As we write, the heady scent of homemade chocolate treats is wafting from every corner of the borough. Among the sweets emporiums we visited for freshly made Valentine’s Day gift-giving ideas were a 61-year-old chocolate shop in Midwood that has been handed down from father to son, to a less-than-year-old-kosher chocolate store in Park Slope.
If your sweetheart swoons for cocoa, Brooklyn offers seemingly endless forms of handmade temptation. You can ply your lover with a simple milk chocolate heart, or a white chocolate truffle infused with rose water or ganache bursting with Champagne flavor.
“Most of what we sell is for someone to give to someone else,” said Michael Rogak of JoMart Chocolate in Marine Park. “We help people celebrate their lives.”
Confectioner Cary Becraft presents a trio of handcrafted chocolate hearts this Valentine’s Day. Becraft, who learned to make chocolate while working at the River Cafe in DUMBO, started CaryMo Chocolate Candies and Confections in 2000. This year, she will make a white chocolate heart with a rose-scented marshmallow center; a salt-and-pepper caramel wrapped in a milk chocolate heart; and a dark chocolate heart with creme de cassis, a black currant liqueur. (They’re $10 for a box of three.)
Afraid to buy it before you try it? CaryMo is offering a chocolate tasting on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 5 pm to 7 pm, at the Greene Grape (765 Fulton St. at South Oxford Street in Fort Greene). For more information, call (718) 797-9463 or visit the Web site www.greenegrape.com.
CaryMo’s chocolate heart trio is available at Stinky Brooklyn (261 Smith St. at Degraw Street in Carroll Gardens). For more information, call (718) 522-7425 or visit the Web site www.carymochocolate.com.
Celebrating its first Valentine’s Day, the Chocolate Girl store will serve up kosher dark chocolate in the form of roses ($4), records that read “Just for the record, I love you” ($18), keys (to your heart, of course, for $2) and hand-painted flower lollipops ($3).
Owner Tziporah Avigayil Jaeger will also offer heart-shaped boxes filled with whatever chocolate your Valentine desires ($36 per pound).
Chocolate Girl is located at 383 Seventh Ave. between 11th and 12th streets in Park Slope. For more information, call (718) 788-GIRL or visit the Web site www.thechocolategirl.net.
At the three-year-old Chocolate Room in Park Slope, three heart-shaped truffles are returning specialties for Valentine’s Day. There is Antoinette, a sexy bite of white chocolate with dark chocolate ganache infused with rose water; Charlotte, a cartoon heart of swirled milk and dark chocolate surrounding a basil-apricot core; and Donna, a dark chocolate heart with a rich currant center that glitters with copper dust. Purchase these hearts individually or by the pound ($40 per pound).
Also featured is the Fritz Knipschildt Valentine box, which comes in two sizes, large with 23 pieces ($35) and small with 17 ($29).
Chocolate Room owners Naomi Josepher and Jon Rayson are also offering, for the third year running, a three-course chocolate tasting ($28 per person) by chef Jennifer Jupiter. The tasting is held only on Valentine’s Day in their intimate cafe. There will be three seatings at 7 pm, 8:30 pm and 10 pm.
The Chocolate Room is located at 86 Fifth Ave. at Prospect Place in Park Slope. For more information and reservations, call (718) 783-2900 or visit the Web site www.thechocolate roombrooklyn.com.
Jacques Torres shows his festive spirit with two signature, heart-shaped boxes; one is filled with 35 bonbons ($49) and the other is filled with seven truffles in an assortment of three flavors: coconut, peanut butter and almond ($10.50).
The seven-year-old DUMBO chocolate shop offers a special “Champagne kiss” truffle: dark chocolate infused with Taittinger rose Champagne and topped with a sassy red “kiss.” (A box of 12 truffles is $18, 25 for $33, and 50 for $55).
If you feel your relationship is ailing, it’s possible that Torres’s “Love Tonic,” a sinful hot fudge sauce available in a seven-ounce jar, might hold the cure for just $9.
In the European-style cafe the seating is quaint but limited; however, you can stand and catch a peek through the glass at chocolates being lovingly crafted by hand.
Jacques Torres Chocolate is located at 66 Water St. at Main Street in DUMBO. For more information, call (718) 875-9772 or visit the Web site www.mrchocolate.com.
The largest selection of handcrafted Valentine’s chocolates is found at JoMart Chocolates in Marine Park. You can choose from a variety of sizes of heart-shaped boxes from the seven-pound, lace-covered monster ($192) to a three-and-a-half ounce metallic red box ($4.50).
All of the chocolate has been made on the premises since 1946, and owner Michael Rogak happily tempts his customers with a heart-shaped raspberry ganache truffle infused with Champagne ($22.50 per pound), milk chocolate bouquets of half-a-dozen roses ($9.50), three-and-a-half to four ounces of dark and milk chocolate handcuffs ($7.95) or cupids ($9) and dozens of other amazing chocolate creations.
Patrons can also enjoy the window that offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the delicious, rich chocolates being made.
The sky’s the limit; at JoMart, special orders are welcomed.
JoMart Chocolates is located at 2917 Ave. R at Nostrand Avenue in Marine Park. For more information, call (718) 375-1277 or visit the Web site www.jomartchocolates.com.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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