Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bubbly, Bon Bons

Cheers to champagne… truffles.

In the 1950’s classic, The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn Monroe’s character is a big fan of champagne and potato chips. It’s a charming combination when proposed by a breathy Marilyn (“It’s just a wonderful party!”). But there are other bubbly pairings that fare better. Champagne and chocolate, for example.

If you’re heaving a sigh of delicious agreement, go directly to the Swiss chocolatier that houses the Cristal of champagne truffles: Teuscher. The Upper East Side gem, which is nearing its 30th anniversary, is smaller than many a closet in the swish neighborhood. Yet the space is a larger-than-life fantasy, dripping with vibrant color, draped in floral garland, and wrapped up like a pretty present that you want to tear into. Gifts like these rarely disappoint.

Along with pralines, marzipan and other assorted chocolates in the display case are Teuscher’s world-famous champagne truffles. Each dark chocolate conical shell, dusted with confectioner’s sugar, conceals perfectly creamy dark chocolate (made of cream, butter and cocoa), which, in turn, envelops the tell-tale caramel-colored champagne center. When you bite into one (for these should be relished with two, if not three, bites), the flavor of champagne is so strong that the only thing seemingly missing is the fizz. They’re delicate, decadent and perfect for the most special of occasions — like, say, today.

673 Madison Avenue (entrance on 61st Street)

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