This past weekend, I was invited to help judge the Grand Truffle Champion at the 2013 Holiday Chocolate Festival
, held at the Broadmoor.
That is a title, of course, that any chocolatier should be proud to wear, and my task was, of course, one that any person with even a mild sweet-tooth would be thrilled to fulfill.
The joyous job was rendered quite easy by there being only four contestants left standing in this final round of judging. And of those four, Longmont-based Robin Chocolates
stood far above the pack, based on the judging criteria, which you can view here:
Just take a look at these lovely creations:
The gold-colored truffle with the art deco architecture shape (second from bottom left) is what Robin Chocolates won with. It's the Dulce Blonde: soft caramel blended with dulce de leche liqueur layered with blond [caramelized white-] chocolate ganache in a dark chocolate shell.
I spoke briefly with chocolatier Robin Autorino
after my duties were complete. And by that, I mean I hovered over her booth, trading all my tickets for samples of her other outstanding flavors
I asked her if she was familiar with Denver-based Black Star Chocolates,
which wasn't present at this festival, but who I totally spazzed out on at last year's Colorado Indulgence Festival
She gave a knowing smile and joked that at other state competitions, she and they have traded first and second places many times — a healthy competition.
Since I'm not drawing to any grand truffle conclusion here — flavored chocolates taste good! Duh. — let me instead end by recommending that if you really
want to impress a giftee with chocolate, specifically artisan truffles, this holiday season, you will want to look up Black Star or Robin Chocolates. I've seen none finer.