Monday, December 01, 2008
A Better Butter Cup
The world of designer chocolate sees plenty of classic flavor combos get modern gourmet makeovers. Until now no one had successfully remixed the peanut butter cup. Not only are Los Angeles based Ococoa's dark chocolate butter cups sexy, they're presented in an elegant brown box and feature a variety of killer nut butters, jams and exotic flavors. Almond butter with Morello cherries, pistachio butter with sweet dates and sesame butter layered with figs are so ridiculously delicious that a simple review wouldn't suffice. I had to get the full scoop from Ococoa's owner, Diana Malouf in a Q&A session:
CN: When did you start making chocolate?
DM: I always loved baking. About 10 years ago I started making truffles and would make them for friends for Christmas. I got bored making truffles one year and decided to try making peanut butter cups. They were a hit. So my mind starting swimming with ideas and being of Middle-Eastern descent I drew on the flavors I grew up enjoying and turned them into the butter cups I now sell.
CN: The butter cups are gorgeous, do you have culinary or artistic training or was creating with chocolate a hobby that came naturally?
DM: Working with chocolate started out as a hobby and a desire to make food that people enjoyed. It took years of practice, trial-and-error to hone my skills. I don't know if I have a natural talent, but I know I have always had an inclination toward working with desserts.
CN: Why peanut butter cups?
DM: I love peanut butter and chocolate together but it seems like the selection on the market is just too sweet. I had to make something that I enjoyed eating. And being creative, I couldn't stop with just peanuts.