Previously, I’ve displayed my adoration of B.T. McElrath’s Salty Dog and Chile Limón chocolate bars, which in my book are both standout examples of what fine chocolate can (and should) be. Varied, intense, playful, inviting, inspired. Lots of ins. Am I describing my interior decorating scheme, you may ask? No, not this time – although a post describing my infatuation with owl lamps may be in order.
Ahh, B.T. McElrath, providing a distraction from the sad and desolate times that are my most recent baking failure slash unpretty success. You see, gentle reader, once upon a last Friday, I set out to make a Meyer lemon tart. It couldn’t get much simpler, really; lemons poached for two hours in a simple syrup were then placed on a pre-baked (and pre-bought, sheesh!) rectangle of puff pastry. Leave it to meaver to mess this one up, although in all honesty, I blame the grocery store. When I arrived, issuing forth a looking-for-Meyer-lemons tune, I was shocked to find that lo-and-behold, the Meyer lemons were gone! Settling for lame-o regular and Meyer-less lemons, I chose to also pick up one (1) Seville [aka sour] orange, to intensify the syrup’s flavor and add some cheery color. I also thought to choose to write without hyphenating every other sentence.
Well. Intensify the flavor it did, to the point that tart became mouth-puckering. Looking to sweeten the deal, I added more sugar to the perfectly ratio-ed sugar:water mixture, before skipping off out of doors to photograph the same crocus for the fourth time in a week. Here it is!
After being notified a while later by phone that whatever hot mess I was cooking on the stove was indeed a hot mess, I returned home only to realize what a ridiculous choice I had made without thinking.
So. Plan B. Plan B??? The dessert I was making was for a dinner party, and I had a little under an hour to get everything sorted out. I still had my puff pastry (although it ended up almost burning in the oven on its own… suspicious), and the ingredients to make a lovely vanilla-scented (flavored?) whipped cream, so all I needed was the middle layer. Think, think.
Luckily, I had read earlier that day about an ingenious idea! Over at my newest and most enjoyed witty read of the day, Wayfaring Chocolate, Hannah had posted a recipe for a sort of coconut cocoa-nut butter, reminiscent of Nutella, but more appealing to me, a devoted Nutella kinda almost disliker. Having on-hand some almonds and chocolates in various stages of decay, I mixed my version up in the Cuisinart, abandoning the coconut somewhere along the way.
So thanks, Hannah, for saving the dessert at my dinner party. It was in the end fortuitous that I had acted so stupidly, as one of the dinner-goers hates all things lemon (and this I had temporarily forgotten).
It’s too bad the coconut cocoa-nut butter doesn’t make for a more enticing photograph – however, it does mimic the patterning of my intended topic for discussion: B.T. McElrath’s Passion Fruit & Tangerine Chocolate Bar.
I’m so lucky to have a most wonderful mother who beckons at my every chocolate call. More macaroons, I say! More B.T. bars! And more than anything, more more more of my favorite chocolate accompaniment, Tea Source Gold tea (which coincidentally, contains passion fruit)! And like always, she came through.
I mentioned the Passion Fruit & Tangerine Bar the last time I discussed B.T. McElrath. But now, I can profess my love – - – with photos!
Weighing in at 3.0 ounces (85 grams), B.T. bars arrive in a clean- and professional-looking box. The front labels this bar as 100% Natural (how could chocolate be anything but natural to me?), while the back reminds that chocolate is the hero here (I semi-repeat, how could chocolate be anything but a hero to me?), and that taking a bite will plunge me into a labyrinth of indulgence, where I will promptly become lost. Sounds right up my alley, so let’s dive right in, shall we? Let’s shall.
Due to each section’s rounded hump, the Passion Fruit & Tangerine bar is thicker than many of the other chocolates I frequently enjoy. Labeled alternately B.T. and BAR, you’re not likely to forget whose chocolate you’re labyrinthingly losing yourself in. For being such an aesthetically-pleasing mixture of dark and white chocolates, the bar is also tempered evenly and well. Each piece is a smooth snap off the ol’ block.
While mellow, the flavors of passion fruit and tangerine are present throughout the tasting. However, as warned, the chocolate(s) is(are) the hero(es) here. Not a fan of white chocolate as a Rule, I’m nonetheless pleased with the overall smooth taste of the bar. With B.T.’s Chile Limón bar, the added flavors didn’t kick in until the chocolate had nearly melted in my mouth. That isn’t the case here, where the fruitiness is ever present, and evenly palated by my mouth.
I hope to showcase more of these bars in the future, because I think they’re really pretty spectacular. And Minneapolis too, way to go. Two great chocolate treats in one week!
What I’m basically saying, to vaguely quote Shakespeare, is get thee to a B.T. McElrath!
B.T. McElrath Chocolatier
2010 E. Hennepin Ave., #78
Minneapolis, MN 55413
New this spring for B.T.: Blood Orange Blossoms, Chai-Spiced Honey Truffles, and Strawberry Balsamic Caramels, which reminds me of a recently-posted recipe for balsamic strawberry ice cream over at Bake Me Away.
And finally, check out my favorite part of B.T.’s advertising scheme: labeling their cardboard boxes, on the inside, as SFI Chain of Custody certified (see below) – way to go, forestry/chocolate interactions!