My boss is one of those guys who "knows someone who knows someone." He's got six degrees of separation to nearly every interesting person in San Francisco, and most of 'em in New York, too. He also loves chocolate almost as much as a girl, and he shares with his favorite people (of which I am one). This is why I work for him, y'see.
When I walked in to his office, and saw this gorgeous brushed aluminum box on his desk, I knew there had to be something interesting in it. Turns out, the box itself was a new sample from a vendor. But tucked inside the beautiful box was something else... something special.
Ms. Tong, formerly a corporate-type, opened her shop in SoHo called "Chocolate Garden" a few years ago. Apparently, her two passions are floral arranging and confectionery. She's since renamed the shop to "Kee's Chocolates", and focuses on these amazing little truffles, handmade daily and (woe is me) unavailable for shipping.
So far, I've tried five of them. Before I describe each flavor, I should say that the ganache filling on each one has been sublimely smooth and creamy. The shells are inexplicably, unbelievably, thin and crisp, even at room temperature.
Passion Fruit - this one was wonderfully tart, and my favorite so far. The flavor really packed a punch - no subtlety here.
Jasmine or Green Tea - OK, so I couldn't tell. The fragrance was of jasmine, but the slightly tannic mouthfeel was more green tea. So, I guess it could have been Jasmine Tea. Regardless, it was very nice.
Ginger - I'm not a big fan of glacéed ginger, but if I were, I'd love this truffle. It had small bits of ginger inside the shell. Slightly chewy texture broke things up.
Black Sesame - I'm not sure why this is called black sesame - there were both black and white sesame seeds encrusting this truffle. While the crunch of the sesame seeds was really cool, I didn't feel compelled to finish this one.
Key Lime - I thought this one could have been tarter (it was LESS tart than the passion fruit, go figure). But the flavor was intensely pure, and reminiscent of a really wonderful key lime curd I one had the joy of tasting.
We'll hit the box again tomorrow, and I'll report again on the rest of the flavors (if CF doesn't finish 'em before I get a taste!). I'm really hoping that, somewhere in that special little box is a crème brûlée truffle, her signature.
Kee's Chocolates are 1.75 a piece, six for $10, 12 for $19, or 18 for $29