You know a day is going to be a good day when it involves taste-testing chocolate truffles and chocolate covered marshmallows.
I previously mentioned Illinois Nut & Candy as one of the vendors I met at the International Chocolate Show last week – they specialize in Kosher, gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free chocolates and more. Normally, I think that anything gluten-free or sugar-free is terrible, but after trying their chocolate truffles and chocolate golfballs (yes, golfballs), I am convinced that Illinois Nut & Candy has a few winning recipes.
I tried a couple of the truffles first; they were decorated so nicely and smelled so rich even before I opened the box. The box held an assortment of 16 truffles, some were gluten-free, some were lactose-free, and some were vegan. I could have looked it up on their website to see which one was which, but I figured it would be best to taste without knowing first. I went for the pink and white one (bottom right) and the one with the swirly "S" on top. No idea what I was trying, but they looked the nicest. They were both really good; with a rich chocolate shell and moist chocolate filling. I knew that the pink one had some kind of fruit flavor in it, and the other one I thought was an espresso truffle. I was close: the pink and white was a Strawberry truffle, and the "S" truffle was Hazelnut. Ok so I'm not ready to be a professional truffle-taster, but I'm willing to train. The best part? I looked up the truffles on their site and it turns out the Strawberry truffle is gluten-free, lactose-free, and Vegan. VEGAN! Unreal. I seriously would have never known. And the Hazelnut was lactose-free and Vegan too.
Onto the chocolate golf balls and marshmallows. The golf balls are made of lactose-free dark chocolate, and I thought they were hollow like the chocolate bunnies on Easter. Well this was no hollow shell, my friends. These were golf balls you could probably play golf with: rich, solid, dark chocolate. Minus the dairy. I tried to bite straight into it, but since I'm not a mountain lion, that was a little difficult. I found the seam and broke it in half with a big knife. I eat chocolate every day (seriously), and I would never know that this chocolate golf ball-wonder had no dairy in it. I actually shaved a bit of it on top of my frozen yogurt later that day. Kind of contradictory to the non-dairy chocolate, but I like to live on the edge.
The marshmallows were also tasty; simple, but tasty. There were two kinds: one was regular chocolate made with dairy and the other was lactose-free. Both had a nice, thick chocolate shell and chewy marshmallow inside. Again, myself nor my boyfriend could tell the difference between the two. I actually would have liked a graham cracker crust inside these marshmallow pops. Boyfriend says it's because I am biased towards Mallomars. But come on, a high-end version of a Mallomar on a stick? How GOOD would that be?! He's just jealous because he didn't think of it first.
I must say I am very impressed with Illinois Nut & Candy's confections. Normally, just the thought of gluten-free or lactose-free chocolate is unsettling, but there was nothing unsettling about this chocolate. It was great; dairy or no dairy, sugar or no sugar. They also have tons of novelty chocolates that make great gifts for the golf-lover, the cell phone-lover, and even the dreidel-lover (I'm going to assume those are Kosher).
Click here to place an order and use Promo Code "theskinnypignyc" to receive 15% off of your first online order.