Beyond Creme Brulee at Kee's Chocolates

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[Photos: Kathy YL Chan]

You might already be familiar with Kee's crème brulee truffle, but so many of her other treats are equally deserving of your attention (and consumption). With more consistency than most other local chocolatiers, the woman has a balanced touch and has a way of communicating pure flavors through her truffles and confections. It's enough that I often find I'm comparing other chocolates to hers.

Some of our favorites, after the jump.

Kee, the namesake chocolatier, seems to love working with sesame, if her truffle case is any indication, with several varieties of sesame-flecked pieces. A sesame-chili duo (pictured at top, $2.45 per truffle), carefully walked the line between sweet, savory, and spicy—each flavor subtle, present, but never overpowering.

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Fennel comes through clean and crisp in Kee's fennel truffle. Unexpectedly refreshing.

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Smoked salt was a slow but steady progression of flavor, a friendly version for sweet-salty skeptics.

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The Kaffir Lime, on the other hand, was a pure, creamy explosion of citrusy zing, completely unmuddled and identifiable.

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A bag of chocolate dipped pear crisps was a lovely flavor and texture pairing, but pricey at $5.50 for a small bag.

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My favorites, though, weren't in the chocolate case. Just to the right of the register, an array of brightly colored macarons ($2.55 each) caught my eye, each labeled with equally unexpected flavors. Each had lovely crumble and texture, a slight shell on the outside, soft goodness within. But what really impressed me was the sheer purity of flavor that came through in each bite.

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My two favorite fruits, passion fruit and lulo, took front and center stage. The latter is a rare treat anywhere other than northern South America. Its sour green flesh has a wonderfully unique flavor—sour but slightly sweet with notes that most closely relate to citrus but are entirely distinct and exciting. All those nuances were perfectly captured in the cookie and equally expressed through the lulo-steeped chocolate ganache—what a marvel! And the passionfruit? A perfectly pure exploration of that tart, sweet, acidic flavor, that too often gets diluted or misrepresented. Beautiful. I could eat a dozen a day.

Kee's Chocolates

80 Thompson Street, New York NY 10012 (map)
(212) 334-3284
keeschocolates.com

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