Toronto’s legendary Dufflet Bakery is one of those places which becomes an necessary stop once discovered. Their selection of cakes, pies and pastries is impressive enough, but the fact that they taste as good as they look has cemented their reputation and won them lots of fans. These days they are dipping their toes into a new area with their Small Indulgences line of boxed confections, including the Bittersweet Chocolate Crackle which found its way into my hands.
Their Crackle is a new take on nut brittles, with an exceptionally generous portion of nut pieces with a few chocolate chips held together with some Belgian dark chocolate of an undisclosed percentage; my guess would be about 55% or thereabouts. The two varieties that made their way into my hands were Maple Cashew and Toasted Almond although there is also a milk chocolate version with hazelnuts available too, but you’re on your own with that one.
The Toasted Almond Crackle was almost perfect. It had great texture thanks to the thin slices of almonds which invited a more active approach to eating. The chocolate is surprisingly rich, although some of that might have to do with the butter glazing on the almond, and munching brings it all together into a lovely chewy, almondy, satisfying mouthful that I honestly couldn’t get enough of. It isn’t the most sophisticated confection, but it is very yummy indeed and the entire box was gone much faster than it should have.
Apparently the Maple Cashew variety has won a Sofi Award from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, something that makes me think that the judges must have a very sweet tooth because the maple flavour really dominates here. It is so dominant that both the chocolate and the nuts have to take the back seat for quite a while until some chewy readdresses the balance. And then the maple comes rushing back again to leave a sweet aftertaste that I wasn’t particularly fond of. I also found that the cashews were a little too soft too, robbing the Crackle of the crunch that was so satisfying in the almond version.
So when it comes to Dufflet’s Crackle, it is a question of how sweet you like your chocolate. And despite my recent Canadian citizenship, I just couldn’t deal with all that mapleness. At least they can’t deport me anymore…