A Sweet Experience at Expressions Fine Chocolate
Truffles: Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Pistachio, Almond Turtles and Almond-Pecan Florentines
My experience with Expressions Fine Chocolate began before I even stepped foot into their Westchase storefront. I received a $30 voucher from Houston Entree and was eager to try some gourmet chocolates. But Expressions is located in the Westchase area, which is quite a drive for me.
On a leisurely day I called to ask for store hours, and the number listed actually went straight to the owner herself. Valerie, the owner, informed me they were closed but that she could arrange for me to come to the store when someone would be there working in the kitchen. They do most of their business online and through special orders, meaning the store hours are not always consistent. She was more than willing to accommodate me, however, which made for a very good first impression.
The storefront is mostly empty right now. Sally, one of the assistant chocolatiers, explained the next phase would be to open a deli in the large space. The kitchen area is what is important and Sally was kind enough to show me around. It was a sparse space with just the bare essentials: trays of truffles waiting to be rolled, shelves of ingredients and the chocolate tempering machine softly spinning.
Fine Expressions doesn't keep a large variety around, as the chocolate is best freshly made to order. But the shop did have a few ready-made options to choose from, ranging in price from $1.10 to $1.35 a piece. I asked Sally to put together a combination of her choosing for me as everything looked wonderful. However, I did insist on including the pistachio truffle.
That pistachio truffle was by far my favorite, filled with a pistachio creme and white chocolate ganache. The creamy, buttery filling and the mild nutty flavor of the pistachio was a winning combination. The milk chocolate was silky perfection, not cloyingly sweet like some chocolates can be. I'm usually not a fan of dark chocolate, but the Belgian chocolate Fine Expressions uses is smooth and leaves no burnt or bitter aftertaste. Both the turtles and the Florentines will please the nut lovers: The Florentines are glazed with a thin layer of honey and sugar, just enough to hold the almonds together, while the turtles are covered in silky milk chocolate.
Fine Expressions is a great gift idea for the chocolate lover in your life. They'll even work with you to put together flavor combinations to your preference. Give it a try and have your own sweet experience.
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