Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Woodhouse Chocolate

Woodhouse Chocolate is located on Main Street in Saint Helena, Napa Valley, California. They have some truly delicious handmade chocolates and caramels and I bought a few of them when wine tasting in Napa a while back.
Woodhouse Chocolate is owned by the Anderson Family with Tracy Wood Anderson heading the business as the Chocolatier. She creates all the different chocolates and caramels, using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Supporting her is her husband, mother and two daughters.

I brought home a small bag of six chocolate pieces and a box of their caramels.
I started of by tasting the Quatre Epices (Four Spices) with black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove in a milk chocolate ganache. Subtle but still distinct flavors in a smooth ganache, covered in dark chocolate with a white chocolate topper. Very tasty!
The Thai Ginger consists of candied ginger, coconut and lemon grass chocolate covered in a dark chocolate ganache. There is a ton of ginger flavor and a hint of lemon grass. I am however having a hard time to detect the coconut. Never the less, another great little treat.
Sur de Lago is a delectable piece with light airy dark chocolate ganache covered in dark chocolate. It is made entirely out of Western Venezuelan chocolate. A great one to have with a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Heart of Darkness tickled my taste buds even more with it's dark chocolate ganache with cocoa nibs. Usually cocoa nibs will give a crunch, but in this case they were soft and spongy and just added a bitter burst of flavor. Different, but really delicious! Made from Colombian chocolate and covered in dark chocolate.
Fiori di Sicilia was next. A complex chocolate piece consisting of a dark chocolate cup filled with milk chocolate ganache, a layer of Fiori di Sicilia-infused cream, and a layer of orange flavored marzipan. All topped with a lid of milk chocolate. I love orange with chocolate and also marzipan, so this was the perfect little marriage of flavors for me. Very good!
Finally I had the Fresh Mint. A beautiful dark chocolate ganache with fresh, but not to overwhelming, mint addition. A really refreshing piece covered in dark chocolate.

Now to the Caramels. They have an intense, beautiful buttery, caramel flavor with a creamy, but still chewy, texture. Not to runny and not to solid. Just perfect. They are covered in milk or dark chocolate and topped with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel. The crunchy, salt texture of the salt is a perfect match for the buttery, sweet caramel, and you see more and more chocolate makers using this combination. As for me, I just can't get enough of it.
These are just a hand full of the chocolates they offer and I am convinced the rest are all equally delicious. Stop by the shop in Saint Helena if you have a chance. It has a truly beautiful exterior and interior reminding me of the Chocolatier shops in Europe. If not, you can always order their chocolates online here. A 12 piece chocolate box is $20, and a box of 10 caramels is $10. These are quite pricey chocolates, but so worth it once you taste them. A real treat for any chocolate lover!

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Anonymous said...

I am looking for someone who could scedule for me and my party a trip to Napa for Wine tasting and dinner. Do you do this? I was reffered to you by another wine enthusiast. I want it to be a special day. Please post back..

Victoria said...

I have done it before, and can hopefully help you with your trip. Contact me at vickanx@hotmail.com with more information. What day, size of group etc. Looking forward to hear from you.