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Love Bites

There’s no need to buy a box of pre-packaged, preservative-packed chocolates for your sweetheart. These local shops make it fresh. Oh, yes.
By D Magazine |

A Hershey’s bar will no longer do it. Russell Stover won’t suffice. Your chocolate must be fresh, say a few local fanatics who’ve opened their own temples devoted to the No. 1 food of love.

“We make our chocolates fresh daily, without preservatives,” says Windy Shaw, owner of Morgen Chocolate. “The big companies make theirs months in advance.” Zel Nealy, of Xocolatl Room in Uptown, agrees. “If you want just plain chocolate,” she says, “you can go to a grocery store.”
Horrors, we say.

While no chocolatier in town actually grinds the cocoa beans, we found a few shops that import high-end blocks of chocolate to be used in truffles, bark, nut clusters, turtles, molds, and ganache (chocolate combined with cream). Like Nealy’s nut cluster bursting with toasted pecans, or Shaw’s European-style truffle laden with soft, melting caramel. Or Noka’s single-origin dark chocolate truffles made from cocoa sourced in Venezuela, Ecuador, Africa, and Trinidad.

“Some of our chocolates have a shelf life of only three to four weeks,” says Sandy Eyer, of Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Grapevine, where a display window enables visitors to watch truffles being rolled. “It screams ‘fresh.’”

Fresh? Delicious? Romantic? Yes. Yes. Yes.

1. Viviente and Carmenago dark chocolate truffles from Noka; 2. Wiseman House Dark Rufus (semisweet chocolate ganache in dark chocolate shell) from Paper & Chocolate; 3. Almond bark from Schakolad; 4. Milk chocolate truffle from Xocolatl Room; 5. Champignon (chocolate mushroom with caramel center) from Chocolate Secrets; 6. Dulce de leche truffle (caramelized goat milk and milk chocolate) from Morgen Chocolate; 7. Dark chocolate mocha pyramid from Chocolate Secrets; 8. Palet a la d’or (Venezuelan chocolate ganache) from Chocolate Secrets

The Chocoholics

Chocolate Secrets
Gift shop-plus-chocolatier sells chocolates from around the world, such as Michel Cluizel from France and Schokinag drinking chocolate. 3926 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-252-9801. www.chocolatesecrets.net.

Morgen Chocolate
The pioneering chocolatier makes beautiful molded chocolate soldiers, snowmen, and bunnies, often done in contrasting white and milk chocolate. 1804 Market Center Blvd. 214-520-2462; outlet: 4210 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-522-5900. www.morgenchocolate.com.

Noka Chocolate
High-end chocolatier sells insanely expensive—a dozen can run $100—single-estate chocolates in fancy stainless-steel boxes. 2040 W. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano. 877-270-8209.
www.nokachocolate.com.

Paper & Chocolate
Inwood Village stationer sells Wiseman House chocolates made in Hico, Texas, including truffles and almond toffee. 5460 W. Lovers Ln. 214-357-2737. www.wisemanhousechocolates.com.

Schakolad Chocolate Factory
Small chocolate chain based in Florida has more than 70 varieties and sets itself apart from other national chains by making some of its chocolates on-site. 601 S. Main St., Grapevine. 817-410-4720; 106 E. Fourth St., Fort Worth. 817-870-2400; Shops at Legacy, 7140 Bishop Rd., Plano. 972-801-2577. www.schakolad.com.

Xocolatl Room
Combination chocolatier and cafe specializes in custom-flavored truffles, made to order. 2817 Howell St. 214-559-7277. www.dallaschocolates.com.

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