Berkeley: Chocolatier Blue Fall flavors - Apple ice cream and Candy Cap mushroom bon bons
Chocolatier Blue remains my favorite Bay Area chocolate shop. I love the beautiful, delicate chocolates with the sublime creamy centers.
The current seasonal flavors are sage honey, macadamia, ruby red grapefruit, pear fleur de sel, kiwi and rhubarb (sous vide).
Lately there is one seasonal unofficial chocolate that doesn't appear on the chocolate guide card because they are less common flavors and if they don't sell well they can be dropped. Last season it was the wonderful corn.
This season it is candy cap mushroom ... it works ... beautifully ... who knew mushrooms and chocolate would be a good combo?
When I first bought the seasonal chocolates, because I didn't see it listed I had no clue what it was. I thought it was a deep, intense chocolate with layers of flavor.
I went back to find out what it was and ordered a second, if you know to look for mushroom, there's a fleeting light mushroom taste, more like a hint of dried mushroom, It is pleasant combined with the chocolate. IMO, it deepens the chocolate flavor and adds complexity.
My second favorite flavor was the red grapefruit. Chcolatier Blue always brings out the best in citrus and that includes the orange juice sorbet.
The apple ice cream is so good and nicely paired with the caramel. There's a nice shortbread cookie on top.
Other ice cream flavors are roasted banana, mango (terrific), the wonderful concord grape, last of the season peach, and a few others I'm blanking on. The consistancy is still very soft.
The pastries have changed and simplified. The fancy stuff sadly wasn't selling so there are lemon and chocolate tarts, croissants, cookies and brownies. The brownie is classic. It is chewy, cakey, fudgy, but not too much of any of those ... very nice balance.
My own opinion is that the fancy desserts were premature. The shop was new and orginally there was no coffee and the desserts were different from the usual. I hope over time as more and more people find the shop, one or two of those exquisite desserts makes it back into the baked good selection.
1964 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94701
Chocolatier Blue Patisserie
1809 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710
Stopped by tonight to buy the new fall flavors.
FIRST - THEY ARE GIVING AWAY FREE HOT CHOCOLATE AND SPICED CIDER EVERY EVENING UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!! They of course aren't using the Amedei in their free hot chocolate, but it was decent. And hey its free.
I was disappointed to see what the pastries they moved too - cookies, croissants, and tartlets. A bit boring, and disappointing for a former Trotter pastry chef. The guy there said the nice pastries weren't selling and were too resource intensive. So sad, because i could have had some of the old ones that were wheat free. Anyway...
Tried some ice cream. Liked them overall and they are no longer soft. they had I think 8-10 flavors. The pumpkin was nice a pumkiny, but I couldn't assess the spice in the small taste I had. The caramel was good - not as good as Bi-Rite I think, but if I didn't just have Humphry Slocombe I would have had some to assess more. Chocolate also good, but I really prefer chocolate sorbets for their intensity (hard to find good ones in the US). The brown butter pineapple had no brown butter flavor, but was fine.
Bought some meringues which were light and had a chocolate chunk in them. Don't think i would buy again, but a perfectly respectable meringue (I don't do meringue often, but it was the only pastry I could have).
They were out of the candy cap and it sounded like that was the end of the line for that flavor - it seems to be met with adoration and appall depending on the customer. I am batting 0% in catching the candy cap desserts. I really want to try some...
Will report back when I taste the other flavors i bought.
Service was pleasant - not as nice as Chris Blue himself, but helpful and nice. For now I will petition for better pastries...so sad about that.
I tried the lemon tart recently (I have a hard time passing up a lemon tart), and while it was perfectly acceptable, it definitely wasn't anything exciting. And still not cheap, at $6 for the larger version (only big enough for maybe two people). The fancy desserts they had before weren't much more expensive than that.
Wow, candy caps! They have a wonderful maple flavor, i.e., when I've had them in cookies (shortbread) and cake (pound cake). I'm now very curious to try that with chocolate.
It's been a year or so since I last had Chocolatier Bleu's offerings. They're up there with Coco Délice and Recchiuti's for excellent chocolate confections (imo).
1 Ferry Bldg # 30, San Francisco, CA
I bought a box of assorted chocolates 3 weeks ago and loved the sage honey, macadamia, and pear. The sage honey is one of the best chocolates I have ever had.
I also bough the candy cap mushroom and did not like it at all. My boyfriend actually spit his out. The mushroom flavor in the chocolate I had sounds much stronger than the one rworange had, it was very distinctive and overpowered any flavor in the chocolate. I just didn't think the flavors harmonized very well.
The person helping me was very nice and gave me 2 free chocolates to try when he saw me trying to decide between all of the flavors in the case.