The talents that the person sitting right next to you has– could be unbelievable.
Do you know that?
Right now, I’m speaking to those of you reading this at work.
But I could be talking about this with those of you at home, or on a play-date, or just passing the time waiting for new tires at the car shop.
(You might be able to tell where I’m supposed to be with that last comment.)
When I was working at NBC 4, I was surrounded by people that had talents above and beyond what they did inside that newsroom. Some had beautiful singing voices, others played softball like nobody’s business, and one of them… was an amazing baker.
That’s how I came to know Truffleology, in full disclosure, one of the partners ran our news website and was very passionate baking. Only did I find out later she was also passionate about chocolate and had created this amazing website that is home to some melt-in-your-mouth chocolate.
Denise Yost and Kathy Yost-Lingel created the online truffle-selling concept within the last few years. Truffleology is true to its’ name: a study in hand-crafted Belgian chocolate truffles. The varieties these ladies are trying rival what you’ve picked up at any Godiva inside the mall, or most places you step into known for all their candy worth. I know because I’ve tried them.
Kathy attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Then for twenty years she sold her own pastries to restaurants in Central Ohio that you and I know well: Spagio, Figlio, The Great Southern Hotel. She also worked for a very well-known family in town, in the kitchen at one of their retreat properties. Denise is her niece and fell in love with Kathy’s truffle recipe ten years ago at a family Christmas party. They never knew they would be working together and creating this savagely smooth line of truffles that they are today.
“We ended up having more of a friendship than an aunt-niece relationship.”
That’s Denise, talking with me as I watch their hand-rolled truffle making process in Kathy’s kitchen. It’s in the country just a smidge north of New Albany.
As I watched this study and professional passion at work– I asked the pastry chef in this equation: Why truffles? When she could have created so many different delicacies and shipped them from an online store.
“It was one thing that is easily made and shipped. If you’re making cookies it’s more production, it’s bigger, you know… the truffles are small. Everybody makes cookies, not everybody makes truffles. And honestly, I love chocolate.”
And to be honest, Kathy told me further that she had gotten a little frustrated a few years ago. She and Denise went to visit family in Philadelphia and they went to what can only be best described as a boutique truffle shop. They bought a box– and ended up throwing it out!
At that point, they knew there could be an audience. People out there who don’t want a waxy-made-in-a-mold truffle. Kathy had the experience and Denise had the online knowledge. So together, they created Truffleology.
These truffles are made with Callebaut chocolate, a fine Belgian chocolate. The other ingredients are as fresh as you can get. Fresh clementines to make the zest for one of the varieties. Freeze dried raspberries that are ground down to fine red bits and the seeds are removed through a sieve. That’s for the Milk Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. The day I was there they were making Thanksgiving truffle orders.
Yes, I taste-tested in no particular order. And here were my assessments:
The Lemon Cheesecake has the smoothest hints of the party on your patio this past summer.
The Raspberry Milk Chocolate has that tart tip of sprinkles that sets the chocolate into motion.
There one that looks like an alien, with a silver spray on the top– but it has toffee in it that tastes like you’re swirling sinfully rich butter in your mouth.
The Bourbon is one of my favorites, ridiculously smooth with the liquor and chocolate that it’s made up of.
In a way that makes you want to honestly pair them with wine, Denise and Kathy box the truffles in single flavors or something they call “flights.” The darker truffles pair well with reds and the white chocolate versions are good with dry white wines. (I may have tried that. A few times.) And there are vegan options for many of the varieties they make
“What I think is really unique and special about what we’re doing is that they are handcrafted, it is a custom order. There is nothing we do to stock up and have a bulk operation. Every truffle is customized from the order to the shipping.”
Hand-crafted means down to the detail of warmth in your hands. The two don’t roll the truffles with plastic gloves, because they tell me there is a fine line between the warmth of their hands and what makes the chocolate they use creamy and pliable. If your hands are too hot, the truffles look more like pancakes– which you don’t want. So instead of gloves, they are constantly washing their hands in warm water as they go about the process.
If you’re in the spirit to order some for Christmas, you have until December 20th. And they can handle it. The ladies one time made 1,000 truffles on a Saturday. It takes about one day to make the center of the truffle and then an afternoon or evening will cover the rolling and the dipping. Each box is shipped with at least two-day shipping and cold packs insulated with bubble wrap. It takes five days to process– because the entire process is all custom.
If not in time for Christmas– bringing them to a New Year’s party would be appropriate. The scene they would make with champagne! You need to have that order in by December 25th.
So what’s next for these two? More varieties being added to the website. They would like to do a White Wine Strawberry Truffle and a Cabernet Dark Chocolate Truffle. They would also like to get into the wedding and baby shower business– doing custom packaging along with the truffles for parties. But that’s all in the future. For now, they’re enjoying the sweetness of small success each time they get together to hand prepare these boxes.
If you want to check out their website, click here.