It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to enjoy some rich and exotic hand-rolled chocolate. Chocolate is delicious any time of year but is especially satisfying in the winter when consumed with a glass of aged port by a roaring fire, perhaps with your significant other.
For the best and most luxurious chocolate creations, Azure Chocolat in Greenlawn is the place to go. Owner and chocolatier Heather Foley originally opened Azure in Centerport in 2004. She moved to the Broadway, Greenlawn, location three years ago, and business has been thriving ever since.
“Chocolate is one of the few affordable luxuries today,” says Foley, who was a manager for a large corporation in Manhattan before plunging into the world of chocolate. After reading an article about chocolate making at a school in Canada, Foley signed up for a course over a vacation and then kept taking courses online. She’s always loved cooking, baking especially; six months later she quit her job and soon thereafter opened Azure.
Foley wanted her store to evoke a feeling of happiness and bliss, thus the name, Azure, French word for blue. Along with her blue and silver boxes, her logo is a butterfly, because chocolate is transformative, she says.
Foley is a master when it comes to transforming truffles. She features approximately 80 different varieties and is always looking to create something new. She uses only the finest Callebaut dark, milk and white chocolates imported from Belgium. Her 70-percent dark chocolate is well rounded and not bitter. The milk chocolate is creamy and flavorful and not overly sweet, while her white chocolate is delicate with caramel undertones. Mixing flavors is key, balancing a touch of savory with sweet to create layers of flavor with each bite. To wit: Hot Monkey Love has a dark chocolate center, caramelized bananas, a touch of tequila and cayenne pepper. It is then rolled in dark chocolate and topped with banana flour (crushed dried bananas) with a little cayenne pepper and sea salt.
“Sea salt wakes up your taste buds and enhances the experience of eating the chocolate,” says Foley. “It’s a great combination.”
This fusion of flavors makes her homemade, dark chocolate covered caramels one of her best sellers; they’re topped with a sprinkling of natural blue sea salt. Other popular items include Foley’s homemade buttery toffees and her rich, and even healthy, barks. Classic toffees have a delightfully sweet crunch and are covered in milk or dark chocolate, walnuts, pecans and gray sea salt. For the more adventurous toffee lover, Foley offers a bacon toffee made with gourmet duck bacon, which is low in fat. The subtle, smoky, salty flavor of this toffee can be addicting, as is the Xotic Toffee covered in milk chocolate and spiced with curry, cayenne, coconut, cashews and gray sea salt.
The Beauty Bark is a healthy treat, made from 70-percent dark chocolate, fresh walnuts, wild blueberries, cocoa nibs, golden flax and sea salt. Speaking of healthy, all ingredients used at Azure are all natural and gluten-free, including Foley’s homemade chocolate-covered graham crackers and S’Mores d’Azure. Several items are vegan as well.
Can’t make up your mind which truffle to try? While you’re deciding, enjoy a cup of rich, Parisian-style hot chocolate. Pure bliss.
Azure Chocolat, 72 Broadway, Greenlawn. azurechocolat.com
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