Bitterness stirs and then settles, only to rouse again. A toasted haze drifts through. The comforting notion of caramel – sweet, yet with a lowly bellow too soft to draw your attention fully away. A distant nip, like a sudden gust blowing off the bay.
This is the palate’s introduction to the dark chocolate toffee from Lula’s. It’s a rich and elegant confection, and maybe a bit coy. It promises a hard toffee crunch but dissolve on the tongue. It promises a sugary caress then declines to be overt sweetness.
A dark chocolate coating drapes the toffee – smooth and opulent, with an espresso bite. Large chunks of nuts throughout the candy gives a mellow character to the smoky, burnished sugar.
Chocolatier Scott Lund takes the unique step of toasting raw almonds in the toffee itself, as it cooks down and hardens. He takes time to let flavors deepen and adds a lot of butter to the mix, for richness and for that delicate way it melts on the palate. The finished candy is topped with more nuts.
It’s what you want from a treat – not something cloying or simple, but a crunchy, melty, intricate, comforting moment to savor and smile.
LULA’S CHOCOLATES 2 Harris Court #B-6, Monterey. 655-8527, lulas.com