Better than average weather this Saturday drew me out for some coffee in North Beach.
Started at Stella's for Gordon's much reccomended sacripantina. A perfect balance of the creamy filling and the gentle but substantial sponge cake -- each bite blends both with in a most pleasant way in the mouth. Moist, good marsala flavor. A lovely and airy alternative to tiramisu. Good cappuccino to match.
Walked a couple more blocks to XOX Truffles, an old favorite. The coffee isn't as good here. But you get a handshaped truffle with any drink. I didn't have to think about flavors -- cognac please.
A brief earthy bitterness from a light coat of cocoa powder, a brittle split second crack from the thinnest, most delicate chocolate shell (what a great tactile sensation!), then the rich core, almost melting, almost oozing. With the golden flavor of cognac. It's not a bite or a kick. Instead, it's something as delicious as look from an attractive and sophisticated someone of the appropriate gender (I'm thinking Lauren Bacall in her prime). A brief yet lasting moment of sweetness.
For more lasting sweetness, 20 pieces go for something like $5 or $6. A steal (they're otherwise 75 cents individually). Great accomodating staff and owner - gracious, welcoming and very patient (takes long time for some to decide on flavors).