Bite of the Week: Ethereal Confections Macadamia Nuts, Raspberries & Kaffir Lime
“Chocolate is something that gets into you and never goes away once you are bitten,” say the two women behind Ethereal Confections, a small but mighty producer that hails from Woodstock, Illinois. The two friends got bitten by the chocolate bug years ago, left with an “unquenchable desire” to create handmade confections. With products ranging from pure chocolate bars to whimsical concoctions, Ethereal puts the spotlight on the cocoa, but knows when to complement its best parts with other flavors. Every truffle and bar is handmade, hand rolled, and hand topped, and that eye to detail pays off. Where a mass-produced raspberry chocolate bar might use artificial flavor, an Ethereal bar is clearly topped with actual dried raspberries. As a result, these are the kinds of sweets you’ll want to enjoy soon after purchasing—this is no save-for-a-rainy-day kind of enjoyment.
In order to get a full taste of the quality, I dive right in for an unexpected flavor: 66% Cacao Topped with Macadamia Nuts, Raspberries & Kaffir Lime. Opening the pink foil, I’m surprised to see a solid surface of bright pink and white speckled toppings. I expected a little splash of color, but this bar has ample dried raspberries and chopped macadamia nuts on top for some real texture. The chocolate is so flavorful, I immediately make a note to buy a pure dark bar. It has that perfect tang of a quality dark chocolate—tastes like low-sugar without being bitter. Of the toppings, the raspberries and kaffir lime stand out the most. It’s a really fun experience of sharp, zesty berries and citrus. The macadamia nuts provide a little crunch, but not much. It’s the kind of bar that’s topped with extras, not mixed in. Overall, Ethereal Confections gets the balance right for chocolate-lovers that want to focus on the star of the show, with just a little extra surprise for flavor.
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