Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Special Foodventure #144: Preview Tasting Event at Valerie Confections' Open House (Silver Lake)

Just when I thought I am impervious to being sugarloaded (or maybe I've just forgotten what happened when I judged the Cupcake Challenge), an event like the media/blogger preview event at Valerie Confections brings me back down to earth. Don't get me wrong, pretty much everything was delicious, but many items are very rich and luscious and, even if the assorted sweets aren't that sugary, all that sucrose added up fast! For someone who can make do with three truffles or two chocolate squares a day, going on a frenzy-feast tasting over dozens of cakes, toffees, chocolates and other treats did send me into a sugar-craze (to be followed by a sugar coma.)

Some of my favorite treats last night included:
Salt & Pepper Truffles
Salt and pepper truffles - it's hard to go wrong with a sweet-savory combo, harder when the sweet is smooth, silky bittersweet chocolate ganache with a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Meanwhile, its condiment partner in crime delivers great vegetal, mildly spicy notes with the pepper-infused ganache. If a pair of these were left on a table, don't expect them to stay there long!
Petit Fours
Ginger petit-fours - sugar and spice and everything nice. Double infused with layers of soft ginger cake and white chocolate-ginger ganache, all enrobed in bittersweet chocolate, it reminded me of eating a softer gingersnap... dunked in chocolate!
Orange and Ginger Toffees
Ginger toffees - for similar reasons as above (I'm undeniably a ginger fan -- yes, even Geri too) but I'd also like to give a kudos to their toffee line in general as someone who generally doesn't gravitate towards them due to their hardness and potential to crack teeth (I still remember losing my last baby tooth eating one of those!) The ones Valerie makes definitely provides a more satisfying crunch, not only are they on the thinner side (easier to bite & chew) but they also have wonderful butter and nutty notes. Of course, their blending that with assorted flavors (including ginger) makes it extra special too.
Thyme Shortbread with Candied Fruits and Cheese
Thyme shortbread (above with candied citrus and cheese) - almost effortlessly simple, but also simply elegant. The addition of this common and typically-savory herb definitely took this humble cookie to a whole new classy level (why making me wonder "Why didn't I think of that?" -- thyme works well with buttery dishes, so why not a buttery cookie?)

These are only the few of the over 30 items offered for sampling that night (no, I was not able to go through them all) but before you get jealous, YOU too can have an opportunity to sample Valerie's various confections since they're doing different samplings during the open house for this whole week! So swing by, sample, savor and of course, spend a little and support a L.A. business if you enjoyed.

Here's their open house schedule for this week (starting today) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for all days except Sat. (5 p.m.)

Tues. - Blum's Coffee and Lemon Crunch Cakes (a tribute to the long-gone SF bakery, sponge cakes are layered with a whipped cream frosting with coffee and lemon toffee crunches)

Wed. - Everyday Indulgences of almond and peanut toffee treats, chocolate-dipped shortbread topped with salt and chocolate citrus bark

Thurs. - Cakes and petit fours! From rose petal/passion fruit ganache to almond and hazelnut tea cakes with homemade marzipan filling. Perfect to snack, maybe with some tea and coffee...

Fri. - It's Market Day and they'll highlight their seasonal fares including white fig and fuji apple jams, rustic handmade pies, candied fruits and chocolate truffle torte with strawberries and cream

Sat. - A gussied-up trick-or-treat as Valerie samples out their refined line of chocolates, truffles and toffees from mint mendiants to holiday nougats to almond fleur de sel toffee and yes, even the salt & pepper truffles. There's something for everyone with an inner child and an adult palate.

More photos from Flickr set here
and P.S. great meeting fellow bloggers Maya of ShopEatSleep, Diana Takes a Bite and Kat of Cork and Rind there; and of course, thanks to co-owners Stan Weightman Jr. and Valerie Gordon for letting me trick-or-treat a week early ;)

Valerie Confections
3360 W 1st Street
Los Angeles 90004


Anonymous said...

Very liberal calling 1st & Virgil Silver Lake, just one of my pet peeves.

H. C. said...

@Anon, I wouldn't classify it as being in Silver Lake per se either but didn't have time to look up that specific neighborhood, so I cheated and went with Yelp's labeling. Shameful in more ways than one.


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