party.

  15. that’s awesome they send you out another package! I love companies like that :) They look delicious!

  16. I <3 truffles, but I've had trouble finding good vegan ones. Sadly, St. Louis weather won't allow me to order any for a few more months!

  17. We have the great fortune of one of the LA-area Whole Foods actually carrying these delicious chocolates in the store. The people behind the counter will even give samples when asked! I purchased a few from the jewel collection and sampled a couple others. My favorite was the spicy one. :)

  18. OMG. Those look wonderful. There’s no way I can order them until it cools down. It’s regularly over a 100 here. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I’m always looking for good vegan chocolate online. This is a great recommendation. I just bookmarked the page. Thanks a lot!

  20. Wow, these chocolate look so pretty…great pictures as well.

  21. wow these are beautiful and I like them more than real jewels :)

  22. Wow, those are stunning!

  23. I have the same rule about not ordering chocolates during the hot mouths, but your pictures and descriptions of these candies is making it really hard to follow that rule!! XD
    I may just have to risk it to try these out sooner than later.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  24. I wish I could have a box of these chocolate jewels land on my door step!

  25. I am guilty of the online shopping as well. Summer time has always put a damper on my cooking and I tend to indulge in a lot of tasty treats. These look quite delicious. Thanks for sharing these.

  26. These are making me drool! Not sure if I mentioned it, but I was a jeweler before I was a stay-at-home-mom. I worked in NYC’s Jewelry District. During the holidays, my bosses would get boxes of chocolate from our clients. They would pass it around the shop and we use to get such a kick out of the diamond and jewel shaped truffles.

  27. These are really gorgeous chocolates. Each flavor sounds incredible.

  28. i love those chocolate molds. the chocolate looks seriously amazing with the dusted gold on it, too. yum!

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