100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Houston Dishes 2015, No. 79: Chocolates At Cacao & Cardamom

Over the past few years, chocolatier Annie Rupani has gone from showcasing her glossy, exotic chocolates at special events to eventually landing a storefront operation in the ritzy Galleria shopping area. Inside is a glass showcase of the treats of the day, and the walls are lined with chocolate bars imported from around the world.

Rupani’s chocolates are not inexpensive. The handcrafted sweets are unique and take a lot of work to create. Each assortment is nothing less than a colorful treasure box of delights.

A five-piece box at $12 is an affordable luxury or a modest gift, while the most expensive item, the 80-piece Ultimate Truffle Collection, is suitable for a wedding reception or impressing an office full of corporate clients. (If there are any left over, feel free to send them my way.)

Rupani takes flavors and spices usually associated with savory Indian dishes and manages to concoct them into bonbons of the highest order. Here are some recommended flavors for the summer (as shown from left to right in the photo above): Guava Tamarind, Mango Caramel, Blueberry Lime, Chamomile Vanilla and Passion Fruit.

They are more beautiful than Godiva, come in more interesting flavors, new batches are freshly made almost daily and there are no guesses as to how long they’ve been sitting on a shelf.

Visiting the shop, buying a few of these little gems for yourself and pairing them with a glass of wine is one of the most pleasant ways to shake off a particularly stressful day.