Today I have something really special: Fran’s Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels.
For those who know…oh, you know. For those who have yet to experience the heavenly bliss that is Fran’s Chocolates…you just have not lived until you put one of these salted caramels in your mouth.
These caramels are perfection. One bite and you will be transported for a brief moment, when all you can concentrate on is the sublime texture and taste you’re experiencing. And then you will wish that you can stop time so that it all lasts just a little bit longer.
As you bite down, the thin chocolate couverture seductively melts away, giving in to the luxurious, velvety caramel hidden inside. Buttery, soft and chewy, each caramel is handmade in small batches from fresh organic butter and rich cream. Each precious caramel is then hand-dipped in fine chocolate, and bejeweled with a sprinkling of sea salt that gives you that nice bit of gritty crunch against your back teeth.
The Gray Salt Caramels are dipped in 56% dark chocolate, then finished with a sprinkling of pure gray sea salt. Fran chose a gray sea salt harvested off the coast of Brittany for its bold, deep flavor, in perfect contrast to the sweet butter notes of the caramel.
The Smoked Salt Caramels are dipped in 40% deep milk chocolate and topped with pure sea salt harvested from the coast of Wales. This exceptional sea salt is smoked over Welsh oak and has a soft, complex flavor which is a natural complement to the subtle tones of deep milk chocolate and golden caramel.
I am usually a dark chocolate girl, but something about that Smoked Salt Caramel calls my name. It has a rounder, gentler flavor to it, while the Gray Salt Caramel has more of a clean, bold flavor. (For the record though, I would never turn down a Gray Salt). If these caramels were classic silver-screen beauties, I’d venture to say the Smoked would be Brigitte Bardot, and the Gray, Elizabeth Taylor.
Both are sophisticated, both are exquisite.
My eyes (and thankful taste buds) were first opened to Fran’s Chocolates a year ago at the 2009 Fancy Food Show. I was enamored, and now, a full year later, I know it wasn’t just puppy love. It is still the finest caramel I’ve ever tasted.
At this year’s show, we had the pleasure of meeting the master chocolatier herself, Fran Bigelow! Star-struck Hua had the honor of interviewing her 🙂 Hear for yourself how Fran brought the allure and craftsmanship (and the joy, oh the joy!) of France’s chocolate shops to her hometown of Seattle, WA.
(Videography by Christina Robles)
As promised…this is a giveaway! So…to win this 20 piece box of Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels from Fran’s Chocolates…
Simply leave a comment here telling me: If you HAD to choose, would it be the Gray Salt or the Smoked Salt Caramel?
(I know, it’s a torturous question. Even President Obama and First Lady Michelle are divided on this.)
Giveaway deadline is Monday 2/22, 11:59 pm PST.
Disclosure: This giveaway was made possible via free sample and giveaway donation by Fran’s Chocolates. Winner will be randomly selected.