"At the chocolate tarte, we believe in doing a few things very well. We have spent countless hours perfecting each of these custom cakes, truffles and tartes, so that we offer a product that is fresh, all-natural, luscious, and decidedly one-of-a-kind."
The description above could not be closer to the truth - after tasting some of Hein's creations, it was clear that she believes in a high quality, delicious product - that isn't pumped full of sugar, butter and artificial flavors or preservatives.
Among the spread this evening were some of Hein's made-from-scratch cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream. The cupcake flavors were vanilla, chocolate and red velvet - I sampled the red velvet, which was perfectly moist, and the buttercream was wonderfully fluffy and not overly sweet (it actually reminded me a little bit of marshmallow, which is a very good thing).
We also tasted some of Hein's dark chocolate truffles, which are right up my alley - intensely chocolatey, but not intensely sweet. These were actually sort of bitter, which proved that real dark chocolate was providing the flavor.
We also tried some of Hein's rich, moist, decadent brownies...
...As well as a slew of her handmade truffles (which are made with chocolate and cream - and nothing else), including one made with tequila - which I, of course, loved. Booze and chocolate can never go wrong in my book, but this combination was also very subtle, which made tequila somewhat bearable on the palate. Quite a feat, if you ask me.
My favorite dessert of the evening, though, had to be the chocolate rosemary tarte. This combination of flavors was incredibly unique and surprising on the palate, but had an all-around pleasing flavor. Salt and caramel and/or chocolate seems to be the big savory/sweet combination right now, but after tasting these tartes, I strongly believe rosemary and chocolate will be the next big thing (or, at least should be).
Although I didn't snag a piece, Hein also served us her beautiful red velvet cake.
The Chocolate Tarte also makes wedding cakes, cookies, and vegan desserts, to name a few, and even has coffee and tea for us caffeine fiends.
They also just started offering SoCo Creamery ice cream, to help wash down all those handmade truffles and cakes.
It was really wonderful to meet Hein and hear about her passion for what she does everyday. As of right now, The Chocolate Tarte is a one-woman show - Hein even uses a regular kitchen-sized, electric oven for all of her baking, because she feels a large chef's oven never bakes her creations quite right - and if you knock on her door while you're walking your dog at 10 p.m. at night (because she will be there), she'll gladly give you a truffle (or two). To me, that alone makes this bakery and chocolate shoppe a true neighborhood business.
Have you ever been to The Chocolate Tarte? What's your review?