As I sit back and reflect on the abundance of flavors that made their way into my mouth, I must say that I was truly smitten by a small, family owned chocolate shop in downtown Bloomington that stole my tastebuds and chocolate loving heart! We walked past the adorable shop and Mark made us turn around and walk back in. I felt like I died and went to chocolate heaven. I have finally found the ultimate chocolate utopia. Walking in The Chocolatier, I took a deep breath and inhaled the rich scents of chocolate and everything sweet. The atmosphere reminded me of an old fashioned candy shop, much like my old favorite, Grandma Bettty's in Northville, Michigan where I grew up. There were rows and rows of jars filled with gumdrops, chocolate covered dried fruits, gummy worms, jelly bellies and all of the sugar one would need to rack up a pretty serious dental bill. My eyes, I must say, lit up when I peered through the glass counter to see hundreds of beautiful handmade chocolates. Truffles, turtles, chocolate covered strawberries! How could I pick what would most delight? They all looked too good to be true. As I scanned the counter, I tried to imagine what each little chocolate would taste like and which would fit my mood best. I scanned the variety and read off all of the names one by one. The cinnamon buttercream caught my eye immediately and the hazelnut truffle came in close second. Mark, of course, being the super hero that he is, picked a Ninja Turtle...chocolate covering pecans and caramel and ooey gooey goodness. I asked the kind man behind the counter which he would choose...the Cinnamon Buttercream or the Hazelnut Truffle...he told me to get both, so I had no hesitation in smiling in agreement! We saved the chocolate for a late day treat and it was completely worth the wait! The Ninja Turtle did not disappoint and I am pretty sure Mark had the entire thing eaten in less than 2 minutes. The cinnamon buttercream was calling my name and just as predicted, my mouth was singing jingle bells as soon as I took my first bite. If Christmas had an official flavor, this would be it! The cinnamon buttercream center had a smooth and dreamy consistency and paired so nicely with the rich outer layer of dark chocolate. This might just have been the best piece of chocolate I have ever indulged in. This is what I thought, until Sunday afternoon, when Mark and I shared the hazelnut truffle...I have never had a chocolate moment that was so delectable and decadent. It was truly a feast for the senses. The chocolate was smooth and the hazelnut center was rich and sophisticated with almost an exotic essence in the flavor. My daily Dove Promises often say "share a chocolate moment today"...this was definitely the perfect chocolate moment to share as the truffle was nothing short of a brilliant chocolate choice.
Stay tuned in the next few days for more bloggable bites taken in Illinois over the weekend.
On a cheerful side note (and in the spirit of cinnamon and spice and everything nice), today is August 25...Happy 4 Months until Christmas!!! (my parents don't call me Christmas Nido for nothing)