Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Some people say save the best for last. I'm not saying they're necessarily the best, but Xan Confections is doing some amazing things with vegan truffles. No credit away from GoMaxGo, Gourmellows, What Am I, or Indie Candy, they're all doin the damn thing. All of these companies' products would make a great addition to any Easter basket. But for the adult, refined, more upscale palate, Xan's vegan, gluten free truffles are on a whole other level. Being that I have a major favorable bias towards anything Orange County, it also feels good to know that Xan is producing these bite-size morsels in beautiful Irvine, CA.
Xan Confections is not a totally vegan company, but they do produce two lines that are totally vegan and gluten free: The "Jewels" line of caramels and the "Saintly Sins" line of 29 calorie, low-glycemic treats.
The "Jewels" assortment box I received came with one chocolate caramel, one ancho chili, one coconut pecan, one butterscotch, and one espresso almond.
The chocolate caramel was the first "Jewel" I tried, and it was amazing. The filling was a perfect consistency, a creamy blend of dark chocolate and caramel flavors. I made my chocoholic, non-vegan Dad try it and it blew his mind.
My second item on the "Jewels" menu was the ancho chili truffle. Lately, I've really been getting into the combo of chocolate and spicy peppers, and this was perfect. It was spicy enough that I couldn't help but notice, but it didn't overwhelm the delicious pure chocolate flavor either. Kuddos to Xan on the right balance.
Judging by the truffle color chart that comes in the package, I was hoping this was the bananas foster flavor, but it was really the coconut pecan. I'm not a big fan of coconut in chocolate, but the pecan and creaminess of the filling made up for my qualms. Great texture.
Butterscotch is pretty hit or miss in my flavor profile, and this was my least favorite of the whole Xan collection. Still not bad, I assume if you were a butterscotch fan and vegan, this would be right up your alley.
Espresso Almond was by far my favorite of the entire lot. I love espresso, I love almonds, and this truffle had an entire whole almond in it. The semi-runny filling was immaculate in flavor and viscosity. Yes, I just used viscosity to describe a truffle's filling like a wine connoisseur. THAT'S how good this was.
The "Saintly Sins Collection" is vegan, gluten free, low-glycemic, and only 29 calories per piece. I guaratee you would think they were 2900 calories each by how rich and flavorful they are.
The first one I tried from this line was the Pineapple Sin. I expected the inside to have a thicker filling like the truffles, but it was more like those Gushers fruit snacks we used to have out on the playground when we were eight years old. It went all over my hands and made a mess, but it was delicious nonetheless. I followed up by demolishing the strawberry and rasberry "sins", and I have to say the strawberry was my favorite from this box.
For the adult, upscale, or sexy Easter basket in your life, look no further than Xan Confections. At my local Whole Foods, you can by them individually at the chocolatier counter so you can piece together the flavor combination perfect for that special someone. Now if any girls in OC want to put a big smile on my face and make me swoon, feel free to bring me some of these for Easter... or any time of the year for that matter.
Have you ever tried vegan candy? How about any of these Xan Confections?