Another sighting on my recent foray to Sunnyvales Murphy Avenue was a tiny chocolate shop tucked into the alley way next to Hunan Gourmet. I was surprised to find it open at 8pm on a Thursday night, and given the posted hours of operation, took this as a sign I was meant to go in.
The display case featured bunnies and other fanciful chocolate shapes for the Easter season. But what caught my eye was the selection of fresh creams made by Gartners which I was not familiar with. The Belgian owner proudly stated that as a direct importer, she can guarantee freshness of her product which is flown in directly from Antwerp.
I dont remember the per pound price, but the minimum purchase is 4 pieces for $5. I chose four pieces and the proprietress kindly offered to write down their names and descriptions. I tried
Vatel fresh whipped cream, dark chocolate, crispy nut bottom
Champagne fresh champagne cream, white chocolate layered with marzipan
Mocca cup dark chocolate with fresh cream of mocca
Noir et noisette dark chocolate with hazelnut praline
Since I was on my way to dinner, I didnt try them immediately and took them home to the refrigerator. When it came time to try the first two, I took them out for a half hour, but they were still a bit too cold for full flavor enjoyment. The Champagne didnt do that much for me too blank but the Vatel definitely had potential. The next day I tried the second two, leaving them out at room temperature for a full 90 minutes, and they were pretty impressive. I especially like the Mocca which was a thin shell of dark chocolate filled with the lightest and silkiest spun cream and tasting intensely of coffee-chocolate. The noisette praline was very rich and dense, stiffer than Id like, but very good.
Carmen Verhoeven, Owner
165 S. Murphy Ave., Suite C
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Monday Friday: 11:30am-2pm
Friday evening: 5pm-7:30pm
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