Come summer time, not only do eating habits have to change to accommodate the sweltering heat, but so do online ordering habits. Yes indeed, I’m guilty of rampant internet shopping practices, sending every wacky, interesting, and simply new food product to my virtual cart without a care in the world. With such easy access to otherwise unattainable vegan novelties, it’s hard to curb that impulse, and especially when it comes to innovative sweets. Unfortunately, mail ordering chocolate is a big no-no for me from about June through September, for fear of receiving a semi-melted, bloomed glob of cocoa butter and solids instead. Normally this isn’t such a difficult policy to follow, and the arrival of fall is always happily greeted with a big shipment of all the chocolates that had been tempting me through the summer… But I’m breaking all the rules this year. The decadent promise of Xan Confections’ vegan chocolate collection was simply too great to delay another month!
As soon as that brown cardboard box landed on my doorstep, I swooped in, tearing through plastic tape and a styrofoam cooler, eager to rescue my prize… Only to find my worst cocoa-covered fear inside. Never before had I broken the seasonal chocolate rule, and I’d be damned if I didn’t pay for it. Boxes smashed open, ice pack dripping wet and leaking all over the contents of that tiny cooler, it was enough to make a grown woman cry. And maybe it did. But regardless, through this tragedy, I discovered that the people of Xan Confection’s are understanding and caring human beings, taking pity on my situation enough to send out another package, no questions asked. Happily, this one arrived intact and looking positively mouth-watering.
There’s no way around it; These molded chocolates are absolutely stunning eye candy. The aptly named Jewel Collection consists of colorful, shimmering chocolate shells enclosing a variety of flavored caramels. Each different hue indicates a different flavor, but none are specifically marked or designated, so the element of surprise makes each bite just a little bit more exciting. Especially true if you happen to pick up the purple-tinged chocolate first, as I did… What a shock to discover a spicy, cayenne-flecked, flowing caramel sequestered inside that unassuming chocolate casing! This one really made me sit up and take notice- It was a real wake up call, with the potency to rival that of a cup of coffee!
The following flavors were somewhat less arresting, but no less tantalizing. Bright, fresh strawberry flavor, just like homemade strawberry jam, leapt out from within a pink-dusted gem to great delight. A pure caramel core with a perfect hit of salt in another truly made my tongue sing. The firm bite of a solid ganache center was another unexpected treat, incredibly rich with intense chocolate flavor.
Each new truffle kept me guessing, concealing any number of delicious flavors and textures within every last jewel. Part of the fun is that unknowable element, so instead of having me spell which each and every chocolate is, I think it’s just best if you taste these for yourself! Gem-like in every sense of the word, every little morsel is a true treasure.
Incredibly, the Saintly Sins collection packs the same punch of flavor and sublime texture, but is light in both fat and calories. I had trouble believing it myself as I bit through the perfectly tempered chocolate pieces, teeth meeting with a satisfying snap. Though the filling was runny to the point of being syrupy, and potentially quite messy, that problem is easily remedied by popping the whole truffle in your mouth at once! The fruit flavors were all fresh and intense, perfectly paired with the gently bitter chocolate exteriors.
It’s hard to find vegan chocolates of this quality, so if you’re craving a truly satisfying fix, it’s well worth the hazards of ordering Xan Confections through the internet, even in the hottest of months!
This is a third party review by Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan. It was originally published on Bittersweet Blog, but reprinted with the author's permissions. For more information on these products, and to purchase them, visit the Xan Confections website.