With the redevelopment of the Gaines Street corridor, All Saints District, and Railroad Square in Tallahassee underway, many funky little local shops and cottage industries have begun to take hold in that area of town. One of these industries is SRSLY, a local chocolate confectionery. SRSLY describes themselves as “bean-to-bar chocolate entrepreneurs” who begin with organic and fair trade cacao beans and end up with bar of chocolate that “preserve the beans’ distinctive flavors.”
Intrigued by this concept and wanting to support Tallahassee’s cottage industries, I decided to splurge and pick up a few bars of chocolate.
My first taste of SRSLY chocolate was their Strawberry Balsamic Truffles, a creation that immediately peaked my flavor imagination.
Slowly taking my first bite of a Strawberry Balsamic Truffle, the slight give to the chocolate coat gave way to an initial flavor of dark chocolate, followed by a velvety (and ever so slightly gritty) strawberry infused chocolate center, and a subtle balsamic finish. While it would be easy for the strawberry or the balsamic flavors to dominate the taste of this type of confection, the dark chocolate (70% cacao) remained the leading flavor in this very enjoyable chocolate morsel.
My second exposure to SRSLY chocolates was a Sea Salt and Almond chocolate bar.
The first thing I noticed tasting the Sea Salt and Almond chocolate bar was the delightfully smokey flavor profile, pervasive throughout the entire bite of chocolate.
In addition to the smokey flavor, the chocolate bar was made more interesting by its texture. The almonds and flakes of of sea salt both provide the chocolate bar with a nice crunch. Unlike other bars I’ve had before, the almonds in the SRSLY chocolate did not get soft and chewy. The SRSLY chocolate bar also let the sea salt do what salt does best – enhance the other flavors in the bar – without the salt becoming a flavor itself.
SRSLY chocolate is currently available at several local venues in Tallahassee, including New Leaf Market where I bought mine. The SRSLY website also appears to be in the process of setting in an online store where people can order their chocolates. However you procure your tastings of SRSLY chocolate, you should indulge soon. SRSLY.
After playing second tier to other bacon-like foods (such as prosciutto, serrano, and capocollo), bacon is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Bacon is the new bacon. One of the current bacon trends is to pair it with chocolate. I’ve even heard of Peterbrooke Chocolatier selling chocolate coated strips of bacon. Although I haven’t tried the chocolate coated bacon, the concept served as the inspiration for me to make bacon chocolate chip cookies for my office cookie exchange.
The ingredients for the cookies are:
1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose four
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 strips of bacon
Like many of the best things in life, these cookies start with bacon. To make sure the bacon pieces are crispy and the cookies do not end up oily, sandwich the bacon strips between sheets of paper towel and cook in the microwave until crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Let the bacon slices cool before crumbling into pieces.
In a bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugars and butter. Mix the eggs into the creamed butter, one egg at a time. Add the vanilla extract to the mixture. Gradually add the flour mixture. Beat the ingredients together until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and bacon crumbles.
Once the chocolate chips and bacon crumbles are incorporated, spread the cookie dough out onto a non-stick jelly-roll pan.
Bake the cookie dough at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the pan cookie cool slightly before cutting into square cookies.
Jill and I both took the cookies to our respective offices. With the exception of a few vegetarians, everyone gave the cookies great reviews. One of Jill’s co-workers expressed the desire to marry one of the cookies. A few of my co-workers wanted more bacon in the cookies, but most of them thought they were perfect the way I made them. If you make a batch of the cookies, let me know how they are received and if you end up making any changes to the recipe.