Knowing of my love for quality chocolate, friends and family members have become enablers of my addiction, searching out unique treats to give as gifts on birthdays and special occasions. My latest dealer is my mother’s friend Pia, who surprised me at Christmas with a beribboned box of chocolates from Garrison Confections. I’d never heard of the company, but was delighted when I opened the box to see that it contained a ganache infused with Prince Vladimir Tea from Kusmi. However, it was their unusual series of chocolates featuring pâtes de fruit that won me over.
Pâtes de fruit are a classic French candy with intense fruit flavor and a consistency that falls somewhere between gumdrops and Jell-O (they are often referred to as “fruit jellies”). Garrison offers intriguing combinations like “cherry pâte de fruit on top of a pistachio ganache enrobed in dark chocolate” and “red currant pâte de fruit on top of almond marzipan enrobed in milk chocolate,” but the grapefruit version atop a tarragon-infused ganache was a standout, as was their hazelnut praline blended with fennel pollen. The chocolates are also lovely to look at with their whimsical screen-printed images.
Andrew Garrison Schotts, the creator of Garrison Confections, is a pastry chef who has worked at The Russian Tea Room in New York and Guittard Chocolate Company in San Francisco, among other renowned culinary establishments. He has written the book Making Artisan Chocolates and was named “Hottest Chocolatier” in America by The Food Network in 2007. Yep, he’s a pusher. You can get your fix with Garrison’s seasonal collection of boxed chocolates or with a variety of bars and chocolate-themed goodies.
If you’re a cacao junkie like me, try a line of chocolates from Garrison…and hope that nobody attempts an intervention.
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