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Candy Review: Wiseman House Chocolates Wild Woman Baton Truffles

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Wiseman House Truffles

When I recently reviewed Wiseman House Almond Toffee, I alluded to the fact that my friend Greg (still awesome) not only purchased a bag of their Almond Toffee, but also a small baton of truffles.

The truffles are actually what first gave notoriety to this small line of high-end confections. Founders Kevin and LaDonne Wenzel had a dream about settling in the country and making chocolates out of their own home. In 1996, they purchased a house designed by artist Rufus Wiseman and began creating chocolates with the intention of crafting something pure, fresh, and delicious.

Neither Kevin nor LaDonne anticipated the immense popularity of their chocolate. Originally, their intention was only to give out the chocolates to family, friends, neighbors, and the occasional person who passed through the town of Hico, Texas. That all changed when a reporter stumbled through, sampled their products, and wrote a front-page review about them for a national publication.

There are many truffles sold by Wiseman House, but the box for sale at the food and wine festival was what they call their Wild Woman Baton – a six-piece assortment of truffles made of dark chocolate.

Wiseman House Truffles Open

Dark Rufus: For the purist, the rich taste of dark chocolate. Just beautiful in appearance and shaped well, as I would expect from a company that hand rolls all of their truffles. There is a fragrant smell of chocolate. The shell is soft and could be sharper. The truffle center is viscous and luscious, comprised of a great ganache that is thick like a caramel. The dark chocolate is bitter, but refined. Absolutely delicious, but leaves a thick, buttery aftertaste.

Wild Woman: For the die hard chocoholic. Deep, dark, chocolate. Winner of the 2006 “Best Truffle” from the Austin Chocolate Festival. This baby is the piece that was so popular that it launched its own baton. It retains the same shape as the Dark Rufus, but the hue is darker, and it contains a drizzle on top. The smell is fainter, indicating that the shell is firmer, which it is. The ganache center is darker and thicker than the last piece, but not too heavy. The ganache is shorter on the cream than expected, but the fine dark chocolate compensates well. The center is soft, fluffy, and enhanced by a subtle cognac flavor.

Snooky: Sugar encrusted bittersweet chocolate ganache with coffee. Easily distinguished from any of the other pieces because of the sugar coating and that you can smell the coffee center. The truffle is firm to the touch, with a perfect hard shell. The textural contrast of the shell, sugar, and center is admirable, and this is one of the rare instances where I don’t mind a flavorless sanding of sugar. The ganache center is the thickest yet; I can taste the coffee, but it is overpowered by alcohol. The shell also melts at a different temperature than the center, creating a weird juxtaposition by the end.

Mystery?: There was no description of the sixth truffle on their website, so I have no idea what this piece is. However, the shell is firm with a nice snap. The ganache center is buttery and light with a creamy center. It is the most refined of the pieces with a pure presentation of fresh chocolate without any flare. Reminded me of a milk chocolate version of the Dark Rufus.

Gran Saman: At seventy percent cocoa, this is our darkest and most robust piece with complex flavor variety, and fruity notes. Gorgeous to look at. It’s smooth with a silver speck painted atop. The truffle has a firm shell with a potent center (like eating a whole box’s worth) that is both thick and creamy. Fruit notes are present, but the chocolate is too strong, literally choking me by the end.

Love Potion: Belgian milk chocolate marked with pure gold. Dark center ganache with the magic combination of cinnamon and a delayed surprise of chipotle pepper. From descriptions alone, I wanted to save this for last. The truffle is fragrant, and the firmness of the shell is a medium compared to the rest. The center is creamy, texturally different from the shell in a noticeable way that adds a nice subtlety. I taste fruit, cinnamon, and a nice but not biting heat from the chipotle. It is the most complex piece in the baton. It was a wise move to utilize a milk chocolate shell for this piece as a dark would mar the intricacies of the gananche.

I really enjoyed about half of these. The other half just seemed too overdone and rich for my preference. Wiseman succeeds best when it is simplest, a clear throwback to why their Almond Toffee is so successful. Possibly I would be more impressed if I sampled their entire truffle line, but for the moment, my limited opinion relegates these to the middle of the pack: They are better than your average truffle, but there are certainly more delectable brands to be found.

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